Faculty & Research

Our supply chain management faculty members stay at the leading-edge of the industry through rigorous applied research.

Natalie Scala

Natalie M. Scala, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh

Associate Professor Scala's areas of expertise include decision modeling, energy utilities, military applications, spare parts management and cybersecurity. She has published numerous papers in leading journals and actively consults industry clients. Scala is the M.S. program director and can be reached at .

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Chaodong Han

Chaodong Han, Ph.D.

University of Maryland — College Park

With academic interests that include data and decision analysis, logistics and distribution, project management and international supply chain management, Professor Han teaches EBTM 710 Logistics and Distribution. His research interests include humanitarian logistics, outsourcing strategies and the effects of inventory strategies and information technology investment on firm performance. He has received multiple awards for his outstanding research and teaching. 

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Xiaolin Li

Xiaolin Li, Ph.D.

Kent State University

Professor Li's teaching interests include e-Business, customer relationship management and applied ERP systems. His research interests include team dynamics, search engine optimization and the use of business IT solutions. He teaches the Customer Relationship Management course and is a 2011 recipient of the College of Business and Economics Outstanding Scholarship Award.

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Stella Tomasi

Stella Tomasi, Ph.D.

Temple University

Associate Professor Tomasi’s teaching interests include business process management, e-Business and ERP systems. Her research interests include project team dynamics and search engine optimization. She teaches the Business Process Management course.

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Dong Yao

Dong Qing Yao, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Professor Yao's teaching interests include project management, operations management and supply chain management. His primary research interests include supply chain management for technology-intensive industries as well as innovative supply chain technology integration. Professor Yao teaches EBTM 602 Intro to Supply Chain Management and EBTM 720 Supply Chain Analytics.

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Selected Research

Eliminating the Weakest Link Approach in Army Unit Readiness (2018)
Decision Analysis 
Authors: Natalie M. Scala & Paul L. Goethals

This study examines the United States Army’s readiness metrics, as outlined in AR-220-1, and propose an improvement in the composite metric, in order to evaluate units with greater precision, flexibility, and robustness. Our desirability function approach measures readiness based upon a set of priorities, adapting for type of mission and unit. Accurate assessments of readiness are crucial, as the level of Army readiness drives federal funding, defense policy, and deployment decisions. AAM via INFORMS Green Option

A Value Model for Asset Tracking Technology to Support Naval Sea-based Resupply (2018)
Engineering Management Journal
Authors: Natalie M. Scala & Jennifer Pazour 

Naval seabasing is a dense storage environment and requires specialized logistics to fulfill emergent requests for tailored resupply packages while at sea. We develop a value model to identify the preferred technology to track inventory assets while stored in this dense environment. Evaluated technologies include radio frequency identification, barcoding, internal positioning systems (IPS), and camera-aided technology. We conclude that IPS is the preferred asset tracking technology in the seabasing environment.

Exploring the Role of Task Complexity and Rapport on Work Satisfaction and Learning in Outsourced System Development (2017)
IT Project Management
Authors: Parolia, N., Li, Y., & Tomasi, S.

This paper explores the use of offshore teams for IS development projects. The results address how complexity and team rapport affect team cohesion, team member learning, and team member satisfaction.

Relationship Conflict, Conflict Management, and Performance of Information Technology Teams (2016)
Journal of Computer Information Systems
Authors: Nesterkin, D. A., Porterfield, T. E., & Li, X. 

This study examines how teams use collaboration, conflict management, and goal setting to mediate the negative effects of conflict on team performance. The study finds that collaboration and conflict management positively affect team performance and mediate the conflict and conflict management on team performance.

Influences of Search Engine Optimization on Performance of SMEs: A Qualitative Perceptive. 
Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations (2015)
Authors: Tomasi, S., & Li, X.

Search engines have become an important channel for increasing the global reach of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This research addresses how SMEs leverage search engine optimization (SEO) to enhance the visibility of their business. This study uses multiple firms as cases to illustrate how SEO initiatives can impact firm performance. Findings show that SEO efforts improve the search engine rankings as well as increase website visits, the average duration of users visiting the site, user engagement and sales revenue.

Aligning Supply Chain Transportation Strategy with Industry Characteristics: Evidence from the US-Asia Supply Thain (2015)
International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Authors: Ke, J. Y. F., Windle, R. J., Han, C., & Britto, R

The study evaluates how firm’s choices of transportation mode are the result of industry characteristics and supply chain strategies. The findings suggest that beyond transportation cost, logistics managers must also consider non-cost factors including the level of competition, the amount of working capital available, and the uncertainty of demand when making transportation mode decisions.