Research Symposium on Operations Management

2018-11-27 15:33:40

Research Symposium on Operations Management: “State of the Art in Research on Innovation: an Operational Perspective”

Three scholars from Operations Management field will present their new research on innovations – including one related with product innovation (project selection), one related with business model innovation (two-sided platform) and one related with the organization of innovation (innovation contest). The methodology includes both empirical and analytical. Two speakers of this event (Dr. Panos Markou and Konstantinos Stouras) are hosted by Nazarbayev University Faculty-Development Competitive Research Grant (Small Grant)  “On the Mechanism of Idea Selection” (award number:  090118FD5304)


University faculty members,  PhD/Master Students in business, engineering and innovation management, entrepreneurs.


2:00– 2:10           Introduction to Symposium and brief introduction of presenters 

2:10– 2:55           Presentation by Konstantinos Stouras

2:55- 3:05           Q&A      

3:05– 3:50           Presentation by Panos Markou

3:50- 4:00           Q&A      

4:00– 4:15           Coffee Break and Networking   

4:15– 5:00           Presentation by Fernando Bernstein  

5:00- 5:10           Q&A      

5:10- 5:20           Wrap up and concluding remarks

Konstantinos Stouras, “The Role of Participation in Innovation Contests” 

Participation (i.e. committing resources) in an innovation contest can not be mandated or enforced, which calls for incorporating participation, in addition to effort incentives, as part of contest design. The result is a model of innovation contests with endogenous entry and participation uncertainty. Unlike contests with guaranteed entry, we show that a firm has to split its available budget into multiple rewards to attract optimal participation and effort from outside solvers. We demonstrate that solver participation decisions result in excessive equilibrium entry. Our analysis finds that adopting policies to restrict entry such as imposing a minimum acceptable output improves innovation. Finally, the expected highest output of the participants need not increase in the population size of the potential solvers.

Panos Markou, “Project Selection and Success: Insights from the Drug Development Process” 

Effective R&D is essential for innovation and synonymous to choosing the right innovative ideas. Yet, selecting the right R&D projects is challenging because of the uncertainty and complexity inherent in making those selection decisions. We leverage a unique database comprising the drug development pipelines of the Top 15 pharmaceutical companies between 1999-2016 to examine how operational factors-technological uncertainty, competitive development projects, and the presence of project transaction costs-drive the selection decision. We find that firms continuously invest in development projects if they have previously had success in a domain, but that this decision is crucially moderated by the project development choices of their competitors. Early-stage competitive investments decrease the likelihood of the firm selecting to compete in the same domain, whereas late-stage project investments signal high technological feasibility and increase this likelihood. Still, entry into the same domain occurs only when the competitors do not have a large head-start in development. Moreover, the presence of project-level transaction costs manifested in in-licensed compounds makes them less likely to be selected than in-house ones, even though they exhibit above-average rates of success when selected. Finally, we provide evidence on how these selection factors meaningfully contribute to productivity.

Fernando Bernstein, “Competition between Two-Sided Platforms under Demand and Supply Congestion Effects”

This paper explores the impact of competition between platforms in the sharing economy. Examples include the cases of Uber and Lyft in the context of ride-sharing platforms. In particular, we consider competition between two platforms that offer a common service (e.g., rides) through a set of independent drivers to a market of customers. Each platform sets a price that is charged to customers for obtaining service provided by a driver. A portion of that price is paid to the driver that delivers the service. Both customers’ and drivers’ utilities are sensitive to the payment terms set by the platform and are also sensitive to congestion in the system (given by the relative number of customers and drivers in the market). We consider two possible scenarios. The first one, termed “single-homing,” assumes that drivers work through a single platform. In the second scenario, termed “multi-homing” (or “multi-apping” as it is known in practice), drivers deliver service through both platforms. In both the single-homing and multi-homing scenarios, we study the equilibrium prices that emerge from the competitive interaction between the platforms and explore the supply and demand outcomes that can arise at equilibrium. We leverage the model to study some practical questions that have received significant press attention (and stirred some controversies) in the ride-sharing industry. The first involves the issue of surge pricing. The second involves the increasingly common practice of drivers choosing to operate on multiple platforms (multi-homing). We find that raising prices in response to a surge in demand makes platforms, drivers and customers better off than if platforms were constrained to charge the same prices that would arise under normal demand levels. We also compare the platforms’, drivers’, and customers’ performance when all drivers either single-home or all multi-home. We find that, while individual drivers may have an incentive to multi-home, all players are worse off when all drivers multi-home. 


ZhijianZhijian Cui, Associate Professor of Operations Management at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business and a Professor of Business Administration at University of Science and Technology of China School of Management

Dr. Zhijian Cui is currently an Associate Professor of Operations Management at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business and a Professor of Business Administration at University of Science and Technology of China School of Management.    Before joining Nazarbayev University,   Zhijian was a tenured Associate Professor of Operations Management at IE Business School (Spain) and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Operations Management at HKUST Business School, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong).   He received PhD in Operations Management from INSEAD (France), M.B.A. from Pepperdine University (U.S.), M.S. in Management from EuroMed Marseille School of Management (France) and Bachelor in Engineering from Tsinghua University (China).


konstantinos.stourasKonstantinos Stouras, Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, University College Dublin

Konstantinos (Kostas) Stouras is Assistant Professor of Operations Management at UCD, Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and a Batten Institute Research Fellow. Konstantinos specializes in technology management and innovation. His research examines crowd-based innovation models, and the impact of on-demand marketplaces and online communities in the digital transformation of the service industry. Konstantinos worked full-time as an Actuary at Prudential and has collaborated with companies including the work-from-home service marketplace for research and MBA case studies. In addition to his academic activities, Konstantinos is passionate about entrepreneurship. He founded in 2014 which is currently being used by 200+ universities worldwide to facilitate advertising positions and hiring faculty in Operations and Analytics. He continues to actively engage with startups as a technical advisor and mentor.


markou-panos-883x432Panos Markou, University of Cambridge Judge Business School

Panos Markou is a Post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. His research focuses on understanding how firms may manage, and make better decisions, in the face of risks which threaten to disrupt critical organizational processes: from the loss of value due to the information asymmetries and uncertainties between supply chain partners, to the wrong investments in a pharmaceutical firm’s portfolio of drug development projects. Panos is also a strong believer in bridging academia and industry: producing research that is grounded in practice and that has the potential for large impact and relevance. He has several years of experience working at BMW in Germany and the USA, and he has also worked with and for other companies such as Banco Santander and Delta Air Lines TechOps. He holds a PhD in Operations Management from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain and a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia
Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, USA. He also serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and Production & Operations Management.


Fernando Bernstein Fuqua School of Business faculty portrait in Breeden Hall

Fernando Bernstein, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Fernando Bernstein is Professor of Operations Management at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He obtained a Ph.D. in Operations Management from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and joined Duke University in July 2000. Prof. Bernstein’s research interests include supply chain management, production planning and inventory control, applications of game theory for production and distribution systems, and revenue management. Prof. Bernstein has published papers in leading journals like Operations Research, Management Science and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. He also serves as Associate Editor for these three journals. Prof. Bernstein teaches the core Operations Management course for the Weekend and Cross-Continent Executive MBA programs at Duke University, in addition to various executive courses on operations management and health care operations. He has earned the Excellence in Teaching Award for a core course for his teaching at Duke.

VenueBlock C3, 3015 room, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business, 53 Kabanbay Batyr Ave., Astana.

Date: December 4, 2018.

Price: Free 

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