Newly tenureds' global reach
The Carroll School’s newest tenured faculty members, Mei Xue and Tieying Yu, bring international perspectives to their work.
According to Associate Professor of Operations Mei Xue, it is a critical time for the field of operations management in China—a result of the country’s rapid rise to being the major manufacturer of goods. “China is crucial to operations management because now that almost everything we buy is made in China, there is an emerging need to understand more of what’s going on there.”
Xue, who studies service delivery and the retail banking industry, is secretary of the Overseas Chinese Scholars Association in Management Science and Engineering (OCSAMSE), which aims to contribute to academic research and management practices in China.
“I am looking for some synergy to blend my research, teaching, and this type of activity,” she says. “It’s universally important for the discipline because of China’s unique position—what’s going on there is far more than our textbooks can explain. Through OCSAMSE, we’re bringing scholars, practitioners, and the Chinese government together.”
Non-China scholars are paying close attention. Next year, Production and Operations Management is printing a special China issue. As one of journal’s four guest editors, Xue plans to showcase the theory and application of operations management in the country.
Xue came to Boston College in 2002 after completing a Ph.D. in Applied Economics and Management Science at the Wharton School.
Ten years ago, while working on her dissertation, a study of competition in the auto industry in 27 countries, Associate Professor of Strategic Management Tieying Yu read 6,648 articles. Her goal was two-fold: To mine the data she needed and to learn the story behind the data.
Such large-scale content analysis is unusual for research on competition. But it’s essential for Yu, who studies competition at the firm level as opposed to at the industry level. As she examines the ways individual firms compete in the global setting, she draws on insights from various theoretical perspectives, such as sociology and economics. “My goal is to bridge different disciplines and enrich our understanding of competition as a whole,” she says.
Her innovative approach to studying competition, which has been well received by academics, has elicited additional project requests from practitioners. Several firms have asked that she compare competitive strategies in the major emerging markets of China, Brazil, Russia, and India (countries that are the topic of a paper she’s presenting at the Academy of International Business 2009 Annual Meeting in June).
In response to her research on a different topic—about how a crisis in one organization affects organizations in the same industry—e-mails poured in from CEOs and top managers who had similar experiences.
“When you see that your work has some application in the real world, you feel very rewarded,” says Yu, who holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from Texas A&M University. She has worked at Boston College since 2003.