Roman Kapuscinski

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Professor Kapuscinski served for 8 years as the Business Co-Director of the Tauber Institute for Global Operations. He is currently the John Psarouthakis Research Professor of Manufacturing Management and Chair of Technology and Operations.

Roman's research focuses on supply chain management and intersection of operational aspects with marketing and finance. This includes topics such as the value of information in coordinating the elements of supply chains, optimal design of production-inventory systems with capacity constraints, efficiency as a function of ownership within value chain analysis, and lead-time quotation. Recently his work extends to pricing in energy markets and effect of customer behavior on operational decisions.

He is an Associate Editor for Management Science, Operations Research, and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. Five papers written by Kapucinski and his students were finalists/winners of MSOM student paper competitions and one a winner of ENRE student competition. Roman has received the Frank Batten Young Scholar Award, held the Sanford R. Robertson Research Chair, was recognized for Contributions to Research Environment (CORE Award), and has been awarded a Teaching Excellence Award by Ross students.  He has advised many Ross MBA and Tauber Institute team projects.

Before joining the Ross School of Business faculty, Roman worked for IBM Research Center and Price Waterhouse Coopers.  He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, and degrees in Economics and Mathematics from Nicholas Copernicus University in Poland.

Q: What first brought you to the University of Michigan?

​Definitely people and the quality of the Operations Management group.  The level of support, collegiality is unparalleled among top schools.  Similarly, Ross' Operations Management department distinguished itself by emphasis on relevance of research.  I was joining the best Operations Management group I could imagine with senior professors who influenced the trajectory of the US research.​  The University of Michigan has always been among the leading institutions studying the most relevant dimensions of business -- this was the place where all lean education was created, where much supply chain research was created, where new models of procurement were developed, this is the place where we started big data classes before others and where we have the experts in behavioral operations and in block chaining.

Q: Describe your experiences as a professor at Michigan, and working with the Tauber Institute for Global Operations.

​After visiting several other Business Schools, I remain amazed how different they are.  The University of Michigan and also the Tauber Institute distinguish themselves by having both rigor, very direct communication between students and faculty, orientation on practicality, and also an extremely supportive and respectful culture.  It is difficult to find a school that has more than two of these -- most schools are so focused on just one dimension.  The students are exceptional as well, where else can one find superbly trained down-to-earth graduates, who have broad understanding of technology and operations and are excellent team players.

[Roman gave an interview on NPR about the potential of US manufacturing and the role of Detroit-based companies, such as Shinola, in such revival. Click here to listen to the report.]

Q: What do you consider to be highlights of your career thus far?

​As a freshly minted Associate Professor, I became co-Director of Tauber Institute.  What an incredible opportunity!  Interacting with exceptionally motivated students, seeing every possible plant in the US and many plants in Europe and in Asia, designing classes that prepare students for internships and for future jobs.

Q: What do you consider to be the Tauber Institute’s most significant contributions to Operations education?

​The emphasis on team projects is easy to treat as obvious.  Similarly like Harvard invented cases, Michigan invented "team-based" education.  In Ross School of Business, Tauber Institute projects and Multidisciplinary Action Projects were maturing in parallel.  For many years no other school believed in such education.  Nowadays, it is difficult to find a place that would not use project-based approach to business education.

Q: What is your most memorable classroom moment?

​There were many.  One of them, when was teaching about Bullwhip Effect in supply chains, in the last class the students gave me a real bullwhip (but they did not want to tell me where they got it from).​

View more Tauber Institute faculty profiles.

Co-Director Roman Kapucinski at 2011 Spotlight!
Co-Director Roman Kapucinski at 2013 Spotlight!
Co-Director Roman Kapucinski at 2013 Spotlight!