Karen Zheng's research studies fundamental and emerging operations management problems with a critical lens on the behavioral factors impacting human decisions, particularly in information-rich environments. Her research employs a methodology that integrates theoretical modeling of OM problems with empirical investigation of human behavior. In particular, current OM and behavioral theories serve as a normative foundation for building sound hypotheses on relevant behavioral factors, and for guiding careful analyses of these hypotheses with controlled experiments and appropriate field data. Empirical findings, in turn, inform the development of new OM models that capture missing but important behavioral factors. Karen's research goal is to establish enhanced models that can better predict human decisions and prescribe effective, actionable strategies in practice.

Some of her current research projects investigate how trust, cultural heterogeneity, and process design affect information sharing in important operations contexts; when increased supply chain transparency affects consumers' valuations of a company's social responsibility practices; how the structure and traceability of food supply chains influence the risks of economically motivated adulterations of food products; and how consumers' behavioral regularities in their purchase decisions impact retailers' revenue management strategies.  

Research Interests

  • Behavioral operations and pricing management
  • Information, transparency, and operational risks in global supply chains
  • Socially responsible supply chains
  • Behavioral and experimental economics


  1. Markdown or Everyday Low Price? The Role of Behavioral Motives, with Ö. Özer. Management Science, February 2016, 62(2) 326-346.
  2. Trust, Trustworthiness, and Information Sharing in Supply Chains Bridging China and the United States, with Ö. Özer, Y. Ren. Management Science, October 2014, 60(10) 2435-2460.
  3. The NGO's Dilemma: How to Influence Firms to Replace a Potentially Hazardous Substance, with T. Kraft, F. Erhun. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management Special Issue on the Environment, Fall 2013, 15(4) 649-669.
  4. Trust in Forecast Information Sharing, with Ö. Özer, K. Chen. Management Science, June 2011, 57(6) 1111-1137.
  5. A Process Analysis of Global Trade Management: An Inductive Approach, with W. Hausman, H. Lee, G. Napier, A. Thompson. Journal of Supply Chain Management, April 2010, 46(2) 5-29.
  6. Establishing Trust and Trustworthiness for Supply Chain Information Sharing, with Ö. Özer. To appear in Handbook of Information Exchange in Supply Chain Management, A. Ha, C. Tang, eds., 2016, Springer.
  7. Assessing Consumers’ Valuations of Socially Responsible Products with Controlled Experiments, with T. Kraft, L. Valdes. Chapter 3 in Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains, A. Atasu, ed., 2016, Springer Series in Supply Chain Management, Vol. 3, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
  8. Behavioral Issues in Pricing Management, with Ö. Özer. Chapter 20 (pp. 415-461) in The Oxford Handbook of Pricing Management, Ö. Özer, R. Phillips, eds., 2012, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Working Papers

  1. Supply Chain Visibility and Social Responsibility: Investigating Consumers' Behaviors and Motives, with T. Kraft, L. Valdes.
  2. Process-driven Discussions in Collective Decision Making for Operational Risk Management, with R. Levi, S. Wang. (request draft)
  3. Markdown Pricing with Quality Perception and Consumer Optimism: From Experiment to Theory, with R. Hariss, G. Perakis, W. Sinchaisri. (request draft)
  4. Trust among executives, with E. Choi, Ö. Özer. (request draft)
  5. An Empirical Investigation of Risk Drivers for Economically Motivated Adulterations in Farming Supply Chains, with R. Levi, S. Springs, S. Stewart, S. Wang. (request draft)
  6. Economically Motivated Adulterations in Farming Supply Chains: The Role of Dispersion and Traceability, with R. Levi, S. Singhvi. (request draft)

Work in Progress

  1. Levels versus Changes: The Impact of Information Transparency on Sustainability Behavior, with R. Buell, S. Mariadassou.
  2. Motivating Supplier Social Responsibility under Limited Visibility, with T. Kraft, L. Valdes.
  3. Consumer Trust towards Social Responsibility Disclosure, with T. Kraft, L. Valdes.
  4. Governance and Quality Control in China: An Empirical Study, with Y. Huang, S. Wang.