Research

Western Michigan University is a research intensive institution. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching places WMU among the 76 public institutions in the nation designated as research universities with high research activity.

The integrated supply management faculty members serve as resources to organizations around the globe. Through research activities, many faculty experts advance knowledge in the supply management field and provide applied expertise for business owners and operators. As leaders in their fields, WMU supply chain faculty members regularly publish research articles and textbooks used in college classrooms.

Our supply chain research into retail, distribution, operations, logistics and transportation isn’t just theoretical. We see the business impact firsthand through engagement with our industry partners.

Academic Research Themes

  • Talent and human issues in supply chain management
  • Supply chain relationships
  • Supply chains and new product development
  • Supply chain risk and security
  • Quality management in supply chain
  • Supply chain sustainability 
  • Supplier management and performance

Applied Solutions

  • Benchmarking and auditing
  • Best in class research and practice
  • Quantitative and qualitative solution

photo of Dr. Zac WilliamsZac Williams, Ph.D., director of the Center for Integrated Supply Management and associate professor of marketing

Dr. Williams joined WMU in 2018, after being on the faculty at Central Michigan University. Prior to academics, Williams worked for a global consulting firm advising a diverse set of clients on supply chain-related issues. He also spent time with a technology firm—a small joint venture start-up between the four major U.S. automakers. He remains engaged with the logistics and supply chain industry, consulting with a variety of clients. Williams has published articles across various disciplines and in numerous journals including the Journal of Business Logistics, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, International Journal of Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review.

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photo of Dr. Sime CurkovicSime Curkovic, Ph.D., professor of management

Dr. Curkovic's research interests include environmentally responsible manufacturing, total quality management, supply chain management and integrated global strategic sourcing. Curkovic's publications have appeared and/or are under review in the International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Decision Sciences Journal, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, International Journal of Production Research, and Journal of Quality Management. Curkovic's previous work experiences were with General Motors in the Midwest, Mexico and Germany.

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photo of Dr. Bret WagnerBret Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing

Dr. Wagner served as director of the ISM program from 2004-12. Prior to joining the WMU faculty, Wagner was on the faculty at the University of Delaware, where he taught from 1994 to 2000. With a Ph.D. in operations management from Michigan State and a Master of Engineering Administration from George Washington University, he brings strength to both production and operations management and ISM areas. Before returning to East Lansing for his doctoral work, Wagner was a practicing engineer and engineering supervisor at Newport News Shipbuilding. His research interests include production planning and scheduling and optimization modeling. He spearheaded the SAP initiative at the Haworth College of Business. He has received numerous grants to support the initiative and has helped integrate SAP’s software into the college curriculum. Wagner is co-author of the book, Concepts in Enterprise Resource Planning, and has published research articles in journals like Decision Sciences, International Journal of Operational Research and the Journal of Operations Management.

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Photo of Dr. Kuanchin ChenKuanchin (KC) Chen, D.B.A., John W. Snyder Faculty Fellow, co-director of the Center for Business Analytics and professor of Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics

Dr. Chen's diverse background includes information systems, operations management, computer science and accountancy. His former positions include software engineer, grant consultant, systems consultant and various others. Since joining WMU in 2001, he has received many research awards at the department, college, university and professional levels. Chen was awarded U.S. Fulbright Specialist in 2012, making him the only traditionally ranked faculty with the Fulbright status on staff at the business college. With more than 100 academic publications and close to 50 professional seminars and talks, his works have been cited by authors from more than 70 countries and 50 disciplines. Chen’s research interests include analytics and data science, electronic business, human-computer interaction, privacy and trust, logistics, social media and product reviews, among others.

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photo of Dr. Tom ScannellTom Scannell, Ph.D., professor of management

Dr. Scannell earned his Ph.D. in Operations and Sourcing Management from Michigan State University, and his M.B.A. and B.S. Electrical Engineering from WMU. His publications are cited more than 4,000 times per Google Scholar, and have appeared in numerous journals and publications. He is co-author of two books and has published industry monographs through CAPS Research. His current research focuses on supplier integration for new product and service development. Scannell is a co-founder of the Supply Chain Management Council of West Michigan. His 11 years of industry experience include electronics design engineer, systems engineer, program/project manager and new product development manager.

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photo of Dr. LanderosRobert Landeros, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Management and professor of management

Dr. Landeros is chair of the Department of Management, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, professor of supply management and director emeritus of the integrated supply management program. He served as the ISM program's first director. He joined WMU in 1989, after being on the faculty at Arizona State University. His supply management research appears in publications such as The Journal of Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Operations Management Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Computers and Industrial Engineering, Production and Operations Management, International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, Journal of Computer Information Systems and Journal of Business Logistics. Landeros was a principal investigator on a National Consortium for Technology in Business grant, a John Deere senior research fellow and a visiting professor of logistics at the Norwegian School of Management. Since the mid-1980s, he has been a consultant to U.S. and European companies.

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