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Rachna Shah

Associate Professor
Supply Chain and Operations


  • PhD 2002
    Management Science Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

  • MBA/MHA 1992
    Business Administration (Finance) Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

  • BA, with Honors 1988
    Economics Delhi University, India


  • Operational excellence via lean thinking
  • Healthcare operations
  • Product recall
  • Empirical research methods

Rachna Shah is an Associate Professor in Supply Chain and Operations Department at Carlson School of Management.

Prof. Shah received her undergrad degree in Economics from Delhi University, India. She received her MBA in Finance and PhD in Management Science from The Ohio State University. She is globally recognized for her research in lean operations both in manufacturing and healthcare service industries. Her current research focuses on organizational, behavioral, and operational causes of product recalls in automotive, pharma and medical device industries. Another related stream focuses on operational excellence in health care delivery, specifically in Cardiology. She has worked with numerous organizations on these topics including Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbot NorthWestern, Medtronic, Polaris, Toyota, Ford and Federal Drug Administration.

Prof. Shah has been the recipient of several research awards and fellowships. In 2004, she received the prestigious “Shingo Award for Excellence in Research” for her paper “Lean manufacturing: Context, Practice bundles and Performance” published in Journal of Operations Management (JOM) – This, and one other paper continue to be in the Top 10 most downloaded paper since their publication online on the journal website. In 2007, she received the “Wickham Skinner Early Career Research Accomplishment Award” from the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS). At Carlson, Prof. Shah teaches core supply chain and operations, and operational excellence via lean thinking course to MBA students. She is very active in teaching in the PhD Program, and has taught at numerous other schools including The Ohio State University, INSEAD in Paris, Cardiff University in Wales, UK, Instituto de Empressa in Madrid, Spain, and Politechnico di Milano in Milan, Italy.

Selected Works

  • “In union lies strength: Collaborative competence in New Product Development and its performance effects.” Mishra, A and Shah, R. Journal of Operations Management (2009) , 27(2), pp. 324-338.
  • "Defining and Developing Measures of Lean Production," Rachna Shah and Peter Ward, Journal of Operations Management (2006).
  • "Relationships among Information Technology, Inventory and Profitability: An Investigation of Level Invariance using Sector Level Data," Rachna Shah and Hojung Shin, Journal of Operations Management (2006).
  • "Future of Process Management and Implications for Management Students: An Interview with James P. Womack," Rachna Shah, POMS Chronicle, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 5-9 (2006).
  • "Use of Structural Equation Modeling in Operations Management Research: Looking back and Forward," Rachna Shah and Susan M. Goldstein, Journal of Operations Mangement, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 148-169 (2006).
  • "Lean Manufacturing: Context, Practice Bundles, and Performance," Rachna Shah and Peter Ward, Journal of Operations Management (2006).

Current Activities

Current Research

  • * Shah, R., Ball, G., Netessine, S. “Plant Operations and Product Recalls in the Automotive Industry: An Empirical Investigation.” Management Science, Received 4th Round Revise and Resubmit. 
    * Ball, G., Siemsen, E., and Shah, R. “Inspector Experience and Product Recalls in the Medical Device Industry”  Management Science, Received 3rd Round Revise and Resubmit. 
    * Bendoly, E., Shah, R., Swink, M. “The grass is not always greener: Productivity impacts of scanning in switching.” Production and Operations Management, Received 1st Round Revise and Resubmit. 
    * Shah, R., and Ball, G. “Slow or Fast: An Empirical Examination of the Recall Responsiveness Dilemma” Management Science, 1st round submission. 
    * Ball, G., Shah, R., and Donohue, K. “The Decision to Recall: A Behavioral Investigation in the Medical Device Industry,” Management Science, 1st round submission.

Editorial Appointments

  • Senior Editor, Production and Operations Management Journal; 
    Associate Editor, Decision Science Journal and Journal of Operations Management

Honors and Awards

  • Best Reviewer Award, Decision Science Journal, 2004