Shaker A. Zahra

Rachna Shah

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
  • Process Improvement in Hospital and Healthcare Delivery
  • Operational Failures such as Product Recalls in Automotive, Medical Device, and Pharma
  • Causes of Drug Shotages
  • Environmental Management
  • Econometric and Psychometric Methods


Rachna Shah is a Professor in the Supply Chain and Operations Department at the Carlson School of Management.  Professor Shah’s research is focused on two main questions: 1) how do firms achieve superior performance and 2) why do firms experience failures. In examining superior performance, Rachna uses the lens of lean production. She is globally recognized for her research in lean. It has been instrumental in defining the basic tenets of lean and demonstrating its impact on firm performance. Two of her "lean" papers are in the Top 10 most downloaded papers since their publication.

Professor Shah’s research on failures leverages her knowledge of lean and waste-eliminating, problem-solving culture in identifying effectiveness of inspections and other drivers of quality failures, in automotive, medical device and pharmaceutical industries, and healthcare delivery in hospitals and nursing homes. Product recalls are one accessible example of quality failures. Her research on product recalls is used by the FDA and Fortune 500 companies to redesign the production and recall processes.

Her research has been published in all the top journals in the field. She has received several prestigious research awards and honors. Most recently, she received the 2019 Jack Meredith Best Paper Award, given to a paper published during the previous year and selected by department editors. In 2016, Rachna received a three year Fulbright Specialist Grant (2017-2020) as an endorsement of her thought leadership and expertise in lean production. She holds editorial roles in a number of leading journals. She also serves in leadership roles in several professional societies.  

At Carlson, Professor 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 Indian Institute of Management (Kozhikode), ETH Zurich, 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 & Activities

  • Journal Articles
    “Explaining heterogeneity in EMP adoption: Does industry membership matter more than firm characteristics?”, Hardcopf, R., Shah, R and Mukherjee, U., Production and Operations Management, 28(11) : 2898-2918 (2019).
  • Journal Articles
    "The Decision to Recall: A Behavioral Investigation in the Medical Device Industry," Ball, G., Shah, R., and Donohue, K., Journal of Operations Management, 62(1) : 1-15 (2018).
  • Journal Articles
    "Market Competition and Firm Efficiency Effects on Product Performance," Ball, G., Shah, R., and Wowak, K., Journal of Operations Management 58-59 : 59-72 (2018).
  • Journal Articles
    "Do Plant Inspections Predict Future Quality: The Role of Investigator Experience," Ball, G., Siemsen, E., and Shah, R., Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 19 (4) : 534-550 (2017).
  • Journal Articles
    "Plant Operations and Product Recalls in the Automotive Industry: An Empirical Investigation," Shah, R., Ball, G., Netessine, S.,Management Science, 63 (8) : 2439-2459 (2016).
  • Journal Articles
    "Lean Manufacturing: Context, Practice Bundles, and Performance," Rachna Shah and Peter Ward, Journal of Operations Management, 21(3) : 129-149 (2006).
  • Journal Articles
    "Use of Structural Equation Modeling in Operations Management Research: Looking back and Forward," Rachna Shah and Susan M. Goldstein, Journal of Operations Management, 24(1) : 148-169 (2006).
  • Best Senior Editor Award, 2019 - Production and Operations Management Journal

    Carlson School Outstanding Service Award, 2018

    Outstanding Production and Operations Management Society Board Member Award, 2015-2016


  • Senior Editor, Production and Operations Management Journal
    Department Editor, Decision Science Journal

  • Jack Meredith Best Paper Award, 2019 - selected by Journal of Operations Management Department Editors for a paper published during the previous year.
    Skinner Early Career Research Accomplishment Award, 2007 - Production and Operations Management Journal
    Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research, 2004
    Best Reviewer Award, Decision Science Journal, 2004

Edit This Page

Edit Profile