Dr. Elena Katok
Professor of Operations Management
Ashbel Smith Professor
Katok is a pioneer in the growing field of behavioral operations management, which examines the way human behavior affects operations management practices, such as production planning and inventory management.
"My interest in behavioral operations management evolved from my interest in experimental economics," she said. "Early on in my career, I was fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with Gary Bolton and Alvin Roth. The topics of market design and strategic procurement naturally lend themselves to being investigated using game theoretic models and laboratory methods, so this was a natural fit."
Her husband, Gary Bolton, holds the O.P. Jindal Chair in Managerial Economics at UT Dallas. Alvin Roth is an economics professor at Stanford University.
Katok helped establish the Behavioral Operations Management section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, which is also known as INFORMS. She is currently president of this section after previously serving as the vice president.
She said she is proud of co-organizing the first Behavioral Research in Operations Management conference, which was established in 2006. The conferences are now held annually, which she said is a testament to the growth of behavioral operations management.
In addition to behavioral operations management, her research expertise includes market design and strategic procurement. Her research has been published in top business and economics journals, including Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, and Production and Operations Management. She is currently a senior editor and the incoming department editor for Behavioral Operations for Production and Operations Management. The National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense are among the organizations that have supported her research.
Before joining UT Dallas this year, she was a professor of supply chain management in the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University.
She earned her bachelor of science degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and economics from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her MBA from Pennsylvania State University, where she also earned her PhD in management science.
The University of Texas System supports the professorship.
In 2000, Katok was part of a team that won the Franz Edelman Award presented by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. The honor recognized the work that Katok and her colleagues had performed for Jeppesen Sanderson, a company that produces and distributes flight manuals. The team developed optimization-based decision support tools to help increase the company’s production efficiency.
"Behavioral operations management is one of the fastest-growing areas of operations management. Already, the field of behavioral operations management has contributed to our understanding of how operations management models are likely to work in practice. It is my hope that down the road, this better understanding will improve how these models are implemented and used in industry."