Yanchong (Karen) Zheng

Sloan School Career Development Professor and an Associate Professor of Operations Management
MIT Sloan School of Management
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Yanchong (Karen) Zheng is a Sloan School Career Development Professor and an Associate Professor of Operations Management at MIT.

Her research studies fundamental and emerging operations management (OM) problems with a behavior-centric, data-driven, field-based approach. This approach brings a strong focus on the behavioral, process, and supply chain design aspects that are key to enabling empirically-grounded and practically-implementable solutions. Her research addresses four general topics: (I) the design and impact of online platforms to enable efficient physical supply chains in resource constrained environments, (II) the role of information transparency in driving positive behaviors, especially for environmental and social responsibility, (III) the impact of a supply chain’s structural properties on the behaviors of various stakeholders, and (IV) the impact of consumer behaviors on retail operations. In addressing these questions, Yanchong’s research spans various application domains including food and agricultural supply chains, environmentally and socially responsible operations, supply chain information sharing, and pricing and revenue management.

Her aspiration for contributing to sustainability research stems from her personal background.

“I was born and raised in China with humble beginnings, and I have experienced first-hand how unthoughtful economic development severely detriments the quality of life for people and imposes harm to disadvantaged populations in the society disproportionately,” she said. “Therefore, I am dedicated to sustainability research with a particular focus on helping disadvantaged populations.”

Yanchong collaborates with both public and private partners on the ground to ensure that her research leads to positive impacts to society and practice. She is excited about the MCSC because it will serve as a springboard to further accelerate the integration between research and practice.

“I look forward to collaborating with the partner companies to translate the latest research outcomes led by MIT researchers into economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and socially equitable solutions that will benefit many generations to go,” she said.