HOME | FACULTY AND RESEARCH | FACULTY DIRECTORY

Faculty & Research

Yanchong (Karen) Zheng

  • Sloan School Career Development Professor
  • Associate Professor of Operations Management

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

Karen Zheng's research studies fundamental and emerging operations management problems with a critical lens on the behavioral factors impacting human decisions, particularly in information-rich environments. Her research employs a methodology that integrates theoretical modeling of OM problems with empirical investigation of human behavior. In particular, current OM and behavioral theories serve as a normative foundation for building sound hypotheses on relevant behavioral factors, and for guiding careful analyses of these hypotheses with controlled experiments and appropriate field data. Empirical findings, in turn, inform the development of new OM models that capture missing but important behavioral factors. Karen's research goal is to establish enhanced models that can better predict human decisions and prescribe effective, actionable strategies in practice.

Some of her current research projects investigate how trust, cultural heterogeneity, and process design affect information sharing in important operations contexts; when increased supply chain transparency affects consumers' valuations of a company's social responsibility practices; how the structure and traceability of food supply chains influence the risks of economically motivated adulterations of food products; and how consumers' behavioral regularities in their purchase decisions impact retailers' revenue management strategies.

Zheng holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Tsinghua University in China and a PhD from Stanford University.

  • "Trust and Trustworthiness." Zheng, Yanchong (Karen), and Özalp Özer. In The Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Operations Management, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming.
  • "Economically Motivated Adulteration in Farming Supply Chains: The Role of Supply Chain DIspersion and Traceability." Levi, Retsef, S. Singhvi, and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, Working Paper. 2017.
  • "Economically Motivated Adulterations in Farming Supply Chains: The Role of Dispersion and Traceability." Levi, Retsef, Somya Singhvi, and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, Working Paper. 2017.
  • "Assessing Consumers’ Valuations of Socially Responsible Products with Controlled Experiments." Zheng, Yanchong (Karen), Tim Kraft, and León Valdés. In Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains, edited by Atalay Atasu, 29-50. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2016.
  • "Markdown or Everyday-Low-Price? The Role of Behavioral Motives." Özer, Özalp and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng. Management Science Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016): 326-346.
  • "Establishing Trust and Trustworthiness in Supply Chain Information Sharing." Zheng, Yanchong (Karen), and Özalp Özer. In Handbook of Information Exchange in Supply Chain Management, 287-312. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2016.
  • "​Markdown Pricing with Quality Perception and Consumer Optimism: From Experiment to Theory." Hariss, Rim, Georgia Perakis, Wichinpong Sinchaisri, and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, Working Paper. 2016.
  • "​Trust Among Executives." Choi, E., Özalp Özer, and Karen (Yanchong) Zheng, Working Paper. 2016.
  • "Process-driven Discussions in Collective Decision Making for Operational Risk Management." Levi, Retsef, S. Wang, and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, Working Paper. 2016.
  • "Trust, Social Networks, and Information Sharing among Executives." Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, Emily Choi, and Özalp Özer. In Proceedings of the 2015 INFORMS Annual Meeting, edited by Xuanming Su, Philadelphia, PA: November 2015.
  • "Process-driven Discussions in CollectiveDecision Making for Operational Risk Management." Yanchong (Karen) Zheng. In Proceedings of the 2015 INFORMS Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA: November 2015.
  • "The Role of Farming Supply Chain Structure in Driving Economically Motivated Food Adulteration." Yanchong (Karen) Zheng. In Proceedings of the 2015 INFORMS Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA: November 2015.
  • "Transparency and Indirect Reciprocity in Social Responsibility: An Incentivized Experiment." Leon Valdes, Tim Kraft, and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng. In Proceedings of the 2015 INFORMS Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA: November 2015.
  • "Supply Chain Visibility and Social Responsibility: Investigating Consumers’ Behaviors and Motives." Kraft, Tim, León Valdés and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, Working Paper. 2016.
  • "Trust, Trustworthiness, and Information Sharing in Supply Chains Bridging China and the U.S.." Özer, Özalp, Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, and Yufei Ren. Management Science Vol. 60, No. 10 (2014): 2435-2460. Appendix- Survey. Appendix- Description . Appendix-Data.
  • "The NGO’s Dilemma: How to Influence Firms to Remove a Potentially Hazardous Substance." Kraft, Tim, Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, and Feryal Erhun. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management Vol. 15, No. 4 (2013): 649-669. Appendix.
  • "Behavioral Issues in Pricing Management." Özer, Özalp and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng. In The Oxford Handbook of Pricing Management, edited by Özalp Özer, Robert Phillips, 415-459. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • "Trust in Forecast Information Sharing." Özer, Özalp, Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, and Kay-Yut Chen. Management Science Vol. 57, No. 6 (2011): 1111-1137. Appendix.
  • "A Process Analysis of Global Trade Management: An Inductive Approach." Hausman, Warren H., Hau L. Lee, Graham R.F. Napier, Alex Thompson and Yanchong (Karen) Zheng. Journal of Supply Chain Management Vol. 46, No. 2 (2010): 5-29.
  • "Trust in Forecast Information Sharing." Özalp Özer, Yanchong (Karen) Zheng, and Kay-Yut Chen. In Proceedings of the 2008 INFORMS Annual Meeting, edited by Hani S. Mahmassani, Washington, DC: October 2008.