Research Reports


Impacts of COVID-19 on the Work Environment of Professional Workers: Implications for Educators & Human Resource Managers

Authors: David A. Weidman, Yuanfei Zang, John Maleyeff, Canan G. Corlu, Yiwei Song

The impact of COVID-19 on the work environments of professional employees was evaluated during the first six months of the pandemic. In order to isolate the work environment effects, survey participants were employed in biotech firms whose business operations were less severely affected by the pandemic. A survey was administrated with 156 respondents representing a range of jobs and experience. Results were analyzed using qualitative and text mining approaches. Impacts differed according to a respondent’s job type and experience. The number of positive comments addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on the work environment was 22-29% higher than the negative comments. Human resource managers can use the results to enhance their hiring and training processes, job enrichment and communication practices, and remote working technologies. Educators can use the results to better prepare students for the competitive job market by requiring remote collaboration in their courses.

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Inventory Management Under Heavy-Tailed Demand  

Authors: Cas Rosman, Canan G. Corlu

Inventory management literature was mainly built on the assumption that product demands are normally distributed.  However, in recent years, this simplifying normally distributed demand assumption has been questioned by researchers. In fact, there is growing evidence in the literature that some item demands including book demand at Amazon, movie demand at Netflix, and spare part demand of a European automobile manufacturer follow a heavy-tailed distribution (i.e., Pareto distribution). It is crucial to investigate how the inventory management models that are built under the normal demand assumption would perform in the presence of heavy-tailed demand. 

In this research study, we focus on a multi-item budget-constrained inventory optimization setting where the goal is to maximize customer service level subject to a budget constraint on the total inventory investment. We formulate the inventory optimization problem assuming Pareto distributed demand and conduct extensive numerical experiments to investigate the impact of several parameters on the optimal inventory positions.

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