PhD Defence Nienke Hofstra

Hofstra, Nienke
Logistics & Operations Research

Dissertation title
Individual decisionmaking in operations: A behavioral perspective

Date and location
January 31, 2019, at 13:45 in the Aula of the Main Building of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Individual decisionmaking in operations: A behavioral perspective

Hofstra, NienkePeople play an important role in operations. Traditionally, research in the field of Operations Management is based on neoclassical economic theory, which conceptualizes people as rational agents. However, human behavior observed in practice often violates predictions based on rational choice. It is therefore important to obtain insight into drivers of individual decision behavior to understand how this behavior affects operations. This doctoral thesis investigates individual decision-making in operations settings in which human behavior is not well understood. First, it examines inventory ordering decisions when there is supply uncertainty or inventory record inaccuracy. Secondly, it studies how people allocate scarce inventory among sales channels. Thirdly, it explores transport planning decisions made by transport planners. Fourthly, it investigates how to assess and facilitate warehouse safety. To this end, different research methods are applied, ranging from behavioral laboratory experiments to case studies. The findings provide insights into the role of individual judgments (heuristics and biases in decision-making) and choices (individual and social goals and preferences) in inventory ordering and inventory allocation and transport planning. The findings furthermore shed light on individual perceptions of the importance of safety aspects providing insight in how to assess and facilitate warehouse safety.

Nienke Hofstra

Nienke Hofstra (1990) obtained her BSc and MSc degrees in Business Administration, with specialization in Transport & Supply Chain Management, at the School of Business and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (in 2012 and 2013, resp.). In 2013, she joined the ABRI Junior Researcher Program and in 2014, she started the Ph.D. program at the School of Business and Economics. During her PhD, Nienke received the Best Paper Award at the Vervoerslogistieke Werkdagen 2015 in Breda (the Netherlands). Her work has been accepted for publication in a variety of international peer-reviewed journals. She currently works as a researcher and lecturer at the Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen and KennisDC Logistiek Gelderland.