MCCHE Convergent Innovation Webinar Series with Tamer Boyaci

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 11:00to13:00

Bridging the Rational and Behavioral Worlds: Rationally Inattentive Decision Making and Implications on Business Operations

Tamer Boyaci

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Tamer Boyaci is professor of management science and the first holder of the Michael Diekmann Chair in Management Science at ESMT Berlin. He served as the dean of faculty and research between September 2019 and August 2022 and as the director of research between January 2017 and August 2019. He was the inaugural academic director of the Future Institute for Sustainable Transformation in 2022, and previously the Center for Sustainable Business and Leadership after its founding in 2019. Before joining ESMT Berlin in 2015, Tamer was a professor of operations management and a Desautels Faculty Scholar at McGill University, Canada. Tamer received his PhD, MPhil, and MSc from Columbia University, New York, USA. Tamer Boyaci’s research is wide in scope and cross-disciplinary in nature, often cutting across supply chain operations, marketing, economics, and sustainability. His most recent work focuses on behavioral decision-making, rational inattention, and applications to business operations. Another major research interest of Tamer links operations to sustainability. His latest works in this domain dwell on circular economy, sustainable product design and innovation. Tamer’s scholarly work has appeared in the most prestigious international journals of his discipline, including Management Science, Operations Research, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, among others.


In the wake of the 2013 European Horsemeat Scandal, the term 'food integrity' was defined in the Elliott Report as encompassing food safety, food composition, transparency and the ways food is sourced, procured and distributed. In 2016, four elements of food integrity were proposed: product integrity, process integrity, people integrity and data integrity (Manning, 2016). These four elements underpin the strategic direction and operationalisation of a food control management system (FCMS) at organisational, supply chain or regulatory levels. FCMS have a wide breadth including food safety, food composition and quality, food legality (considering not only compliance, but also intention to undertake illegal actions) and food defence. Food integrity too, as a concept, is ever evolving both in academic literature and in practice, especially when considered in the wider context of operational integrity, smart food systems (internet of things, use of AI and machine learning and digitalisation) and organisational integrity. In this talk Professor Louise Manning will reflect on these themes, and the challenges and enablers to delivering food integrity. Whilst the focus is the food supply chain, the conversation will be of value to people and organisations working within all commodity and value-added supply chains

Chair: Professor Laurette Dubé (Scientific Director of MCCHE)
Co-Chair & Moderator: John G. Keogh (Professor of Practice, MCCHE; Founder, Shantalla Inc.)

Panel Discussion: We live in an attention economy. Every decision we take as individuals require our time, mental engagement and cognitive effort, all of which are limited resources. The theory of rational inattention (RI), originated by the 2011 Nobel Laurate Christopher Sims, provides a compelling framework to model decisions under scarce attention. It assumes that agents cannot attend to all information due to limited capacity but can choose what type and extent of information to acquire and process. It captures the flexible, adaptive, yet constrained ability of human agents in a tractable manner. In this webinar, we deliberate how rationally inattentive agents form judgements and make decisions, with examples focusing on purchasing decisions in retail, access of services, among others. We will discuss the subsequent implications on information provisioning strategies and operational decisions (e.g. pricing) of firms serving agents with limited attention. Utilizing RI as the foundational model of human agents, we will also analyze human-machine collaboration in the age of AI, and demonstrate the impact on decision accuracy, error rates, as well as cognitive effort. The seminar will draw on models and results from several published papers of the presenter.


The Convergent Innovation Webinar Series features cutting edge science, technology and innovation in agriculture, food, environment, education, medicine and other domains of everyday life where grand challenges lie at the convergence of health and economics. Powered by data science, artificial intelligence, and other digital technologies, this disciplinary knowledge bridges with behavioural, social, humanities, business, economics, social, engineering, and complexity sciences to accelerate real-world solution at scale, be it in digital or physical contexts. Initiated in the agri-food domain, the series is now encompassing other grand challenges facing modern and traditional economies and societies, such as ensuring lifelong wellness and resilience at both the individual and population levels.

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