Morris A. Cohen

Morris A. Cohen
  • Panasonic Professor of Manufacturing & Logistics
  • Co-Director, Fishman-Davidson Center for Service and Operations Management
  • Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3730 Walnut Street
    546 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: benchmarking of manufacturing/logistics systems, manufacturing/marketing interfaces., performance based incentives and contracting, service supply chain strategy & solutions, servicization and product-service systems, service quality measurement, global operations strategy, supply chain coordination

Links: CV, Personal Website


Morris A. Cohen is the Panasonic Professor of Manufacturing and Logistics in the Operations, Information and Decisions Department, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania  He is also Co-Director of Wharton’s Fishman-Davidson Center for Service and Operations Management.   Until recently he was founder and chair of the board of MCA Solutions, a software company specializing in after-sales logistics planning systems, which recently merged with PTC, a leading provider of product design and service life cycle management decision support systems.

Dr. Cohen’s research includes analysis of current drivers of global supply chain sourcing strategy and product-service system modeling with a focus on performance based incentives for servicization as well as advanced optimization tools for supply chain resource planning.  His recent application and consulting work includes development of strategic and tactical planning systems for service supply chains in industries such as Aerospace & Defense, Consumer Electronics, Health Care Technology, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Semiconductor Equipment, Computers, and Telecommunications.  Professor Cohen holds a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Sciences from the University of Toronto, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Operations Research from Northwestern University.

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  • Morris A. Cohen, Shiliang Cui, Fei Gao (Under Review), Performance, Reliability or Time-to-Market? Innovative Product Development and the Impact of Government Regulation.

  • Izack Cohen and Morris A. Cohen (Working), Joint Stocking and Sourcing Policies for a Single-Depot, Single-Base, Two-Echelon Environment with Repairable Parts: The Role of Flexibility.

  • Moshe Dror, Morris A. Cohen, N.S. Summerfield (Under Review), The Parking Car Dilemma and Chinese Postman’s Revenue.

  • Jose A. Guajardo, Morris A. Cohen, Sang-Hyun Kim, Serguei Netessine (2012), Impact of Performance-Based Contracting on Product Reliability: An Empirical Analysis, Management Science

    Finalist, 2010 MSOM student paper competition.

  • Morris A. Cohen, Sang-Hyun Kim (OPIM), Serguei Netessine (OPIM) (2012), Impact of Performance Based Contracting on Product Reliability: An Empirical Analysis, Management Science, (forthcoming).

  • Jose A. Guajardo, Morris A. Cohen, Serguei Netessine (Working), Service Competition and Product Quality in the U.S. Automobile Industry.

  • Morris A. Cohen (2012), Product Performance Based Business Models: A Service Based Perspective, Proceedings HICCS-45.

  • Jose A. Guajardo and Morris A. Cohen (Working), Product Quality or Service Quality? The Impact of Customer Heterogeneity.

  • Jose A. Guajardo and Morris A. Cohen (Working), Horizontal Information Sharing in a Bivariate Demand System.

  • Morris A. Cohen, Sang-Hyun Kim, Serguei Netessine, Senthil Veeraraghavan (2010), Contracting for Infrequent Restoration and Recovery of Mission Critical Systems, Management Science, 1551-1567.

    Abstract: Firms that rely on functioning mission-critical equipment for their businesses cannot afford significant operational downtime due to system disruptions. To minimize the impact of disruptions, a proper incentive mechanism has to be in place so that the suppliers provide prompt restoration and recovery services to the customer. A widely adopted incentive mechanism is performance-based contracting (PBC), in which suppliers receive compensation based on realized system uptime. A key obstacle is that disruptions occur infrequently, making it very expensive for a supplier to commit the necessary resources for recovery because they will be idle most of the time. In this paper, we show that designing a successful PBC creates nontrivial challenges that are unique to this environment. Namely, because of the infrequent and random nature of disruptions, a seemingly innocuous choice of performance measures used in contracts may create unexpected incentives, resulting in counterintuitive optimal behavior. We compare the efficiencies of two widely used contracts, one based on sample-average downtime and the other based on cumulative downtime, and identify the supplier's ability to influence the frequency of disruptions as an important factor in determining which contract performs better. We also show that implementing PBC may create high agency cost when equipment is very reliable. This counterintuitive situation arises because the realized downtimes from which the customer might intuit about the supplier's capacity investment are highly uncertain when there are not many samples of downtimes, i.e., when disruptions occur rarely.


Past Courses


    RETAIL ECOSYSTEM ACTION LEARNING PROJECTS: This course offers graduate students from Wharton and other Penn schools an opportunity to work on real-world projects for companies in the retail industry and in the wider retail ecosystem. It requires the exploration and analysis of actual business issues or opportunities identified by sponsoring/client companies, as well as the formulation of recommendations. It combines 1) academic principles, 2) application of prior business knowledge to the project at hand, and 3) a solutions-oriented mentality. In addition to supervised project work and regular updates to the corporate client/project sponsor, the course involves classroom meetings and discussions on topics pertaining to the projects. While this course focuses on "marketing" topics, projects might also incorporate topics from related disciplines such as operations, management of innovation & technology, data analytics, international management, design, and real estate. Indeed, the goal will be to constitute interdisciplinary teams from Wharton and other relevant Penn graduate schools. ADVANCED STUDY PROJECT (GENERAL): The principal objectives of this course are to provide opportunities for undertaking an in-depth study of a marketing problem and to develop the students' skills in evaluating research and designing marketing strategies for a variety of management situations. Selected projects can touch on any aspect of marketing as long as this entails the elements of problem structuring, data collection, data analysis, and report preparation. The course entails a considerable amount of independent work. (Strict library-type research is not appropriate) Class sessions are used to monitor progress on the project and provide suggestions for the research design and data analysis. The last portion of the course often includes an oral presentation by each group to the rest of the class and project sponsors. Along with marketing, the projects integrate other elements of management such as finance, production, research and development, and human resources.


    This course introduces basic concepts of operations management and application of the same in business practice today. We will examine the theoretical foundations of operations management and how these principles or models can be employed in both tactical and strategic decision making. Topics covered in detail are forecasting techniques, planning under deterministic and uncertain demand, operations planning and scheduling, queuing theory, service operations management, newsvendor models, risk pooling strategies in firms, capacity and revenue management, and supply chain coordination. We will conclude by discussing how supply chains evolve under technological change.


    This course considers tools and concepts that can generate operational excellence for the production and delivery of services in industires such as banking, transportation, health care, and communications. Since services typically are intangible, not storable or transportable, and often highly variable, the management of their operations is complex and involves distributed operations with a significant amount of customer contact. Therefore, the understanding and effective management of service operations requires specialized analytical tools and customer-centric focus. This course covers a mix of topics with the emphasis on quantitative methods, application of analytics and strategic frameworks. The class will introduce simple models and basic concepts that support analysis of tradeoffs in a variety of common service processes. Students also will have the opportunity to apply the ideas and analytical models developed in the course to a particular service industry. They will do so by conducting a guided, application group project which includes opportunities for in-depth analysis of a particular service process and field work.


    This course focuses on the management of operations at manufacturing and service facilities located in Israel that are used either by domestic corporations or by multinational companies. The emphasis is on the evolving patterns of operations strategies adopted by firms for producing products, sourcing manufacturing, distributing products, delivering services and managing product design as well as on programs for enhancing quality, productivity and flexibility and managing technology. We will focus on formulation and execution of such strategies for established Israeli multinationals with world class operations and innovative strategies as well as start-ups and smaller companies that are scaling their global supply chain infrastructure to support growth. The course will consist of a set of site visits in Israel during Winter Break that will provide the opportunity to observe company processes directly and in-class sessions which include lectures, case discussions and management speakers who will describe their companies' current strategy. NOTE: THIS COURSE REQUIRES YOU TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and enrollment will be limited. Please contact Ramon Jones at for more information.


    This course will focus on the management of operations at manufacturing and service facilities of domestic corporations and foreign multinational companies. Our emphasis will be on the evolving patterns of operations strategies adopted by firms for producing products, sourcing manufacturing, distributing products, delivering services and managing product design as well as on programs for enhancing quality, productivity and flexibility. The course will focus on the formulationn and execution of such strategies for a collection of firms in the context of the current dynamics of global competition. The course consists of a set of site visits and in-class sessions which include lectures, case discussions and management speakers who will describe their company's current strategy.

Awards and Honors

  • Inaugural POMS International Distinguished Lectureship Award, 2007
  • Tibbets Award, National Science Foundation – SBIR, 2007
  • Ernst & Young – Entrepreneur of the Year (Mid-Atlantic region finalist), 2004
  • Senior Fellow, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society, INFORMS, 2004
  • Institute of Industrial Engineers Best Paper Published in IIE Transactions, 1999
  • S.J. Hardy Award for Best Paper in Operations Management, Decision Sciences Institute, 1990
  • Edelman Prize for best practice in Operations Research (finalist), 1990
  • Lauder Institute Prize for Advances in Theory and Practice of International Management, 1989

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Awards and Honors

Inaugural POMS International Distinguished Lectureship Award 2007
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