Congested but underutilized infrastructures: How information can be used to regulate demand in healthcare

This project aims at exploring how demand (patient arrivals) can be influenced at the Emergency Department (ED). Previous research indicates that patients often wait hours or days, until a convenient time, before visiting the ED. This leads to demand peaks at the ED with congestion and long waiting times as a consequence. In cooperation with Google and Vårdguiden (Swedish health care guide) we plan to use forecasting models to present predicted and current waiting times to patients online. Taking this new information into account, patients can reduce their expected waiting time at the ED by coming at a less congested hour or by choosing another hospital. The anticipated outcome of this policy is a reduction in demand variability over time and over hospitals in the Stockholm region, ultimately leading to reduced costs, improved patient care and a more efficient use of resources.

From a research perspective the objective of this project is to improve our understanding of how demand can be regulated in a congested system (stores, hospitals, roads, etc.): an overarching question with strong implications for research, policy and practice.

Project participants: Fredrik Eng-Larsson, Olov Isaksson, Martin Nordberg (Karolinska Institute/SÖS)

Research grant:  3.5 million SEK granted in 2016 by Region Stockholm for the period 2016-2019.


Supply Chain and Operations Management in Omni-channel Retail

How can retailers improve productivity, reduce waste, and remain competitive in an increasingly digitalized competitive landscape?

This research focuses on the opportunities and challenges that digitalization brings to managing operations in the retail supply chain. At the core is the difficulty of how to best integrate and align the operations for online and offline channels. While many traditional brick and mortar (B&M) retailers are now also using an online channel (e.g. IKEA), and pure online retailers are opening B&M stores (e.g. Amazon), channels tend to be managed as separate businesses with little or no integration, causing confusion and frustration for customers, and inefficiencies in the operations.

This research is executed in collaboration with several Swedish retailers. Using advanced data analytics, the research is expected to develop new theories, models and decision-making tools, and to show how the Operations Management function can boost overall demand and reduce waste through better supply chain decisions.

Project participants: Fredrik Eng-Larsson, Olov Isaksson, Christoph Baldauf


A project on tolerance in management control systems

In this project we investigate the ways in which management control systems (do not) tolerate disruptions. The empirical case is the wave of immigrants that sought shelter during the refugee crises in 2015 and the study is primarily a study of the ways in which the public sector operated during this period as well as the possible changes that have been done as a result of the refugee migration. Tolerance, in our program, is not seen as an effect of representational problems (i.e. that numbers are simplifications and 'political') but rather tolerance is an ambition that is enacted and problematized in the calculating practices of the organizations. Tolerance may work to reduce claims for accuracy and allow for a decision to be renewed. Yet, tolerance is not static and therefore there is a political (in the broadest understanding) dimension in which tolerance is continuously renegotiated.

Project participants: Thomas Carrington, Bino Catasus, Gustav Johed