PhD Operations Management, Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences, Germany

Publish Date: Feb 09, 2016

Deadline: Mar 31, 2016

Operations Management

The Operations Management Area includes four renowned chairs (Bode, Fleischmann, Schön, Stolletz) that address a broad range of topics from procurement to production to supply chain to service operations management. Each chair has its individual specialization and focus, but we have one mission and an integrated curriculum across chairs.

Most decisions in operations management involve many alternatives, with different impacts on costs, profits, or other performance measures. Often, decisions are very complex and trade-offs must be made. Operations Research (OR) uses analytical models and tools to make these decisions more systematically.  Our courses introduce powerful OR approaches in an embedded way, thereby expanding the participants’ analytical skills.

Our Operations Management faculty is dedicated to produce highest-quality research that is practically relevant to decision makers in business and society. We regularly publish refereed articles in top scientific journals, for example, Journal of Operations Management, Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, and Transportation Science. Latest research results are presented and discussed at international conferences all over the world.

Fields of Research


Broadly speaking, the research activities at the Endowed Chair of Procurement focus on the understanding – that is describing, explaining, and predicting – of phenomena and mechanisms that are of importance to the field of procurement. The current research thrusts are related to risk and disruptions, interfirm relationships, innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability, and strategies and performance.

In these areas, we are particularly interested in research questions that are located at the intersection of procurement and related disciplines (such as logistics, marketing, management, organization, or innovation), because they require the integration of multiple disciplinary bases and theoretical perspectives to craft conceptually adequate models that offer comprehensive answers. We collaborate intensively with a network of organizations in order to help bridge between theory and practice.

 Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Our research domain encompasses managerial decisions regarding the design and operation of the supply chain, in a broad sense. This includes the optimal deployment of resources, process optimization, and the coordination of individual processes along the supply chain so as to maximize overall performance. Transportation and inventory management are among the key processes in this context. Advances in information technology are changing the underlying economics and enable novel solutions.  

In our research, we seek to combine scientific rigor and managerial relevance, with the aim of obtaining novel insights into supply chain related issues. Our research approach relies on quantitative modeling and analysis, using operations research techniques.

 Service Operations

In general, our research is concerned with the development of quantitative models and methods of operations research in order to provide decision support for practical problems in the area of (production and in particular service) operations management - for better, more systematic and data-driven decision making in complex situations. Current research areas focus on revenue management, service design, Sustainable (Service) Operations Management & Green Product Design, and strategic pricing & tariff design.

 Production Management

The Chair's main field of research encompasses various managerial decisions in production and operations management. Current research projects particularly focus on quantitative decision support in the design and management of production systems, for example Operations scheduling, Management of dynamic systems, and design of lean operations systems.  The corresponding application areas are wide and include, among others, assemble to order (ATO) production systems, flow lines in the automotive industry, airport operations, or call center operations.

Several operations research techniques are used to analyze and to optimize production and operations systems under static and dynamic conditions. We apply and develop methods for deterministic optimization, performance analysis of queueing systems, and optimization of stochastic systems.  

Admission to the CDSB Program

General Information

PhD programs at the CDSB:

  • The application deadline is March 31, 2016 for the fall 2016 intake. Applications can be submitted from November 2015, and there is an early admission deadline on January 31, 2016.
  • Applications from candidates who are not accepted in the early round will be reviewed again with all other applications after March 31.
  • The prerequisite for admission is a master’s degree or a four year bachelor's degree in the respective field or equivalent.

Business Research programs at the CDSB:

  • The application deadline is March 31, 2016 for the fall 2016 intake. Applications can be submitted from November 2015.
  • The prerequisite for admission is an enrollment in the Mannheim Master in Management of the Business School at the University of Mannheim and average grades of all master courses of the first semester: 2.0 or better.


We solely offer online application and applicants must submit their information and documents through our online application portal. Applications sent in via mail will not be considered.

Admission is based purely on academic performance and potential.

Application Documents

The following information is required for an application:

  • Personal data
  • Letter of motivation: Please provide a statement explaining your current goals, career plans and reasons for being interested in the PhD program in Business. Discuss your study plans and your fields of interest. Your statement should be in English and not exceed 700 words.
  • Certificates and transcripts of grades: A transcript from each college or university is required. The degree certificate is not sufficient. The transcript should show courses, grades and degrees received, mentioning rank or distinction if applicable. A translation is required for any transcript in a language other than English or German. At this stage of the application process it is not necessary to notarize or apostil the translations. If you are accepted we need notarized translations. An apostil is not necessary. If you have not yet finished your current degree, please attach a preliminary grade report (again in English or German).
  • GMAT (or GRE): All applicants must enter or upload test scores on the online application. While GMAT is the preferred test, adequate GRE scores may be handed in alternatively. There is no minimum required score. Ask the GMAT Customer Service to report your test scores using the following program code: VLC-95-89 (or the Educational Testing Service using the program code: 0933).
  • Letters of recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required from faculty who are able to assess your academic ability and potential.
  • Writing sample: Please attach a writing sample in English or German, e.g., a paper you have written during your studies.
  • Any supplementary information relevant to your application.

Online Application

In order to make the application process as convenient as possible for you, we offer an online application portal, which is available from November 2015, on.

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