Behavioral Operations in Logistics



People play an essential role in nearly all logistical operations. At the same time, most models trying to explain and predict the performance of logistical systems and processes assume that people behave perfectly rational. Reality shows a different picture, and people’s deviations from rationality hamper the accuracy of traditional models. The field of Behavioral Operations Management incorporates behavioral insights in Operations Management to account for these deviations from rationality. These deviations are commonly studied at the level of the decision makers, but also influence lower-level workers. For example, a manager might influence operational performance by increasing or decreasing employee motivation through his or her leadership or choice of incentive system. At the same time, some employees might be more motivated to work in a specific context than others. This dissertation aims to contribute to theory and practice by investigating which behavioral factors and individual characteristics of workers and managers influence the outcomes of logistical processes, and to what extent. This issue is addressed in five chapters, each of which focuses on different individual or behavioral characteristics (leadership, personality, regulatory focus), a different research context (occupational safety, order picking, and transport), or a different methodological approach (survey research, field experiments, and lab experiments).