Supply Disruptions and the Reverse Bullwhip Effect

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TITLE:  Supply Disruptions and the Reverse Bullwhip Effect

SPEAKER: Zuo-Jun Max Shen (Faculty Candidate)


We postulate the existence of a “reverse bullwhip effect” (RBWE) that occurs during and immediately after supply disruptions. Whereas the classical bullwhip effect (BWE) describes an increase in demand/order volatility as one moves upstream in the supply chain, the RBWE describesthe opposite. We motivate our analysis by an example involving gasoline-buying patterns following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. We then present theoretical and empirical evidence for a RBWE that occurs in a variety of situations involving supply uncertainty. RBWE has great implication in service system design and management, so we examine causes of RBWE, discuss its impact, and suggest strategies for mitigating it.

Zuo-Jun (Max) Shen received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He has been active in the following research areas: integrated supply chain design and management, market mechanism design, applied optimization, and decision making with limited information. He is currently on the editorial/advisory board for several leading journals. He received the CAREER award from National Science Foundation in 2003.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Anita Race
  • Created: 03/29/2010
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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