Bio: Taylor Randall is an assistant professor at the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. He has also lectured at the Norwegian School of Management and at Molde College in Norway.
His research focuses on the management of product variety and on supply chain management. He has studied product variety in the bicycle industry extensively. Recently, he has addressed the issues related to product variety faced by Internet-based retailers.
He has published papers in Marketing Science, Management Science, and other leading journals. He has also written for practitioner audiences, including a recent piece on the importance of brand equity on product-line extensions that appeared in the Financial Times.
He received his M.B.A. and his Ph.D. in operations management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Expertise: Managing Product Variety, Supply Chain Management
Fellowship Focus: Taylor Randall will work with his faculty host, Kamalini Ramdas, on a research project examining data from the automobile industry on the effect of component standardization on product quality. The interviews which Professors Randall and Ramdas have conducted with senior executives in the industry suggest that a better understanding of the effect of component standardization could have a significant impact on the choices designers make while developing new vehicles.
Their work will highlight the benefits of well-done standardization and expose the pitfalls of blind standardization. This will contribute substantially to the research on the management of product innovation and will be of great interest to practitioners, helping new-product designers at assembled product firms understand the true costs associated with component-level innovation, beyond engineering costs.
As part of this fellowship, Professors Randall and Ramdas will submit a paper to Management Science. They will present their research at the INFORMS conference and at the Manufacturing & Service Operations Management conference on New Product Development or Innovation and Technology Management. Professor Randall will also present a research seminar to Darden faculty in 2003 as part of Darden’s seminar series on emerging research. The two will also present their work at research seminars at other business schools.