INFORMS Open Forum

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Management Science

  • 1.  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Management Science

    Posted 07-17-2020 07:17

    The events of the last few months have highlighted longstanding and systemic societal inequalities that range from economic and health to racial disparities. With all these challenges, we are at a turning point where society is so shaken by what is happening around us that there is an urgency to take meaningful steps to try to address these inequities.


    This is the case at Management Science! Indeed, the journal's editorial board has already taken a few steps to ensure that we are practicing the principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Our objective is to provide concrete steps that help the Management Science journal and community be part of the process that addresses the challenges of minorities, in particular, Black Americans. For this purpose, we have done the following.


    Virtual Special Issue on DEI. Management Science has compiled a list of papers published in the journal in the last few years related to DEI. The journal would like to highlight these papers so that we focus on these issues and on the research done by the Management Science community. Our hope is that papers in the special issue will inform policy, impact education, and motivate new research. The special issue is live, whereby new accepted papers on DEI will be added as they are published online. You can view the special issue here.


    As you can see, the special issue covers a variety of topics from gender inequality, hiring discrimination, and affordable housing to biases in algorithms and in online platforms. Many of the papers offer deep analysis of social problems as well as insightful new policies that can have a long-lasting impact. The article "The Isolated Choice Effect and Its Implications for Gender Diversity in Organizations," by Edward H. Chang, Erika L. Kirgios, Aneesh Rai, and Katherine L. Milkman (see Chang et al. 2020) exemplifies the type of papers on DEI published by the journal. In this paper, the authors are focused on an important feature in hiring and selection decisions that makes an impact on group gender diversity. They demonstrate, through experimentations, that people are more likely to increase gender diversity when hiring or selecting multiple group members than when hiring or selecting one person at a time. The implications are clear: "groups constructed via an aggregation of isolated selection decisions are less diverse than groups whose members are selected in collections," Chang et al. 2020.


    Management Science Task Force on DEI. The special issue is just one step in the direction that highlights the role that the management science community can play in addressing societal problems. The second step taken by the editorial board is equally important. We have established a new task force that includes senior people from the various management science disciplines. The objective of the task force is to recommend actions that Management Science can take to expand its diversity, including diversity of authors, editors and published papers, while maintaining scholarly excellence.


    I know these steps are just the beginning of a process to make the journal and the profession more diverse, equitable and inclusive. But Management Science is not alone; many of us are involved in similar steps at our universities, research institutes and industry that will have a wider impact on society.


    I would like to hear your feedback on these steps as well as any additional suggestions that Management Science could undertake in order to address these important societal problems.



    Chang E. H., E. L. Kirgios, A. Rai and K. L. Milkman 2020. The Isolated Choice Effect and Its Implications for Gender Diversity in Organizations. Management Science. Vol. 66, No. 6, pp. 2752–2761.


    David Simchi-Levi
    Management Science

    David Simchi-Levi
    Professor of Engineering Systems
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Cambridge MA