Overview


My research includes three main areas in organizational capabilities, public health, and methodology for dynamic modeling. My primary research focuses on explaining the dynamics of organizational capabilities, specifically: why do firms in the same market show persistent heterogeneity in performance?  I study capability development and erosion through fieldwork and simulation modeling. I have shown that organizational learning in the presence of feedback delays can lead to suboptimal capability configurations. Furthermore, I find that significantly different capability erosion rates across organizations emerge as a by-product of common managerial decision rules, and lead to variations in performance. In addition, I connect the capability dynamics within the firm with market-level forces to explain how investments in capabilities are contingent upon the competitive landscape. Results identify conditions in which it is optimal to focus on investments that have fast payoff even though they may starve investment in the capabilities needed to thrive over the long term. I also carry out empirical studies to ground and test these theoretical contributions, including studies in product development, project management, maintenance, manufacturing, and construction. My public health research ranges from biological modeling of human growth and body weight dynamics to organizational challenges in implementing and sustaining health-related capabilities. To surmount various modeling challenges in my projects, I also push forward the methodological frontiers. For example, in collaboration with Mohammad Jalali and Kamran Paynabar we have recently developed a general method to estimate new models based on results from prior research publications. This method relaxes restrictive assumptions of traditional meta-analysis, enabling a much wider range of studies to be considered, including studies that are mis-specified or face other threats to their validity. The method can be utilized in a wide range of applications.

Journal Publications

  1. Rahmandad, H., Repenning, N., & Henderson, R. (Forthcoming). Making the Numbers? "Short termism" & the puzzle of only occasional disasters. Management Science.
  2. Rahmandad H, Repenning N. (2016). "Capability Erosion Dynamics." Strategic Management Journal. 37(4): 649-672.
  3. Wittenborn, A. K., H. Rahmandad, J. Rick and N. Hosseinichimeh (2016). "Depression as a systemic syndrome: mapping the feedback loops of major depressive disorder." Psychological Medicine 46(3): 551-562.
  4. Jalali, M. S., Sharafi-Avarzaman, Z., Rahmandad, H., & Ammerman, A. S. (2016). Social influence in childhood obesity interventions: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews. doi: 10.1111/obr.12420
  5. Rahmandad, H. (2015). "Connecting strategy and system dynamics: an example and lessons learned." System Dynamics Review 31(3): 149-172.
  6. Parvan, K., Rahmandad, H., & Haghani, A. (2015). Inter-phase feedbacks in construction projects. Journal of Operations Management 39-40: 48-62.
  7. Hosseinichimeh, N., H. Rahmandad and A. Wittenborn (2015). "Modeling the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis: A review and extension." Mathematical biosciences. 268: 52-65.
  8. Davarzani, H., R. Zanjirani-Farahani and H. Rahmandad (2015). "Understanding econo-political risks: impact of sanctions on an automotive supply chain." International Journal of Operations & Production Management. 35(11):1567-1591.
  9. Shoham, D., R. Hammond, H. Rahmandad, Y. Wang and P. Hovmand (2015). "Modeling social norms and social influence in obesity." Current Epidemiology Reports 2(1): 71-79.
  10. Fallah-Fini, S., K. Triantis, H. Rahmandad, C. de la Garza (2015). "Measuring dynamic efficiency of highway maintenance operations." Omega.50(C):18-28.
  11. Rahmandad H. (2014). "Human growth and body weight dynamics: an integrative systems model" PLoS One. 9(12): e114609.
  12. Fallah-Fini, S., H. Rahmandad, et al. (2014). "Modeling US Adult Obesity Trends: A System Dynamics Model for Estimating Energy Imbalance Gap." American Journal of Public Health. 104(7): 1230-1239.
  13. Hall, K. D., R. A. Hammond, H. Rahmandad (2014). "Dynamic Interplay Among Homeostatic, Hedonic, and Cognitive Feedback Circuits Regulating Body Weight." American Journal of Public Health. 104(7): 1169-1175.
  14. Fallah-Fini, S., H. Rahmandad, et al. (2013). "Connecting micro dynamics and population distributions in system dynamics models." System Dynamics Review 29(4): 197-215.
  15. Sabounchi, N., Rahmandad, H., Ammerman, A. (2013). "Best-fitting prediction equations for basal metabolic rate: informing obesity interventions in diverse populations." International Journal of Obesity.37(10): 1364-1370.
  16. Ip, E. H., H. Rahmandad, D. Shoham, R. Hammond, T. Huang, Y. Wang, P. Mabry (2013) "Reconciling Statistical and Systems Science Approaches to Public Health " Health Education & Behavior.40(1S): 123S-131S.
  17. Rahmandad, H. (2012). "Impact of growth opportunities and competition on dynamics of capability development". Organization Science 23(1): 138-154.
  18. Rahmandad, H. and Sterman, J. (2012). "Reporting Guidelines for Simulation-based Research in Social Sciences." System Dynamics Review, 28(4):396-411.
  19. Rahmandad, H. and Sibdari, S. (2012) "Joint Pricing and Openness Decisions in Software Markets with Reinforcing Loops." System Dynamics Review 28(3):206-229.
  20. Hu, K.*, Rahmandad, H., Smith-Jackson, T., & Winchester, W. W. (2011). Factors influencing the risk of falls in construction industry: a review of evidence. Construction Management and Economics, 29(4): 397-416.
  21. Rahmandad, H., K. Hu*, R. Duintjer-Tebbens, K. Thompson (2011). Development of an individual-based model for polioviruses: Implications of the selection of network type and outcome metrics. Epidemiology and Infection, 139(6), 836-848.
  22. Zuashkiani, A., Rahmandad, H., & Jardine, A. (2011). Mapping the dynamics of overall equipment effectiveness to enhance asset management. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, 17(1), 74-92.
  23. Fallah-Fini, S., H. Rahmandad, et al. (2010). "Optimizing highway maintenance operations: dynamic considerations." System Dynamics Review 26(3): 216-238.
  24. Rahmandad, H. and K. Hu (2010). "Modeling rework cycle: comparing alternative formulations." System Dynamics Review 26(4): 291-315.
  25. Rahmandad, H., N. P. Repenning and J. D. Sterman (2009). Effect of Feedback Delays on Learning, System Dynamics Review, 25(4): 309-338.
  26. Rahmandad, H. and D. Weiss (2009). Dynamics of concurrent software development. System Dynamics Review 25(3): 224-249.
  27. Rahmandad, H. (2008). "Effect of delays on complexity of organizational learning." Management Science 54(7): 1297-1312.
  28. Rahmandad, H. and J. Sterman (2008). "Heterogeneity and network structure in the dynamics of diffusion: Comparing agent-based and differential equation models." Management Science 54(5): 998-1014.

Book 

Rahmandad, H., R. Oliva, N. Osgood (Forthcoming) "Analytical Methods for Dyanmic Modelers", MIT Press, Cambridge MA.