Morvarid Rahmani is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech. Dr. Rahmani’s research brings together the operational perspective of process improvement and the economic perspective of innovation and collaboration. Her research focuses on the study of the dynamics of collaboration in knowledge-based work processes such as new product or service development, management and IT consulting, technical projects, and education. Her research generates insights for advancing strategic decision-making, both across organizations and within them. She has published her research in Management Science, and Production and Operations Management journals. Her dissertation research paper on Collaborative Work Dynamics was a finalist in the MSOM Best Student Paper Competition.
Dr. Rahmani received her Ph.D. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She also received three masters degrees: Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Economics. She has taught Core Operations Management in Full-time and Evening MBA programs, and a seminar course on Managing Innovation and Product Development in Scheller's Ph.D. program. She has received the Brady Family Award for Faculty Teaching Excellence at Scheller College.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Project Management and Analysis
Innovation and Team Management
Selected Accomplishments (5)
Brady Family Award for Faculty Teaching Excellence
Georgia Tech, 2017
Face of Inclusive Excellence
Georgia Tech Institute Diversity, 2016
CTL/BP Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, Georgia Tech, 2019 (professional)
CTL/BP Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (professional)
CTL/BP Faculty Teaching Excellence Award
MES Best Working Paper Competition Award
3rd place, INFORMS
UCLA Anderson School of Management: Ph.D., Decisions, Operations & Technology Management 2013
University of California Los Angeles: M.A., Economics 2010
University of California Los Angeles: M.S., Electrical Engineering 2009
Sharif University of Technology: M.S., Industrial Engineering 2008
University of Science and Technology (IUST): B.S., Industrial Engineering 2005
Selected Media Appearances (1)
Choose Your Leadership Style
INSEAD Knowledge online
Working with an amazing leader is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – not everyone can work with Nelson Mandela or Gandhi or even a rock star boss like Bruce Springsteen. Leaders in the knowledge economy, those who have moved up the ranks from team member to team leader, aren’t always charismatic. It’s far more commonplace to find team leaders who were promoted to a leadership role without developing their leadership skills.
Event Appearances (1)
UCL School of Management Seminar Suite, Level 38, One Canada Square
Selected Articles (3)
Luyi Gui, Morvarid Rahmani, Atalay Atasu
We study the implications of recycling technology choice and facility ownership on an environmental benefit comparison between collective and individual recycling systems. Collective recycling is criticized for allowing free-riding between producers, and muting incentives for design-for-recycling and environmental benefits from recycling. Inspired by the Japanese Household Appliance Recycling Law (HARL), we revisit this assertion by studying how the complementarity between product design for recycling and recycling technology choices affects environmental benefits from a collective recycling system.
We develop game-theoretic models of individual and collective recycling systems with endogenous product design and recycling technology choices given contracted or producer-owned recycling facilities. We characterize and compare the equilibrium outcomes in these models. We show that collective systems imply higher incentives for recycling technology improvements, and can lead to higher environmental benefits from recycling than individual systems. This particularly happens when a contracted recycling facility is shared by producers with similar recycling volumes. However, when a producer-owned recycling facility is shared, a certain degree of recycling volume heterogeneity between producers can lead to higher environmental benefits. We further show that, even when sharing a producer-owned recycling facility leads to higher environmental benefits than sharing a contracted one, a producer’s benefit from owning a shared recycling facility may not justify the cost of such ownership. Accordingly, we show that policy provisions that provide incentives for producer’s recycling facility ownership can be justified especially if there exists high volume heterogeneity in the collective system. Producers and policy makers need to evaluate collective recycling systems with respect to the incentives they provide for not only product design for recycling but also recycling technology choices, and configure collective system implementations accordingly.
Rahmani, M., G. Roels, and U.S. Karmarkar
In knowledge-intensive projects, one of the challenges project team leaders often face is how to combine their roles of direction and contribution. In this paper, we propose a game-theoretic model of team leadership of coproductive projects and study how team leaders should combine their directing and contributing efforts depending on the team and project characteristics. Our analysis reveals that two types of team leadership approaches arise in equilibrium, namely, “participatory” team leadership, under which the team leader gives the team members full discretion on their choice of effort, and “directive” team leadership, under which the team leader demands team members exert higher effort than what they would choose to exert voluntarily.
We find that directive team leadership is optimal when the team members have low incentives, that is, when their rewards are low, the size of the team is large, or failure is not too costly (e.g., continuation is possible); otherwise, participatory team leadership is optimal. Moreover, we show that a higher degree of effort complementarity (as in innovative projects) leads to greater alignment between the team leader’s and team members’ contributing efforts, which, under directive team leadership, also implies greater alignment between the team leader’s directing and contributing efforts. Finally, the team leader should set the team size and team members’ rewards in a way that accentuates the difference between the two team leadership approaches. That is, under directive team leadership, she should set a large team size and offer the team members low rewards whereas under participatory team leadership she should set a small team size and offer the team members high rewards.
Rahmani, M., G. Roels, and U.S. Karmarkar
Many knowledge‐intensive projects such as new product and software design, research, and high technology development have flexible scope and involve co‐production between a client and a vendor. In such projects, it is often challenging to estimate how much progress can be achieved within a certain time window or how much time may be needed to achieve a certain degree of progress, especially because the client and vendor often adjust their efforts as a function of the project's progress, the time until the deadline, and the incentives in place. Effective contracts should therefore be flexible in scope and foster collaboration. In this study, we characterize the collaborative work dynamics of a client and a vendor who are engaged in a multi‐state, multi‐period stochastic project with a finite deadline. We show that when the client can verify the vendor's effort, it is optimal that they both exert high effort in one of two situations: when either not enough progress has been made and the deadline is close (deadline effect), or conversely, when so much progress has been made that the project state is close to a completion state set by the client (milestone effect). Hence, in this case, progress will typically be faster when the project is about to be stopped, due to either reaching the deadline or reaching the client's desired completion state. However, when the client cannot verify the vendor's effort, the vendor is prone to free‐riding. Considering a time‐based contract that pays the vendor a per‐period fee and a fixed completion bonus, we show that the equilibrium completion state is decreasing in the per‐period fee and increasing in the bonus, justifying the use of both incentive mechanisms in practice. Moreover, we show that, under such contracts, some form of milestone effect arises in equilibrium, but the deadline effect does not. Hence, in those cases, early progress will typically lead to early project conclusion at a high state; whereas, slow progress will typically make the project drag until the deadline while still at a low state.