Charles J. Corbett

Professor of Operations Management and Sustainability

Phone: (310) 825-1651

Fax: (310) 206-3337

charles.corbett at

Gold Hall, Room B-507


Research Focus 

Professor Corbett's research and teaching focus on the interfaces between operations management, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. The environmental work revolves around examining links between good business practices and environmental protection. This has included studying the effects and global diffusion of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 and of the LEED green building standards; the way in which supply contracts are changed from volume-based to service-based to align incentives between suppliers and buyers; the environmental footprint of a project-based industry such as the motion picture and television industry; and adoption of energy-efficiency practices in small and medium-sized businesses. His research in entrepreurship focuses on how for-profit and non-profit entrepreneurs and small business owners make decisions and run their organizations on a day-to-day basis. His earlier work has focused mostly on how contracts can help improve coordination between buyers and suppliers, whether related to inventory control, service contracts or project management.

Dr. Corbett has published in his field's top academic and business journals in several countries. He holds or has held various editorial positions at Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Operations Research, Management Science and Production and Operations Management, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Foundations and Trends in Technology, Information and Operations Management.

He has given around 100 presentations at academic conferences and institutions around the world, including (semi-)plenary and keynote presentations in Bali, Istanbul, Lima, Mexico City, Shanghai, and Tainan.

He served as Department Chair and Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs during 2009-2012. He also served as Associate Dean of the MBA program from 2004-2006, and is the founding director of the UCLA Leaders in Sustainability graduate emphasis and the Easton Technology Leadership Program. Before joining the faculty in 1996, Professor Corbett was a visiting scholar at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

Teaching Focus

Professor Corbett teaches the core course in operations management for the MBA and EMBA programs, in addition to his electives on "Business and the Environment" and "Managing Entrepreneurial Operations". He has also taught a doctoral course in empirical research in operations management. He is a frequent advisor to MBA teams fulfilling the Applied Management Research requirement, and has also participated in the Global Access Program in the FEMBA program. In addition, he is affiliated with the UCLA Institute of the Environment. Dr Corbett has also taught courses on supply chain management and on environmental management at the Ecole des Mines de Nantes and at ESC Reims in France, and at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago. He has received the Citibank Teaching Award, UCLA, June 2008, the EMBA Class of 2006 Outstanding Teaching Award, June 2006, the George Robbins Assistant Professor Teaching Award 2002, and the UCLA Staff Assembly's 2007 Faculty/Staff Partnership Award.


Ph.D. Production and Operations Management, 1996, INSEAD
Drs. Operations Research, (M.Sc. equivalent) 1992, Erasmus University


Environmental Management and Sustainability, Entrepreneurial Operations, Supply Chain Management


* Elected Fellow of the Production and Operations Management Society, 2013
* Citibank Teaching Award, UCLA, June 2008
* EMBA Class of 2006 Outstanding Teaching Award, June 2006
* 2002 George Robbins Assistant Professor Teaching Award
* James Peters Research Fellowship
* AT&T Faculty Fellow of Industrial Ecology in 1998-1999
* GEA-L'Impresa 1992: 2nd prize, for paper “Strategie Produttive E Priorità Competitive”; C.J. Corbett and L.N. Van Wassenhove, L'Impresa (Italy), No. 6, 1991, pp. 14-22

  • Muthulingam, S., C. Corbett, S. Benartzi, B. Oppenheim. (2013). Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturing Firms: Order Effects and the Adoption of Process Improvement Recommendations. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 15(4) 596-615.
  • Blass, V., C. Corbett, M. Delmas, S. Muthulingam. (2013). Top Management and the Adoption of Energy Efficiency Practices: Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturing Firms in the US. Energy, in press. [ Link ]
  • Sarang Deo and Charles J. Corbett. (Fall 2009). Cournot Competition under Yield Uncertainty: The Case of the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Market. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 11(4): 563-576. [ Link ]
  • Paulo Albuquerque, Bart J. Bronnenberg, and Charles J. Corbett. (March 2007). A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of the Global Diffusion of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Certification. Management Science, 53(3): 451-468. [ Link ]
  • Charles J. Corbett. (Fall 2006). Global Diffusion of ISO 9000 Certification Through Supply Chains. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 8(4): 330-350. [ Link ]
  • Charles J. Corbett, and Kumar Rajaram. (Fall 2006). A Generalization of the Inventory Pooling Effect to Non-Normal Dependent Demand. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 8(4): 351-358. [ Link ]
  • Felipe Caro, Charles J. Corbett, Tarkan Tan and Rob Zuidwijk. (October 12, 2011). Carbon-Optimal and Carbon-Neutral Supply Chains. [ Link ] [ Download ] [ Show Abstract ]
    Carbon footprinting is a tool for firms to determine the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with their supply chain or with a unit of final product or service. Carbon footprinting efforts typically aim to identify where best to invest in emission reduction efforts, and/or to determine the proportion of total emissions that an individual firm is accountable for, whether financially and/or operationally. A major and under-recognized challenge in determining the appropriate allocation stems from the high degree to which GHG emissions (or emissions reductions) are the result of joint efforts by multiple firms. In this paper we introduce a simple but effective model of joint production of GHG emissions in general supply chains, decomposing the total footprint into processes, each of which can be influenced by any combination of firms. A supply chain in which all firms exert their first-best emissions reduction effort levels is "carbon optimal," while a supply chain which offsets all emissions is "carbon neutral." With this structure, we examine conditions under which the supply chain can be carbon-neutral and/or carbon-optimal. We find that, in order to induce the carbon-optimal effort levels, the emissions need to be over-allocated. This means that the focus in the life-cycle assessment (LCA) and carbon footprinting literature on avoiding double-counting is, in the context of setting incentives, misguided. We also compare the situation where a single firm offsets all supply chain emissions with that where one powerful firm can enforce an emissions reduction target across all firms in the supply chain, and find that neither scenario is always preferred over the other. Our work aims to lay the foundation for a framework to integrate the economics- and LCA-based perspectives on supply chain carbon footprinting.

Working Papers

Suresh Muthulingam, Charles J. Corbett, Shlomo Benartzi, and Bohdan Oppenheim. (February 2009). “Managerial Biases and Energy Savings: An Empirical Analysis of the Adoption of Process Improvement Recommendations." [ Link ]

Charles J. Corbett, and Suresh Muthulingam. (August 2007). “Adoption of Voluntary Environmental Standards: The Role of Signaling and Intrinsic Benefits in the Diffusion of the LEED Green Building Standards." [ Link ]

Charles J. Corbett, and Jan C. Fransoo. (August 2007). "Entrepreneurs and Newsvendors: Do Small Businesses Follow the Newsvendor Logic When Making Inventory Decisions?" [ Link ]

Research Papers

Charles Corbett's Web Site