Decision Science Digest: July 31, 2023

BALTIMORE, MD, July 31, 2023 –

EDITOR’S NOTE: Decision Science Digest is a periodic communique highlighting recent peer-reviewed research published by INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences, across its 17 journals. This issue highlights four press releases based on the findings of new peer-reviewed articles.

  • The Future of Work: The Impact of Employee-Driven Scheduling on Finding and Keeping Good Workers (INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management)
  • More Women on Boards: The Impact of Mandated Diversity as a Result of California Bill 826 (INFORMS journal Management Science)
  • Testing the System—Increased Wildfires Puts Pressure on Response System (INFORMS journal Decision Analysis)
  • Trouble Filling Jobs in IT? How Peers are Playing a Role (INFORMS journal Information Systems Research)

New Research Identifies Best Practices to Attract and Retain Employees as the Future of Work Changes

The future of work is shifting. Much of the country moved to a “remote work” situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more employers are adopting a remote-work policy going forward, but how meaningful is “work-life balance” to employees and does schedule volatility lead to worker turnover? New research in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management says yes. In the study, “‘I Quit’: Schedule Volatility as a Driver of Voluntary Employee Turnover,” the researchers find that 30 days of high schedule volatility over the course of the year increases the average worker’s probability of quitting that year by 20%. The researchers say this work illustrates the extent to which employees value control over their own work schedules and are averse to volatile work schedules that are dictated by employers. The authors urge employers to take note of the current environment in which there is a growing emphasis on work-life balance and employee-driven flexibility and find a way to support schedules so they can attract and retain workers. Link to full article.

The Impact of Mandated Diversity: Data Paves the Way for More Legislation like California Bill 826

In September 2018, California passed Senate Bill 826, requiring publicly held companies in the state to have at least one woman on their board by the end of 2019, mandating diversity. However, there are concerns about consequences in market equilibrium if the focus shifts to diversity. New research in the INFORMS journal Management Science looks at these concerns and what the data says. In the study, “Regulating Gender Diversity: Evidence from California Senate Bill 826,” the authors found either significantly positive or insignificant two-day abnormal returns for California companies. These results suggest nonnegative (if not positive) consequences to California firms arising from SB 826 and directly counter assertions that mandated gender diversity is detrimental to firm value. Link to full article.

The Pressing Need for Efficient Wildfire Management: How to Make the Most of Your Resources

In recent years, the state of Colorado has experienced extreme wildfire events that have degraded forests and watershed health and devastated communities. Unfortunately, wildfire activity is likely to increase due to changing climate and other factors. This is putting pressure on an already stretched response system. The interagency dispatching system facilitates the ordering, mobilization and tracking of firefighting resources to and from wildfire incidents. New research in the INFORMS journal Decision Analysis aims to improve efficiencies, capacity and capability within the current Colorado dispatching system. In the paper, “A Decision Framework for Evaluating the Rocky Mountain Area Wildfire Dispatching System in Colorado,” researchers partner with the Rocky Mountain Coordinating Group (RMCG) and Rocky Mountain Area Fire Executive Council (RMA-FEC) to reorganize the dispatching system, beginning with exploration of changes to dispatching zone boundaries and the number and location of dispatching centers throughout the state. Link to full article.

New Research Finds Peer Opinions Discourage Students From a Career in IT

The productivity of the information technology (IT) industry depends on the supply of high-quality people to work in it, especially managers who contribute to operational, finance, sales and marketing, and leadership roles. New research in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research examines the influence of peers on the choice a student makes to pursue a career in IT. In the paper, “Peer Influence and IT Career Choice,” researchers analyze data on student networks and link these to students’ choices regarding post-program careers in the IT industry. They found that being part of a group that includes peers who have worked in IT reduces the likelihood of receiving and accepting an offer in the IT industry. They also find differential peer effects for male and female students. These findings are consistent with the notion that IT peers provide (largely discouraging) information about the IT industry to non-IT peers. Link to full article.



INFORMS advances and promotes the science and technology of decision-making to save lives, save money and solve problems. As the largest association for the decision and data sciences, INFORMS members support organizations and governments at all levels as they work to transform data into information, and information into insights that lead to more efficient, effective, equitable and impactful results. INFORMS’ 10,000+ members comprise a diverse and robust international community of practitioners, researchers, educators and students from a variety of fields. 



Ashley Smith


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Decision Science Digest: July 31, 2023

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Ashley Smith
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Catonsville, MD
[email protected]

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