Decision Science Digest: May 8, 2023

BALTIMORE, MD, May 8, 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 Impact of Gender and Online Recommendations in Job Recruitment (INFORMS journal Information Systems Research)
  • New Research Uses Online Review Sites to Identify Possible Illicit Massage Businesses, Points Law Enforcement to Necessary Investigations (INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management)
  • The Impact of Donor-Worker Relationships on Charitable Donations (INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management)
  • Factoring In Order Fulfillment Mistakes at Brick-and-Mortar Stores, Eliminating Price Penalty (INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management)

The Impact of Online Recommendations and Gender in Recruiting for Jobs

In the professional world, recruiters are using online professional networks more frequently to find qualified candidates for job openings. Professional recommendations on these sites can provide valuable information; however, because of the medium, their effectiveness may not be trusted. New research in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research finds that discussion of a candidate’s weakness, or scope of improvement, can lead to a higher likelihood of a recruiter being willing to interview a candidate. The effect of scope of improvement will depend on the nature of the weakness discussed and the physical attractiveness of the candidate, which is only relevant in an online context in which that information is known. The paper, “The Effect of Gender Expectations and Physical Attractiveness on Discussion of Weakness in Online Professional Recommendations,” finds that for average candidates, scope of improvement has a positive effect when the scope discussed does not counter expectations derived from common gender stereotypes, and a negative effect when it does. For attractive candidates, any discussion of scope has a negative effect, but the penalty can be avoided by reinforcing traits commonly associated with gender. Link to full article.

Streamlining the Process of Identifying and Shutting Down Illicit Massage Businesses

Researchers are using online review sites to detect and shut down illicit massage businesses (IMBs) involved in human trafficking. New research in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management identifies a series of models that can detect tone, keywords and more to identify businesses that may be involved in this illicit behavior. Flagging these businesses streamlines the identification process and allows law enforcement to look more closely at businesses that pop up using these models. The results of the paper, “Detecting Human Trafficking: Automated Classification of Online Customer Reviews of Massage Businesses,” can save countless hours in IMB investigations by automatically sorting through large quantities of data to flag potential illicit activity. Link to full article.

Increasing Charitable Donations Through Worker, Donor Relationships

New research in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management looks at how a charitable organization’s frontline staff members can be effectively positioned to encourage donors to donate more during in-person interactions. In the paper, “Worker Experience and Donor Heterogeneity: The Impact of Charitable Workers on Donors’ Blood Donation Decisions,” the researchers find that the effect of the charitable worker on charitable productivity depends on the worker’s experiences that entail sharing knowledge about a donor’s donation options, rather than the worker’s experiences that are primarily focused on collecting donations. Moreover, worker experience can encourage donors that have lower self-efficacy over performing their donation to choose higher donation volumes. A worker’s experience with donors with lower self-efficacy furthermore benefits charitable productivity when interacting with those donors. Link to full article.

Factoring in Pick Failures for Online Orders from Brick-and-Mortar Stores Can Save Money in the Long Run

When retail items are ordered online, the order management system of omnichannel retailers try to ship the order from brick-and-mortar stores. However, such stores, unlike dedicated fulfillment centers, are subject to pick failures. New research in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management found that incorporating pick failures in the order management system for acceptance and fulfillment decisions leads to a significant cost savings in the fulfillment process. Pick failure rates of nearly one-in-five are observed in data that was collected and analyzed. The paper, “Order Fulfillment under Pick Failure in Omnichannel Ship From Store Programs,” shows that incorporating these issues saves more than 20% in fulfillment costs based on the analysis. 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


[email protected]


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Decision Science Digest: May 8, 2023

Media Contact

Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator
Catonsville, MD
[email protected]

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