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Rob Handfield

Bank of America University Distinguished Professor, Supply Chain Management

2806 Hillsborough St-Bldg A 217


Department and Affiliations

Department of Business Management, Supply Chain Management

Area(s) of Expertise

Supply Chain Management


Rob Handfield is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University and director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative ( He also serves as an adjunct professor with the Supply Chain Management Research Group at the Manchester Business School.

Dr. Handfield’s research with a number of leading SCM organizations across a variety of industries has identified that companies who excel in the consistent application of “best-in-class” supply management processes and practices, and becoming a customer of choice, have demonstrated significantly higher financial performance than their competitors.  This performance of best-in-class organizations has not gone unnoticed by market analysts and has been amply rewarded by significant improvements in stock performance.

Handfield is considered a thought leader in the field of supply chain management, and is an industry expert in the field of strategic sourcing, supply market intelligence, and supplier development.  He has spoken on these subjects across the globe, including China, Turkey, Latin America, Europe, Japan, Canada, and other locals.

Work Experience

Handfield is the consulting editor of the Journal of Operations Management, one of the leading supply chain management journals in the field, and is the author of several books on supply chain management, the most recent being Supply Market Intelligence, Supply Chain Re-Design and Introduction to Supply Chain Management (Prentice Hall, 1999, 25,000 copies sold, and translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean).  He has co-authored textbooks for MBA and undergraduate classes including Purchasing and Supply Chain Management 3rd revision (with Robert Monczka) and Operations and Supply Chain Management (with Cecil Bozarth).  Handfield was identified as one of a handful of individuals in the 2007 “Pros to Know” list compiled by Supply and Demand Chain Executive journal :(  He is regularly quoted in periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Inc. Supply Chain Management Review, and other periodicals.

Handfield has consulted with over 25 Fortune 500 companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Freightliner, Boston Scientific, Delphi, Chevron, British Petroleum, Nortel Networks, Chevron Phillips, Lyondell Chemical, Conoco Phillips, Federal Express, Milliken, and others.  He has published more than 100 articles in top management journals including California Management Review, Sloan Management Review, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Operations Management, and Decision Sciences.

Research Areas

Research Publications

  • D. Bachrach, E. Bendoly, D. Beu Ammeter, D. Blackburn, K.G. Brown, J. Burke, T. Callahan, K.Y. Chen, V.H. Day, J.A. Gomez, T. Greenlee, A. Ellstrand, H. Erekson, R. Handfield, M. Louder, M. Malhotra, K. Petroni, A. Sevilla, S. Shafer, M. Shih, D. Voss, On Academic Rankings, Unacceptable Methods and the Social Obligations of Business Schools – Decision Sciences Journal April 2017.
  • Camilla Abbati de Assis, Gonzalez, Ronalds, Handfield, Robert, Golden, Jay, Kelley, Stephen.  “Risk management consideration in the bioeconomy”, Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining (forthcoming), accepted March 2017.
  • Handfield, R. Preparing for the Era of the Digitally Transparent Supply Chain: A Call to Research in a New Kind of Journal”.  Logistics, January, 2017 1(2).
  • Wieland, A., Handfield, R., and C. Durach “Mapping the Landscape for Future Research Topics in SCM”, Journal of Business Logistics, September 2016.  Volume 37(3): 205-212.
  • Handfield Robert B. and Golden Jay S.. The Biobased Products Industry: Reflections and Insights from a Multi-Year Empirical and Modeling Evaluation for the Congress of the United States, Industrial Biotechnology.  August 2015, 11(4): 183-187.
  •   Golden, J., Handfield, R., Daystar, J., and McConnell, E., An Economic Impact Analysis of the US Biobased Products Industry: A Report to the Congress of the United States of America, Industrial Biotechnology, August 2015, 11(4): 201-209.
  • Handfield, R., Primo, M., and Valderes, M., Effective Relationship Management In Oil & Gas Projects: Insights from Procurement Executives, Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, volume 1, issue 1, pp. 1-27, April 2015.
  • Handfield, Robert, Cousins, P., Lawson, B., and Petersen, K., “How Can Supply Management Really Improve Performance?  A Knowledge-Based Model of Alignment Capabilities”, Journal of Supply Chain Management, 51(3), July 2015 3-17.
  • Golden, J. Handfield, R., Morrison, B., and Spall, K.  “Innovation Diffusion for Biofuels and Biochemicals”, Sustainable Business:  An International Journal, December 2014 (44), pp. 1-35.
  • Golden, J, and Handfield, R.  “Commentary:  The Emergent Industrial Bioeconomy”, Industrial Biotechnology, 10(6), December 2014, 1-6.
  •  “Strategic Sourcing Management’s Mindset:  Strategic Orientation and Its Implications”, forthcoming inInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, with E. Eltawany, L. Giunipero, April 2014. ***Awarded the “Outstanding Paper of 2014” by IJPDLM Editorial Team***
  • Huang, Yung-Yun, and Handfield, Robert, “”Measuring the Benefits of ERP on Supply Management Maturity Model:  A “Big Data” Method”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, January 30, 2014.
  • Handfield, Robert, and Feldstein, Josh, “Managing the Orphan Drug Pipeline”, American Drug and Health Benefits, vol. 6, no 9, December 2013.
  • Wieland, Andreas, and Handfield, Robert, “The socially responsible supply chain: An imperative for global corporations “, Supply Chain Management Review, September 2013.
  • Handfield, Robert, Straube, Frank, Pfohl, Hans-Christian, and Wieland, Andreas. Global Trends and Strategies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Embracing Complexity for Competitive Advantage, BVL International, Berlin, 2013.
  • Handfield, Robert, “Research Brief: Manufacturing Analytics”, International Institute for Analytics (IIA), April, 2013.
  • Handfield, Robert, “The Future of Procurement”, Research Brief, published by KPMG Procurement Advisory Group, KPMG International, August 2013.

Selected Refereed Journal Publications

  • Yanhong, Shi, and Handfield, Robert, Recruiting and retention issues for foreign logistics companies in China: Observations from the Field, International Journal of Business Logistics, 15(3) 2012, 163-179.
  • Rosetti, C., Handfield, R., and Jetly, Guarav, “A Model of Independent Agents for Studying the Pharmaceutical Industry”, Journal of Simulation, 2012, 6, 215–226.
  • Paul Cousins, Benn Lawson, Robert Handfield, and Ken Peterson, “Breakthrough Scanning, Supplier Knowledge Exchange and New Product Development Performance”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28(6), November 2011, 930-942.
  • Stonebraker, Jeffrey, Handfield, R., Kirkwood, C., “Impact Factors as a Method of Assessing OM Journals” Journal of Operations Management. Vol. 30, 24-43, 2012.
  • Stonebraker, Jeffrey, Edwards, Steven, and Handfield, Robert, “NC State’s Supply Chain Resource Cooperative educates in the real-world”, Interfaces, November-December 2011, vol 41, no 6.
  • Handfield, Robert, “The Reviewers Hated It!: What to do When Your Results Don’t Add Up”, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Fall, 2011, vol. 47 no. 4, pp. 11-16.
  • Rosetti, C., Handfield, R., and Dooley, K., Forces, Trends, and Decisions in Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Physician Distribution and Inventory Management, 2011, 49(8).
  • Paul Cousins, Benn Lawson, Robert Handfield, and Ken Peterson, “Strategic purchasing, supply management practices and buyer performance improvement: an empirical study of UK manufacturing organisations”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 47, No. 10, 15 May 2009, 2649–2667.
  • Paul Cousins, Benn Lawson, Robert Handfield, and Ken Peterson, Knowledge Sharing in Collaborative Product Development: The Impact of Formal and Informal Socialization Processes, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 26: 156-172, 2009. Winner of the Emerald Citations of Excellence Award, 2013. (Chosen as one of the top 50 articles from the top 300 management publications worldwide that have had proven impact since their publication date based on impact factor).
  • Nicole Darnell, Robert Handfield, and Jason Jolley “Environmental Management Systems and Green Supply Chain Management: Complements for Sustainability?”, Business Strategy and the Environment, vol. 18, 30-45, 2008.
  • Sriram Narayanan, Ann Marucheck, and Robert Handfield, “Electronic Data Interchange: Meta-Analysis, Research Review and Future Directions”, Decision Science Journal, 2009, 40(1): 121-163.
  • Handfield, R., Petersen, K., Cousins, P. and Lawson, B. (2009). An Organizational Entrepreneurship Model of Supply Management Integration and Performance Outcomes. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 29(2):100-126. Authors contributed equally.
  • Handfield, R., Warsing, D., and Wu, X., (2009) “Inventory policies in a fuzzy uncertain supply chain environment,” European Journal of Operational Research, 197(2), 609-619.
  • Petersen, K., Handfield, R., Lawson, B. and Cousins, P. (2008). Buyer Dependency and Relational Capital Formation: The Mediating Effects of Socialization Processes and Supplier Integration. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 44(4), 53-65. Authors contributed equally.
  • Crook, R., Giunipero, L., Handfield, R., Reus, and Williams L., “Antecedents and Outcomes of Supply Chain Effectiveness: An Exploratory Study”, Journal of Managerial Issues, vol. 20, no. 2, Summer 2008, pp. 161-177.
  • Terpind, Regis, Krause, Daniel, Handfield, Robert, Tyler, Beverly, “Buyer-Supplier Relationships: Derived Value Over Two Decades”, Journal of Supply Chain Management, vol 44, issue 2, April 2008, pp. 22-55.
  • Christopher W. Craighead, Jennifer Blackhurst, M. Johnny Rungtusanatham, Robert B. Handfield (2007). “The Severity of Supply Chain Disruptions: Design Characteristics and Mitigation Capabilities.” Decision Sciences 38(1), 131–156. Winner of the Emerald Citations of Excellence Award, 2011. (Chosen as one of the top 50 articles from the top 300 management publications worldwide that have had proven impact since their publication date based on impact factor).
  • Krause, Daniel, Handfield, Robert, and Tyler, Beverly, “The Relationship Between Supplier Development, Commitment, Social Capital Accumulation and Performance Improvement” Journal of Operations Management special issue on Organization Theory and Supply Chain Management, 25(2007) 525-548.


  • Handfield, Robert, Patient-Focused Network Integration in BioPharma: Strategic Imperatives for the Years Ahead, Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, June, 2013.
  • Handfield, Robert, Biopharmaceutical Supply Chains, Distribution, Regulatory, Systems, and Structural Changes Ahead, Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, June, 2012.
  • Bozarth, C., and Handfield, R. Operations and Supply Chain Management, 3rd edition (undergraduate textbook), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011. Initial sales estimated in year 1 at 8000+ units, cumulative units > 25,000.
  • Monczka, Robert, Handfield, Robert, Giunipero, Larry, and Patterson, James, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, Cincinnati, OH: Southwestern Publishing, College Division, 5th edition, 2011.
  • Gupta, A., Handfield, R., Creating a Global Supply Chain Strategy: Application of the Supply Chain Maturity Model, chapter in “International Business in the 21st Century: Three Volumes”, Los Angeles: ABC-Clio, 2011.
  • Handfield, Robert, “Preparing for the Worst: Sustaining Suppliers Through the Economic Crisis.” Book chapter in Managing Global Supply Chain Relationships: Operations, Strategies and Practices, Editors: Drs. Barbara Flynn, Michiya Morita and Jose Machuca. New York: Busieness Reference, IGI Global, 2011, pp. 1-15.
  • Handfield, Robert, Planning for the Inevitable: The Role of the Federal Supply Chain in Preparing for National Emergencies, IBM Center for Government, Published Report, July, 2010.
  • Handfield, Robert, and McCormack, Kevin, Supply Chain Risk Management: Minimizing Disruption in Global Supply Chains. Auerbach Publications, 2008.
  • R. Handfield, Supply Market Intelligence, Auerbach Publications, 2006.
  • Handfield, Robert B. and Ernest L. Nichols, Jr., Supply Chain Redesign: Transforming Supply Chains Into Integrated Value Systems, Prentice Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey (2002) (ISBN: 0-13-060312-0).