Karen A Brown

Karen Brown is a professor of operations and project leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Managaement, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2006. For the past decade, she has spent a significant amount of time in China working with executives from a wide range of enterprise types and delivering Executive MBA classes and executive seminars on operations management and project leadership. She also has spent considerable time studying managerial practices within and outside the U.S.

Her research, executive seminar, and consulting activities have been in large-scale manufacturing operations, health care, not-for-profit organizations, medical devices companies, electric utilities, military facilities, and government agencies. Clients have included Boeing, Medtronic, the U.S. Navy, St. Gobain, Emerson, Sony, Philips, Maersk, PACCAR, Degussa, Shanghai Media Group, Shanghai Stock Exchange, Eli Lilly, and others.

Prior to her arrival at Thunderbird, she taught at the University of Washington, Seattle University, IESE in Barcelona, Spain, and the China-Europe International Business School in Shanghai and Beijing.

Dr. Brown holds B.S., M.B.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Washington and was certified as a PMP by the Project Management Institute in 2000.

Professor Brown’s research interests focus on socio-technical systems, examining the links between human and technical factors in operating environments. Her work has appeared in California Management Review, Interfaces, Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Production Research, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Project Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Human Relations, Business Horizons, and other outlets. Dr. Brown is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Operations Management, and has served as a member of the editorial review boards of Academy of Management Journal and Decision Sciences Journal. Her teaching cases have been published by Harvard Business School, Thunderbird, and the European Case Clearing House, as well as appearing in several textbooks.

Dr. Brown has received recognition for excellence in teaching on numerous occasions, including the Decision Sciences Institute’s national award for instructional innovation.

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