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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Three essays in operations management Geng, Xin


There are three topics in operations management presented in this dissertation. Each topic deals with a specific issue encountered by managers from various organizations. In the context of non-profit operations, we study a two-customer sequential resource allocation problem whose objective function has a max-min form. For finite discrete demand distribution, we give a sufficient and necessary condition under which the optimal solution has monotonicity property. However, this property never holds with unbounded discrete distributions. Then, we look at a service system with two servers serving arriving single class jobs. Servers care about fairness, and they can endogenously choose capacities in response to the routing policy. We focus on four commonly seen policies and examine the two-server game where the servers' objective functions have a term that reflects fairness. Theoretical results concerning the existence and uniqueness of the Nash equilibrium are proved for some policies. Numerical studies also provide insights on servers' off-equilibrium behaviours and the system efficiency under different policies. Finally, suppose that a firm has heterogeneous servers who provide service with different quality levels, and that there exists a learning curve of the servers so that the quality can be improved by accumulating experience in serving customers. As customers decide their service procurement based on the quality and system congestion, what pricing scheme should the firm adopt to achieve optimal revenue in the long run? We compare a traditional pricing scheme with a proposed one, and theoretically establish the superiority of the proposed pricing scheme. Based on both theoretical and numerical evidence, we characterize the sensitivity of some parameters with respect to the comparison.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada