Real-time schedule adjustment decisions: A case study

Daesik Hur, Vincent A. Mabert, Kurt M. Bretthauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Service capacity management has been extensively studied and successfully applied in many industries, with an emphasis on tour/shift scheduling and assignment decisions. However, few studies have addressed real-time work schedule adjustment decisions made necessary by demand uncertainty and/or labor supply disruption. This case study deals with the real-time work schedule adjustment decision and investigates the association of managerial experience, workforce mix (full- and part-time staff), and information accuracy with managers' adjustment decisions. We designed an experiment that involved practicing service managers from a McDonald's franchise who provided their adjustment decisions for a given set of test scenarios. Their decisions were analyzed and evaluated via a controlled experiment. Using profitability as the primary performance measure, the study identifies the following outcomes: First, senior managers of a store with a higher proportion of part-time staff made more adjustments and attained slightly higher profitability than junior managers, when all employees accepted adjusted schedules. Second, managers of a store with a higher proportion of part-time staff were able to make slightly higher profits, particularly when capacity shortages occurred. And third, to achieve the majority of the benefits from schedule adjustments, it is sufficient to search for information that correctly identifies the direction of demand changes, rather than identifying the exact magnitude of the changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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