Tava Maryanne Lennon Olsen

Business School, The University of Auckland, New Zealand


Agriculture is changing in many ways. This talk gives an overview of these changes, with a particular focus on agricultural supply chains. Like many supply chains around the world, agricultural supply chains are subject to digital disruption in a variety of interesting ways. I will outline what these disruptions mean for agriculture today and make some projections for the future. I will particularly discuss agricultural cooperatives and how they shift the power in the supply chain. New Zealand case studies will be presented. Finally, I will also discuss new agricultural technologies and precision agriculture and what they mean for research in this important area.


Dr. Tava Olsen is Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management and Head of Department of Information Systems and Operations Management at the University of Auckland Business School.  Prior to joining Auckland, she was Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management in the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, which she joined after serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Tava received her B.Sc. (honours) in Mathematics from the University of Auckland and her Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University.  Tava’s research interests include supply chain management and the stochastic modelling of manufacturing, service, and healthcare systems.

Tava has taught a wide variety of courses, including operations management, service operations, healthcare management, simulation, critical thinking, and project management, to a range of audiences from bachelors to executives.  She is the Director of the Centre for Supply Chain Management. Tava is currently the Area Editor for the Operations and Supply Chain area of Operations Research, is an Associate Editor for Management Science and M&SOM, and is a senior editor of Production and Operations Management. She is a past president of the Manufacturing and Service Operations society and has twice been awarded the Auckland Business School’s research excellence award.