Operations, Information & Decisions

Department website: oid.wharton.upenn.edu

Concentration advisors: Profs. Monique Guignard-Spielberg (569 JMHH, 215.898.8235) and Maria Rieders (517 JMHH, 215.898.0535)

Computer-based management systems and analytic approaches to decision making are increasingly vital to effective management in a range of industries across public and private sectors. As organizations develop and implement sophisticated decision-support systems, they increase the demand for managers who have the expertise to understand, create, and profitably exploit rapidly developing management technology. There is also a growing demand for skilled professionals who can effectively manage the operations encompassing the manufacturing and distribution of products and services. The Operations and Information Management curriculum prepares students to meet these challenges by providing a rigorous foundation of coursework across different but complementary disciplines: decision processes, information systems, and operations management/management science.

A concentration in OIDD consists of four courses (not including OIDD 101). Students can either take a general program of four OIDD courses or follow a designated track for a more focused program. It is suggested (but not required) that students who elect to pursue a program outside the designated tracks consult the concentration advisor to discuss appropriate course sequences and combinations.

OIDD Tracks

Decision Processes (DP)

The DP track establishes rigorous scientific foundations for describing, predicting, and improving the processes through which individuals and groups collect data and information, form judgments, and make decisions. This program examines descriptive theories and empirical research on human behavior that identify systematic biases in judgment and heuristics, or rules of thumb, that individuals and groups use to cope with complex decision-making and negotiations environments. It also examines the ways in which individuals and groups can make better decisions given their biases and information-processing limitations.


  • OIDD 290: Decision Processes
  • OIDD 291: Negotiations

Plus 2 CUs from:

  • OIDD 220: Introduction to Operations Management
  • OIDD 261: Risk Analysis and Environmental Management
  • OIDD 292: Advanced Topics in Negotiation
  • OIDD 299x: Judgment and Decision Making Research Immersion
  • OIDD 319: Agents, Games and Evolution
  • OIDD 321: Management Science
  • OIDD 469: Advanced Topics in Information Strategy and Economics
  • MKTG 211: Consumer Behavior
  • PSYCH 253: Thinking and Decisions (formally PSYCH 153)
  • PSYCH 265: Behavioral Economics in Psychology (formally PSYCH 165)

Information Systems (IS)

The rapid technological progress in the computing sector and the dramatic decline in the cost of computer power have fueled an investment boom in information technologies. In addition to the traditional roles of designing, building, maintaining, and managing information systems, information technologists are now called upon to understand how technology can be used to create new corporate strategies, products, and organizations.

The IS track is designed to provide the necessary understanding of both technical and business issues relating to information systems. This program is ideal for students interested in managing information technology as a technologists, general managers, or consultants. In addition, this program provides a good supplement to engineers or other technologically-sophisticated students who wish to obtain greater exposure to managerial issues, or students in finance or management who wish to better understand the role of technology in their core disciplines.


  • OIDD 210: Management Information Systems

Plus 3 CUs from:

  • OIDD 105x: Developing Tools for Data Access and Analysis
  • OIDD 224: Service Operations Management
  • OIDD 290: Decision Processes
  • OIDD 311: Business Computer Languages
  • OIDD 314: Enabling Technologies
  • OIDD 315: Data Base Management Systems
  • OIDD 316: Systems Analysis, Design, and Implementation
  • OIDD 319: Seminar in Decision Systems
  • OIDD 325: Computer Simulation Models
  • OIDD 410: Decision Support Systems
  • OIDD 469: Advanced Topics in Information Strategy and Economics

Operations Management/Management Science (OM/MS)

The design, production, and distribution of goods and services are the core activities around which all firms and economies are built. The OM/MS track allows students to build a fundamental understanding of the trade-offs to consider when managing the development of products and services, as well as the operations used to produce them and fulfill customer requirements.

The need to effectively manage the production of goods and services has also sparked the development of a number of useful mathematical tools. Besides their direct application to operational problems, these management-science techniques have been broadly applied to a wide variety of other economic activities, from the pricing of financial instruments to decisions concerning mark-down policies in retailing.

The OM/MS track addresses central issues necessary to understanding production and service operations in today’s global economy. This program prepares students for immediate careers in consulting and analytic strategy support for companies, as well as future graduate studies in economics and business.

Required 1 CU from:

  • OIDD 220: Process Management in Manufacturing
  • OIDD 321: Management Science

Plus 3 CUs from:

  • OIDD 220: Process Management in Manufacturing
  • OIDD 224: Service Operations Management
  • OIDD 321: Management Science
  • OIDD 397: Retail Supply Chain Management (0.5 CU)
  • OIDD 415: Product Development

Other courses (in the OIDD and Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE) departments, which fit within the student’s program of study) may be substituted for one of the electives with permission from the concentration advisor.

Possible alternatives include:

  • OIDD 290: Decision Processes
  • OIDD 210: Management Information Systems
  • OIDD 399: Independent Study
  • ESE 210: Introduction to Dynamic Systems
  • ESE 250: Logistic, Manufacturing, and Transportation Systems
  • ESE 303: Stochastic Systems Analysis and Simulation
  • ESE 304: Optimization Techniques
  • ESE 444: Project Management
  • ESE 501: Multicriteria Decision Making

Marketing & Operations Management

Please visit the Marketing & Operations Management page.

Please visit the department website for more detailed information.