Anita Carson

Senior Associate Dean, Faculty & Research

Larz Anderson Professor in Operations & Technology Management, Operations and Technology Management

Dr. Anita L. Carson is the Larz Anderson Professor in Operations & Technology Management and department chair at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. Prior to joining Boston University, Anita taught at Wharton, Harvard, and Brandeis Business Schools. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, and a doctorate in Business Administration. Before pursuing her doctorate, she worked for 5 years for General Mills and the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics. Her manufacturing experiences are therefore diverse: ranging from fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt to nuclear submarines.


She investigates how service process design impacts quality and efficiency. In particular, she has studied care delivery processes in hospitals. Her research finds that a lack of internal integration results in a culture of workarounds that wastes up to 10% of staff’s time. She leverages principles from operations management to help hospitals decrease workarounds and create an improvement-oriented culture. Her research has won numerous awards including a Best Dissertation award from AcademyHealth, a Sloan Industry Studies Fellowship, a best paper award from California Management Review, seven best paper proceedings awards from the Academy of Management, and outstanding abstract from AcademyHealth.


Professor Carson teaches operations management, service operations, quality improvement, healthcare operations,  operations strategy and supply chain management at the undergraduate, MBA, executive, and doctorate levels. She has written case studies and conducted research on process improvement in collaboration with hospitals such as Kaiser Permanente, Cincinnati Children’s, Cleveland Clinic, Brigham and Women’s, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She has taught her cases in executive education programs for Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Macy’s Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She has presented her research at Boston Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Improvement Science Research Network, and Vermont Oxford Network.

Selected Research Presentations