Michael A. Lapré

Michael A. Lapré

E. Bronson Ingram Research Professor of Operations Management

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

Organizational learning curves, operating profitability

Subject Areas

Operations Management & Quantitative Methods


Professor Michael A. Lapré is an internationally known expert on organizational learning curves.

Awards & Accomplishments

Professor Lapré has been awarded the Shingo Research Prize, the Stan Hardy Award (twice), Wickham Skinner Awards for Best Paper (thrice), and the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research at Owen.


Professor Lapré's articles have appeared in California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Management Science, Production and Operations Management, and Queueing Systems

On A Personal Note...

Before his doctoral studies at INSEAD, Professor Lapré served as an Officer and Operations Research Analyst in the Royal Dutch Navy.

Research Interests

Professor Lapré's interests center on improving organizational performance, organizational learning curves, quality, productivity, customer dissatisfaction, operating profitability, and airlines.


Ph.D., Management, INSEAD (France), 1997

Drs., Operations Research, Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands), 1991

Select Publications


Knowledge Driven Quality Improvement

Mukherjee, A.S., M.A. Lapré, L.N. Van Wassenhove. 1998. Knowledge driven quality improvement. Management Science 44(11-2) S35-S49.

Behind the Learning Curve: Linking Learning Activities to Waste Reduction

Lapré, M.A., A.S. Mukherjee, L.N. Van Wassenhove. 2000. Behind the learning curve: Linking learning activities to waste reduction. Management Science 46(5) 597-611. [Lead article]

Creating and Transferring Knowledge for Productivity Improvement in Factories

Lapré, M.A., L.N. Van Wassenhove. 2001. Creating and transferring knowledge for productivity improvement in factories. Management Science 47(10) 1311-1325. [Lead article]

Learning across Lines: The Secret to More Efficient Factories

Lapré, M.A., L.N. Van Wassenhove. 2002. Learning across lines: The secret to more efficient factories. Harvard Business Review 80(10) 107-111.

Managing Learning Curves in Factories by Creating and Transferring Knowledge

Lapré, M.A., L.N. Van Wassenhove. 2003. Managing learning curves in factories by creating and transferring knowledge. California Management Review 46(1) 53-71.
Shingo Research Prize

Performance Improvement Paths in the U.S. Airline Industry: Linking Trade-offs to Asset Frontiers

Lapre, M.A., G.D. Scudder. 2004. Performance improvement paths in the U.S. airline industry: Linking trade-offs to asset frontiers. Production and Operations Management 13(2) 53-71. [Lead article]

Wickham Skinner Award for best paper

Stan Hardy Award for best paper published in OM in 2004

Organizational Learning Curves for Customer Dissatisfaction: Heterogeneity across Airlines

Lapré, M.A., N. Tsikriktsis. 2006. Organizational learning curves for customer dissatisfaction: Heterogeneity across airlines. Management Science 52(3) 352-366.

Mishandled baggage

Lapré, M.A.  2011.  Reducing customer dissatisfaction: How important is learning to reduce service failure?  Production and Operations Management 20(4) 491-507. [Lead article]


Wickham Skinner Award for best paper - Runner-up

Stan Hardy Award for best paper published in OM in 2011


The Organizational Learning Curve

Lapré, M.A., I.M. Nembhard. 2010.  Inside the organizational learning curve: Understanding the organizational learning process.  Foundations and Trends in Technology, Information and Operations Management 4(1) 1-103.


Inside the learning curve

Lapré, M.A.  2011.  Inside the learning curve: Opening the black box of the learning curve.  M.Y. Jaber, ed. Learning Curves: Theory, Models, and Applications.  CRC Press, Boca Raton, 23-35.

Learning by experimentation

Bohn, R.E., M.A. Lapré.  2011.  Accelerated learning by experimentation. M.Y. Jaber, ed. Learning Curves: Theory, Models, and Applications.  CRC Press, Boca Raton, 191-209.