Decision Science Digest: May 30, 2024

BALTIMORE, MD, May 30, 2024 –

EDITOR’S NOTE: Decision Science Digest is a periodic communique highlighting recent peer-reviewed research published by INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences, across its 17 journals. This issue highlights four press releases based on the findings of new peer-reviewed articles.

  • Increasing Efficiency & Care in the Hospital System: Reducing a Nurse’s Workload by One Patient Leads to 14% Speedup in Service to Other Patients (INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management)
  • Incorporating Diversity Equally: What Group Size Reveals About Perceptions on Diversity (INFORMS journal Organization Science)
  • New Research Reveals Bias in Awards for NBA Players When a High-Profile Player is on the Team (INFORMS journal Organization Science)
  • Embracing a New Normal: How Restaurants Can Adjust to Stay Afloat in a World of DoorDash and Grubhub (INFORMS journal Service Science)

Investing in Nursing Pays for Itself: Focusing on Nursing Staff Schedules Increases Quality of Care, Length of Hospital Stays

New research in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management finds that reducing a nurse’s workload by one patient is associated with a 14% service speedup for every patient under the nurse’s care. The United States is more than a decade into the worst nursing shortage crisis in history. To demonstrate the benefits of investing in nursing, the paper, “Frontiers in Operations: Valuing Nursing Productivity in Emergency Departments,” uses data of patient visits to the emergency department of a major U.S. hospital to study how service speed of a patient varies with the state of the emergency department, including the workloads of the nursing staff. The results show that adding one more nurse to the busiest shift of each day can shorten stays and avert $160,000 in lost patient wages per 10,000 visits. The reduction in service times also frees up capacity for treating more patients and generates $470,000 in additional net revenues for the hospital per 10,000 visits. Link to full article.

Group Size Shapes Diversity Perceptions: What it Means for Real-world Situations

Group size shapes diversity-related perceptions, according to new research in the INFORMS journal Organization Science. The work identifies ways to kickstart diversification efforts. Literature shows that people make different inferences about larger groups than smaller ones – with consequences for diversity management. The researchers say this can produce sensitivity to a lack of diversity in large groups and limited sensitivity to a lack of diversity in small groups. Because each group member represents the outcome of a hiring decision, larger homogeneous groups signal a diversity problem more strongly than smaller groups. In the paper, “Group Size and Its Impact on Diversity-Related Perceptions and Hiring Decisions in Homogeneous Groups,” the research shows decision-makers are more likely to diversify larger homogeneous groups than smaller ones and view larger homogeneous groups as (1) more likely to have resulted from an unfair selection process; (2) less diverse; (3) more likely to face diversity-related impression management concerns; and (4) less open to the influence of newly added underrepresented members. These findings extend to S&P 1500 corporate boards, showing that larger homogeneous boards are more likely to add women or racial minorities as directors. Larger homogeneous boards are also rarer than expected, whereas smaller homogeneous boards are surprisingly abundant. Link to full article.

Reaching Celebrity Status? Why Having a High-Profile Teammate Could Hurt Other Teammate’s Chances at Standing Out

Social evaluations happen in stages. First, judges filter a broad pool of candidates to a smaller subset for detailed assessment. Then, the chosen group undergoes a closer examination, during which, winners are selected. At both stages, judges are susceptible to bias. New research in the INFORMS journal Organization Science reveals bias stemming from the presence of high-status teammates is beneficial to their colleagues in the first stage of evaluations because high-status actors increase the visibility of their team members . However, in the second stage of evaluations, the presence of high-status teammates decreases their colleagues’ chances of winning because lower-status actors might seem less worthy when evaluated alongside high-status individuals. The paper, “High-Status Teammates: Award Evaluation in the National Basketball Association,” showcased these findings using data from the NBA. Link to full article.

The Impact of Online Food Ordering & Delivery Services on Restaurant Success

The restaurant industry is experiencing dramatic transformations under the crossfire of online food ordering and delivery services such as DoorDash and Grubhub. The study, “Dine in or Takeout? Trends on Restaurant Service Demand amid the COVID-19 Pandemic,” finds that while these delivery services will continue to skyrocket, people still enjoy a dine-in experience. But now, restaurants thriving amid this new online delivery service trend are those with premium dining experience. Research shows that offering limited service and budget with online ordering and delivery channels were still successful. The research also shows that regionally, exurban restaurants seem to trend toward takeout mode, whereas urban areas did not see a notable modal migration between dine-in and takeout from restaurants. Link to full article.




As the largest professional association for the data and decision sciences, INFORMS members leverage mathematics and scientific methodologies to help organizations and governments at all levels make better, data-driven decisions. With more than 12,000 professional and student members from around the world, INFORMS members work to transform data into information, and information into insights that save lives, save money and solve problems. 



Ashley Smith


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Decision Science Digest: May 30, 2024

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Ashley Smith
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Catonsville, MD
[email protected]

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