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Atalay Atasu

Associate Professor

Georgia Institute of Technology

Scheller College of Business



My research expertise is in the field of Sustainable Operations Management, with focus on product take-back and recovery operations. I explore why firms take-back used products and how they should operate when doing so. I explore this in two streams: firms take back used products either for profit making or legislative compliance.

In the first stream of my research, I explore the profit making perspective by looking at how the profitability of product take-back operations is affected by (i) the fundamental supply constraints that are unique in the product take-back context, (ii) the interactions between the market for new and remanufactured products, (iii) product design choices, (iv) consumer perceptions of product reuse/remanufacturing, (v) channel coordination choices under product take-back, and (vi) sales force management in the presence of remanufactured products.

In the second stream of my research, I explore the legislative compliance perspective. This stream originates from interactions with practitioners from the electronics industry (including many of the major global electronics producers) through a number of meetings that I have partly co-organized (with Luk Van Wassenhove) since 2005. These meetings highlighted many open operational problems encountered by firms facing product take-back legislation and led to a series of papers aiming to (i) understand the social and environmental implications of take-back legislation, (ii) identify varying stakeholder perspectives for and against different implementations of it, (iii) explore how such legislation affects product design and fairness, (iv) identify cost allocation mechanisms that can address fairness concerns in collective take-back systems, and (v) point out to the business risks associated with upcoming environmental legislation in different parts of the world. I also try to provide a linkage between existing research and the practice of take-back legislation to shed light on pressing practical problems and how they relate to the traditional operations management perspective.


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