Charles Fine

Charles H. Fine is the Chrysler LGO Professor at MIT Sloan and the founding President and Dean of the Asia School of Business in Kuala Lumpur, a collaboration between the MIT Sloan School and Bank Negara Malaysia. He was a founding co-director of both MIT’s Communications Futures Program and the Tata Center for Technology and Design at MIT. For over 30 years, Professor Fine has taught at MIT Sloan courses in Operations Strategy, Supply Chain Management, Quality Management, and Innovation.

Professor Fine’s recent research focuses on the development of principles for entrepreneurial companies to build operations strategies and capabilities consistent with their business objectives. His previous work addressed strategic supply chain design principles for fast-clockspeed manufacturing and service industries. Fine’s work has supported design and improvement of supply chain relationships for companies in electronics, automotive, aerospace, communications, and consumer products.

Professor Fine also teaches and consults widely with such clients as 3M, Accenture, Agile Software, Alcan, BellSouth, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bombardier, Caterpillar, Chrysler, Delphi Automotive, Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, Embraer, Fluor, GE, GM, Goodyear, HP, Honeywell, Intel, Kodak, Lucent, Mercury Computer, Merrill Lynch, Motorola, NCR, Nokia, Nortel, Oracle, Polaroid, PTC, Research-in-Motion, Rolls-Royce, Sematech, Teradyne, Toyota, TRW, Unilever, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Walsin Lihwa.

He has also served on the board of directors for Greenfuel Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology company that he co-founded, and Brightstar Corporation which was purchased by Sprint.  Fine has also served for over a decade as co-director of an executive education program, Driving Strategic Innovation, which is a joint venture between MIT Sloan and IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland

Professor Fine is the author of Clockspeed: Winning Industry Control in the Age of Temporary Advantage (1998) and the co-author of Faster, Smarter, Greener: The Future of the Car and Urban Mobility (2017) co-written with Venkat Sumantran and David Gonsalvez. He is also a prolific writer of industry articles on quality management, flexible manufacturing, supply chain management, and operations strategy.

  • Chrysler Leaders for Global Operations Professorship, 2009-present
  • Chrysler Leaders for Manufacturing Professorship, 1998-2009
  • Leaders for Manufacturing research liaison chair, 1991-1995
  • Sloan School Teaching Excellence Award  1990-91
  • Leaders for Manufacturing Junior Faculty Research Grant, 1988-1991
  • Arthur D. Little Foundation Research Grant, 1984-1985
  • National Association for Purchasing Management Dissertation Fellowship, 1981-1982
  • Richard D. Irwin Dissertation Fellowship, 1981-1982
  • The U.S. Automobile Manufacturing Industry, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Technology Policy, (joint with R. St. Clair), 1996.
  • Clockspeed:  Winning Industry Control in the Age of Temporary Advantage, Perseus Books, 1998.
  • “Manufacturing Strategy:  A Methodology and an Illustration,” Interfaces, Vol. 15, No. 6, November-December 1985, pp. 28-46, (joint with A. Hax).
  • “Quality Improvement and Learning in Productive Systems,” Management Science, Vol. 32, No. 10, October 1986, pp. 1301-1315.
  • “Managing Quality Improvement,” in Sepehri, M. (ed.) Quest for Quality:  Managing the Total System, Industrial Engineering and Management Press, Atlanta, 1987 (joint with D.Bridge).
  • “A Quality Control Model with Learning Effects,” Operations Research, May-June 1988, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 437-444.
  • “Technology Choice, Product Life Cycles, and Flexible Automation,”  Journal of Manufacturing and Operations Management, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1988, 372-396 (joint with L. Li).
  • “Equilibrium Exit in Stochastically Declining Industries,” Games and Economic Behavior, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1989, 40-59 (joint with L. Li).
  • “Dynamic Process Improvement,” Operations Research, Vol. 37, No. 4, 580-591, (w/E. Porteus).
  • “A Tactical Planning Model for Manufacturing Subcomponents of Mainframe Computers,” Journal of Manufacturing and Operations Management, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1989, 4-34, (joint with S. Graves).
  • “Optimal Investment in Product-Flexible Manufacturing Capacity,” Management Science, Vol. 36, No. 4, 1990,  449-466, (joint with R. Freund).
  • “Cost Estimation Tools to Support Product Design,”Proceedings of the ASME Manufacturing International Conference, March 1990, Atlanta, GA. (joint with Karl Ulrich).
  • “Seasonal Inventories and the Use of Product-Flexible Manufacturing Technology,”  Annals of Operations Research, Vol 26, pp. 351-375, 1990 (joint with Jonathan Caulkins).
  • “Interdisciplinary Product Design Education,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management , Vol. 37, No. 4, November, 1990, pp 301-305 (joint with Steven Eppinger, Karl Ulrich).
  • “Developments in Manufacturing Technology and Economic Evaluation Models,” Logistics of Production and Inventory, S.C. Graves, A. Rinnooy Kan, and P. Zipkin (eds.), in the North Holland Series of Handbooks in Operations Research and Management Science, 1993.
  • “Manufacturing Equipment Development and Sourcing,” Toray Business Review, Nov 1993.
  • “Technology Supply Chains and Business Cyclicality,” Toray Business Review, Nov 1994.
  • “An Empirical Study of Manufacturing Flexibility in Printed Circuit Board Assembly” (joint w/ F. Suarez and M. Cusumano), Operations Research, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 223-240.
  • “Industry Clockspeed and Competency Chain Design:  An introductory essay,” Proceedings of the 1996 Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Conference, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire June 24-25, 1996, pp. 140-144.
  • “Time vs. Market Orientation in Product Concept Development:  Empirically-based Theory Generation,” Management Science, April 1997.  (joint with Gary Burchill)
  • “Power Diffusion in Automotive Supply Chains,” in Proceedings of the Symposium Perspectives of the Automotive Industry into the 21st Century, Institute for International Economic Studies, Tokyo, October 30, 1997.
  • “Biography of a Killer Technology:  Optoelectronics Drives Industrial Growth with the Speed of Light” with L.K. Kimerling, published in 1997 by the Optoelectronics Industry Develoment Association, 2010 Mass Ave, NW, Suite 200, Wash. DC 20036-1023.
  • “Bundling and Pricing of Modular Machine Tools Under Demand Uncertainty,” in Furderer, Ralph and Andreas Herrmann (eds.), Optimal Bundling, Springer, 1998. (co-authored with N. Tonshoff and A. Huchzermeier).
  • “Business Cycles and Productivity in Capital Equipment Supply Chains,” in S. Tayur, Magazine and R. Ganeshan (eds.) Quantitative Models for Supply Chain Management, Boston: Kluwer Press, 1998.  (joint with Edward Anderson).
  • “Industry Clockspeed and Competency Chain Design,” in Comacchio, A., G. Volpato, and A. Camuffo (eds.), Automation in Automotive Industries, New York: Springer, 1999.
  • “Manufacturing Technology Sourcing Practices in the USA,” International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 939-956, 1999.  (joint with T.S. Baines & D. E. Whitney)
  • “Clockspeed-based Strategies for Supply Chain Design,” Spring 1999, Supply Chain Management Review.
  • “Is the Make-Buy Decision Process a Core Competence?” in Moreno Muffatto and Kulwant Pawar (eds.), Logistics in the Information Age, Servizi Grafici Editoriali, Padova, Italy, 1999, 31-63. (joint w/ D. Whitney).
  • “Upstream Volatility in the Supply Chain: The Machine Tool Industry as a Case Study,” Production and Operations Management, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall 2000, pp. 239-261. (joint w/ E. Anderson, G. Parker).
  • “Clockspeed-based Strategies for Supply Chain Design, Production and Operations Management, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall 2000, pp. 213-221.
  • “Automotive Industry:  Internet-Driven Innovation and Economic Performance,” in Robert Litan and Alice Rivlin (eds.), The Economic Payoff from the Internet Revolution, Washington: Brookings Institution, 2001. (joint w/D. Raff).
  • “Rapid Response Capability in Value-Chain Design,” Sloan Management Review, Vol. 43, No. 2, Winter 2002, pp. 69-75. (joint w/ R.Vardan, R. Pethick, J. El Hout).
  • “Automobiles,” in Benn Steil, David Victor and Richard Nelson (eds.), Technological Innovation and Economic Performance, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.  (joint with Daniel Raff).
  • “Are you Modular or Integral?  Be Sure your Supply Chain Knows,”
  • Strategy + Business, Issue 39, 2005.
  • “Modeling tradeoffs in three-dimensional concurrent engineering,” Journal of Operations Management, Vol 23, 2005, pp. 389-403. (with B. Golany and H. Naseraldin)
  • “RFID:  Exploding Edges and Potential for Disruption,” in Claus Heinrich (ed.)
  •  RFID and Beyond:  Growing Your Business through Real World Awareness, Wiley 2005.  (joint with N. Klym and D. Trossen)
  •   “Value Chain Design and Three-Dimensional Concurrent Engineering,” in Ki-Chan Kim (ed.),
  • Business Eco-Systems: Relationships between large and Small Firms, Federation of Korean Industries, 2006.
  • “Technology Roadmapping: A Tutorial,” in Marketing in the Unpredictable World, Amitabha Ghose and Ishita Mukherjee (eds.), ICFAI Research Centre, 2007. (joint with E. Bruce.)
  • “Value network dynamics in 3G-4G wireless communications: a Systems Thinking approach to Strategic Value Assessment,” Journal of Business Research, 2008, (joint with M. Pagani).
  • “Destination Dynamics:  Evolution and Governance of Tourist Destinations, Proceedings of the the 12th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management, Cornell University, June 2011. (joint w/L. Padurean).
  • “Dynamic Performance-Based Business Share Allocation in a Supply Chain with Substitutable Suppliers,” to appear, Operations Research (joint with H. Li and H. Zhang).
  • “The Evolutionary Path for Corporate Sustainability Based on the Double Helix Model: The Case of GM Korea from 2002-2009,” Korea Business Review (KBR vol. 16 no 2, 2012 May, pp. 89-122. (
  • “Assessing trade-offs among multiple objectives for humanitarian aid delivery using expert preferences,” to appear, Production & Operations Management (w/E. Gralla & J. Goentzel).
  • “The Dynamics of Deregulation,” March 2005, MIT Communications Futures Program working
  • paper, March  2005, joint with John de Figueiredo.
  • “A dynamic assessment of VoIP innovation, adoption and the interaction with CALEA regulation,” 2006, (joint w. C. Vaishnav).
  • “Toward a Theory of the Evolution of Business Ecosystems: Enterprise Architectures, Competitive Dynamics, Firm Performance and Industrial Co-Evolution,” joint with Ted Piepenbrock, July 2009.
  • “Intelligent Design:  Toward a Theory of the Evolution of Business Ecosystems,” joint with Ted Piepenbrock, August 2009.
  • “Wafer Size Transitions in the Semiconductor Industry:  Considering an Increase to 450mm,” joint with Gregory, Havel, Piepenbrock, Roth, and Wu, revised May 2009.
  • “Innovation Strategy amidst Complexity,” working paper with Chintain Vaishnav, Dec. 2010.
  • “Sports over IP: Dynamics and Perspectives,” working paper with Emmanuel Blain, May 2010.
  • “The Virtuous Cycle of Business Health Indices for SMEs,” joint with Ki-Chan Kim, Sung-Sang Lee, Ruth Angelie B. Cruz, Edward Keith G. Capoy.  January 2014
  • “A Game Theoretic Model of Inter-firm R&D Dynamics in EUV Lithography,” with Tom Heaps-Nelson.  July 2013.
  • “Mechanisms of problem formulation and solution: a behavioral study of humanitarian transportation planning,” joint with Erica Gralla, Jarrod Goentzel.  September 2013.
  • “Wafer Size Transitions in the Semiconductor Industry Considering an Increase to 450mm,” with Richard Roth, Sergey Naumov.  October 2013.
  • “Problem formulation and solution mechanisms in ill-defined, urgent problems: a behavioral study of humanitarian transportation planning,” revised 2014, joint with Erica Gralla and Jarrod Goetzel.

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