Zeynep Ton

Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Management


Zeynep  Ton Zeynep Ton is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Ton is currently examining how organizations can design and manage their operations in a way that satisfies employees, customers, and investors simultaneously. Her earlier research focused on the critical role of store operations in retail supply chains. Ton identified operational problems at stores that reduce retail supply chain performance as well as store profits and traced these problems to the design of store processes and the management of store labor.

Her work has been published in a variety of journals, including Organization Science, Production and Operations Management, and Harvard Business Review. In addition, she has written numerous cases that explore different approaches to managing retail stores and labor. Prior to MIT Sloan, Ton spent seven years as an assistant professor in the Technology and Operations Management area at Harvard Business School, where she was awarded the HBS Faculty Teaching Award for teaching excellence.

Ton holds a DBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Faculty Media

  • Retailing During the Holidays

    Gear and sports retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) announced that its 143 stores will be closed the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as "Black Friday," a day that many retailers...

  • The Simple Reason Costco Is Winning and McDonald's Is in Trouble

    The takeaway? While higher wages and better employee treatment isn't the only ticket to success, it leads to happier, better-working employees, who give the employer a lower turnover rate and in...

  • Why Kenyan Workers Deserve Better Wages

    What’s not in dispute is that capitalism has produced tremendous wealth, but the great sin of capitalism is that it has not distributed that wealth well enough.

  • Life as a Hotel Chambermaid: ‘If I Didn’t Finish in Time, I Had to Work Unpaid Until I Did’

    The poor working conditions of British hotel staff are movingly illustrated in a graphic story by a former chambermaid – a Polish artist living and working in London.

  • Starbucks Falls Short After Pledging Better Labor Practices

    Even in service sectors where stores compete aggressively on price, “bad jobs are not a cost-driven necessity but a choice,” concluded Zeynep Ton, who teaches at the M.I.T. Sloan School of...

  • Pay Employees More, Get More

    Underinvestment in people leads to inventory problems, customer service problems and lower sales, lower profits

  • Why Top Fund Managers Want Better HR

    Chief executives love to declare that “people are our greatest asset.” It is rarely clear what they mean, but a group of investors managing approximately $2.5 trillion is seeking to find out.

  • On CNN's GPS: Why Happier Employees Mean Higher Profits

    Zeynep Ton explains a counter-intuitive job strategy: invest in workers to help company profits.

  • The Four Commandments of the Good-Jobs Strategy

    But a few apostate companies have strayed from that decree by offering decent wages, good benefits and predictable work schedules. Shockingly, the wayward are prospering.

  • Tedx Cambridge: Zeynep Ton video

    MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Zeynep Ton draws on a decade of research to challenge whether there really is a tradeoff between offering low prices and paying low wages.


Contact Information

Office: E62-590
Phone: (617) 715-4838
Email: zton@mit.edu
Support Staff
Name: Tyler Morse
Phone: 617-253-2656

Teaches In

The Good Jobs Strategy: Why Good Jobs Are Good For Business
Understand how organizations can manage their operations so that both the employer and the employee win.