Professor Robert S. Collins

Manufacturing Management and Strategy


Robert S. Collins is Professor Emeritus of Manufacturing Management and Strategy at IMD. His areas of special interest are: Manufacturing strategy, Supply/demand chain management, Production & operations management, Organizational development and Management education. He has published widely in these fields. He is the recipient of a Literati Award as well of nine case writing awards from ECCH, EFMD and POMS.

Professor Collins has acted as a consultant to international companies in the areas of manufacturing practice and performance benchmarking, manufacturing transformation, supply/demand chain management as well as organizational development and management education. He has designed and directed numerous executive development programs and was a frequent speaker at international conferences and seminars. His sectorial experience is predominantly in automotive components, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, consumer durables, fast-moving consumer goods, manufacturing equipment and machinery as well as process instrumentation and control.

Since joining IMD in 1975, Professor Collins assumed various managerial responsibilities within the Institute including: Associate Dean (IMEDE) 1985-87, (IMD) 1991-92, Director in-company programs 1984-89, 1991-92, Director M2000 1995-97.

He has served as a member of the Advisory Board of European Quality, and served as a member of the Board of the Decision Sciences Institute, the European Operations Management Association, the Operations Management Association and the Production and Operations Management Society. He was a member of the Visiting Committee to the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan since its inception in 1986 and more recently served two successive terms as Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Suleman Dawood School of Business at the same institution.

Professor Collins has held visiting appointments at ESMT, Berlin, Germany, Babson College, Boston, USA, the University of Calgary, Canada and Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

Having studied chemical engineering at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, he went on to obtain his MBA and DBA at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.


"Pan European Manufacturing:  The Road to 1992", European Business Journal, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1989 with R.W. Schmenner and D.C. Whybark.

"Achieving Rigid Flexibility:  Factory Focus for the 1990's", with R.W. Schmenner, European Management Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 4, 1993.

"Taking Manufacturing Advantage of Europe's Single Market" with R.W. Schmenner, European Management Journal, Vol. 13, No. 3, September 1995.

“Lessons from the ‘Made in Switzerland’ Study:  What Makes a World-class Manufacturer?” with C. Cordon & D. Julien, European Management Journal, Vol. 14, No. 6, December 1996.

“Understanding persistently variable performance in plants” with R.W Schmenner, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2007. Literati Award Winner