Conferences & Industry Partnerships

The Fishman-Davidson Center hosts conferences and industry partnerships annually, in conjunction with other schools and businesses around the world. These events, featuring leading practitioners, retailers and researchers together, help to discuss problems and identify opportunities for collaborative research and academic curriculum.

Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing (COER)

The Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing (COER) is focused on advancing retail operations from a combined academic and business perspective. We hold an annual conference in June, alternating between Harvard Business School and The Wharton School, where we present cutting edge academic research for participants to exchange ideas, thoughts, and challenges. COER attracts companies and academics from various parts of the world including Argentina, China, Great Britain, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and the United States.

COER began as the Harvard/Wharton Merchandising Effectiveness Project in 1996, started by Marshall Fisher of The Wharton School and Ananth Raman of Harvard Business School. The academics in COER have published dozens of papers in leading journals and many case studies that are taught at top business schools. The work produced by COER was summarized recently by Fisher and Raman in the book “The New Science of Retailing,” Harvard Business School Press. COER has facilitated the work of numerous doctoral students, many of whom currently are on the faculties of leading business schools.

COER grew out of the understanding that while the retail industry now has the analytical tools to make merchandising more effective, there are still many areas where academia can help to push the retail industry forward from an operational perspective.

We welcome any companies that would be interested in joining our efforts (participants at our annual conferences, beta site for a research study, etc.); please contact Anna C. Sheen at

To browse topics, presentations, and agendas from our past COER Conferences, please visit our archives page.

The 2024 COER Conference will be held on June 17-18 at Harvard Business School.

Empirical Operations Management (OM) Conference

The Empirical OM Conference is a two-day event that is held on an annual basis at The Wharton School. The objective of the conference is to establish a community of scholars with a common passion for empirical investigation in Operations Management. During these two days, participants can exchange experiences and ideas, discuss methodological issues, and grow together as a group of colleagues with a common research interest.

The conference seeks papers that are empirical in nature and based on econometric analysis. The unit of analysis and the theoretical problem can vary widely though, yet should be of interest to the Operations Management community. Approximately eight papers will be selected for the conference, based on quality, innovativeness, and fit into specific modules. Each module will be assigned an expert discussant. In keeping with the spirit of having a small workshop as opposed to a formal conference, there will be substantial time for informal and integrative discussions in addition to the paper presentations.

To browse topics, presentations, and agendas from our past Empirical OM Conferences, please visit our archives page.

The 2024 Empirical OM Conference will be held on October 17-18 at The Wharton School.