The Pennsylvania State University, B.S.
Lehigh University, M.B.A., Supply Chain Management
Cornell University, M.S., Applied Economics and Management

Research Interests

Supply Chain Management
Continuous Improvement
Employee Incentive Systems
Finding Beneficial Uses for Waste Materials

Phillip Coles has an undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University, an MBA in Supply Chain Management from Lehigh University and an MS in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University.

In addition to his formal education, he also studied lean and continuous improvement at The Kaizen Institute, the Manufacturer's Resource Center and the Toyota Supplier Support Center.

Before joining Lehigh, Professor Coles taught various business courses at The Pennsylvania State University, Syracuse University, Alvernia University, and the Cornell University Summer College. He has over 30 years of industry experience, including as Vice President of Strategic Management, Project Manager and Kaizen Facilitator in charge of the continuous improvement program at a multi-million dollar produce company. In this role, he was able to visit several leading manufacturing companies such as Dell Computer and Toyota Motor Company to learn about their supply chains.

He also runs a consulting firm where he has assisted companies to increase efficiencies through improved plant layouts and balancing of assembly lines, in addition to aiding green-fields startups and company expansions.


Papers under Review

  • Xiaoli Fan, Miguel I. Gómez, Thomas Björkman, and Phillip Coles. “Willingness to Pay, Quality Perception, and Local Foods: The Case of Broccoli” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review. Submitted



  • Fan, X., M. Gomez, P. Coles. 2015, Are Consumers Willing to Pay Price Premiums for Newly Developed East Coast Broccoli Varieties? An Experimental Study. NAREA & CAES Joint Annual Meeting, Newport, RI


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