Alejandro Germán Frank is an Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and a Research Affiliate at the MIT Industrial Performance Center. At UFRGS, he is the Chair of Graduate Studies — Industrial Engineering Program, and the Director of the Organizational Engineering Group. He received Ph.D. (2013) and M.Eng. (2009) degrees in Industrial Engineering from UFRGS, Brazil, and a B.Eng. degree in Industrial Engineering (2007) from the National University of Misiones (UNaM), Argentina. He has been a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), and at Politecnico di Milano (Italy). His research is devoted to the interface between operations and technology management, with emphasis on digital transformation, Industry 4.0, and new business models in manufacturing firms. He also leads, in partnership with MIT IPC, the field research on the relationship between digital technologies and work in Brazilian manufacturing companies, which is part of the MIT Work of the Future Initiative.
Phone (Office): +55 51 3308 4794
Professional address: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Osvaldo Aranha 99 — Sala LOPP 508 — 5º andar, Centro, 90035190 — Porto Alegre, RS — Brazil.
Language skills: Spanish (native), Portuguese (native), English (advanced), German (advanced), Italian (advanced).
Scopus: H-index 18, Total citations: 1183 (last update: December 2020)
SciVal: Field-Weighted Citation Impact: 9.30 (last update: December 2020)
Google Scholar: H-index 17, Total citations: 1,877 (last update: December 2020)
Top published papers: 19 papers in top citation percentiles (SciVal) and 17 papers in 3–4 stars (AJG/CABS)
Fields of specialization
Management of Engineering; Operations strategy; Business of Manufacturing; Business Model Innovation; New Product Development; Servitization (service innovation in product firms); Product-Service Systems; Technology Adoption; Digital Transformation; Industry 4.0.
- Ph.D. Industrial Engineering / Operations Management (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Feb. 2013), with doctoral exchange program at Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
— M.S. Industrial Engineering / Product Development (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Feb. 2009)
— B.S. Industrial Engineering (Universidad Nacional de Misiones, Argentina, Mar. 2007)
2020– International Advisory Board, ASAP Service Management Forum, Italy
2019– Research Affiliate, MIT Industrial Performance Center, USA
2019– Director of Graduate Studies, Industrial Engineering Program, UFRGS, Brazil
2018–19 Visiting Scholar, MIT Industrial Performance Center, USA
2018 Associate Editor (Strategy and Organization), Production Journal
2017– Editorial Board, European Journal of Innovation Management
2016– Associate professor (with tenure), UFRGS, Brazil
2016– Research Scientist — National Council for Research (CNPq), Brazil
2016–18 Director of Undergraduate Studies, Industrial Engineering Program, UFRGS, Brazil
2014– Director, Organizational Engineering Group, UFRGS, Brazil
2014–16 Editor-in-chief, Produto & Produção (in Portuguese)
2013–16 Assistant Professor, UFRGS, Brazil
2010-12 Lecturer, UFRGS, Brazil
— Chair of the best Graduate Program in Industrial Engineering in Brazil (2019–present), according to the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Link: www.producao.ufrgs.br
— Chair of the best Undergraduate Program in Industrial Engineering in Brazil (2016–2018), according to the Brazilian Ministry of Education. First position achieved during my administration. Link: www.producao.ufrgs.br
— Founder and director of a research group in Brazil. Supervision of 15 researchers (1 Postdoc, 6 PhD candidates, 3 masters, and 5 research assistants). Link: www.ufrgs.br/neo
— Creation and coordination of an executive course for manufacturing companies: “Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation”. Link: www.ufrgs.br/neo/esp40
— Recipient of a grant for highly productive scientists given by the Brazilian Research Council
— Supervision of a PhD thesis highly commended by 2017 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards / Operations and Production Management category
— Director of six granted research projects
— PhD thesis winner of the research awards given by the Latin American Association of Business Schools (2012), and by the Brazilian Association of Industrial Engineers (2013)
— Research methods for Technology and Operations Management (3 cr./weeks, 60h for PhD)
— Operations Strategy (intensive, 45h, 2 weeks, for MBA)
— Industry 4.0 and digital transformation (intensive, 30h, 2 weeks, for MBA)
— Research Methods in Industrial Engineering (intensive, 15h, 1 week, for MBA)
— Stakeholders management in engineering projects (intensive, 30h, 2 weeks, for MBA)
— Quality Management and Engineering (intensive, 45h, 2 weeks, for MBA)
— Information and Knowledge Management (intensive, 45h, 2 weeks, for MBA)
— Industrial Competition (4cr./week — 80h for B.S. Industrial Engineering)
— Quality management and control (4cr./week — 80h for B.S. in Engineering)
Journal review services
Research Policy; Int. J. of Production Economics; European J.of Innovation Manag.; Information & Manag.; International Journal of Production Research; Knowledge Management Research and Practice; R&D Manag.; Industrial Manag.+Data Systems; J.of Eng. & Tech. Manag.; J.of Knowledge Manag.
International professional network
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States): Industrial Performance Center (1 granted international visiting scholar fellow + 2 ongoing research projects).
- University of South Carolina (United States): Prof. Giuliano Marodin (2 published and 2 forthcoming papers)
- Southern Denmark University (Denmark): Prof. Wolfgang Gerstlberger (1 published and 2 forthcoming papers)
- Politecnico di Milano (Italy): Profs. Mariano Corso and Luca Gastaldi (1 forthcoming paper), Prof. Antonio Ghezzi (5 published and 1 forthcoming paper),
- Grenoble INPG (France): Profs. Marie-Anne Le Dain, Lilia Gzara & Vàlery Merminod (2 published and 1 forthcoming papers + 1 granted international cooperation project).
- Universidade da Beira Interior (Portugal): Prof. Fernando Santos (1 double degree PhD candidate in co-tutele).
- Università Degli Studi di Bergamo (Italy): Profs. Giuditta Pezzotta & Paolo Gaiardelli (1 published and 1 working paper).
Awards, fellowships and external recognition
2020 Newton Fund – Confap grant for international mobility (with Prof. Charbel Chiapetta Jabbour, University of Lincoln, UK)
2020 Supervision of a PhD thesis winner of the POMS 2020 Emerging Economies Doctoral Student Award (Guilherme B. Benitez), Production & Operations Management Society.
2020 Best Track Paper Award at V EPPGEP-ANPEPRO conference (with Érico Marcon)
2020 Best Track Paper Award at V EPPGEP-ANPEPRO conference (with Laura Lerman)
2019 Best Track Paper Award at IV EPPGEP-ANPEPRO conference
2019 Outstanding contribution in Reviewing, Int. J. Production Economics (Elsevier)
2018 CAPES Visiting Scholar Fellow. $25K for 9 months at MIT IPC, USA
2018 Supervision of a PhD thesis highly commended by 2017 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards (Operations & Production Mgmt. category)
2017 Best professor award — School of Engineering — UFRGS
2017 Best Track Paper Award at XVII Seprosul conference
2017 Best Track Paper Award at EPPGEP-ANPEPRO conference
2016 Best Track Paper Award at IX SIII-Red4
2014 Best Track Paper Award at 3th CIKI conference
2013 Best PhD thesis award, Brazilian Association of Industrial Engineering (ABEPRO)
2012 Emerald/CLADEA Management Research Fund Award
2013 CNPq Post-doctoral research fellow
2012 CNPq Visiting PhD Fellow. $15K for 7 months at Politecnico di Milano, Italy
2009-12 CNPq PhD Fellow at UFRGS, Brazil
2007-09 CAPES Master Fellow at UFRGS, Brazil
Sponsored research projects
2019–20 The relationship between digital technologies and work in Portugal, Brazil and the US. Funding source: MIT Portugal seed funding. $90K. Role: Team member
2018–21 Digital transformation towards the implementation of the Industry 4.0 concepts. Funding source: CNPq (Brazilian Council for Research, Brazilian Federal Government). $10K. Role: Project director
2018–20 Stakeholder management for the development of Industry 4.0 in regional ecosystems. Funding source: FAPERGS (RS State Research Council). $10K. Role: Project director
2016–18 Knowledge transfer between stakeholders for business model innovation aiming for servitization of manufacturing firms. Funding source: CNPq (Brazilian Council for Research). $10K. Role: Project director
2015–18 Digital collaborative conception for customer–supplier integration. Funding source: FAPERGS (RS State Research Council) / INRIA-CNRS (France). $30K (Brazilian team) and $40K (French team). Role: Brazilian project director
2013–16 Knowledge transfer models adapted to different organizational structures. Funding source: CNPq (Brazilian Council for Research). Funding source: CNPq (Brazilian Council for Research). $15K. Role: Project manager and team member
Ongoing PhD supervisions
— Carolline Paslauski. PhD thesis, UFRGS. Research theme: Industry conditions influencing servitization decisions
— Daisy Valle Enrique. PhD thesis, double degree UFRGS and Universidade da Beira Interior (Portugal). Research theme: Manufacturing flexibility in the Industry 4.0 context
— Érico Marcon. PhD thesis, double degree UFRGS and Grenoble INP (France). Research theme: Sociotechnical systems approach for a better implementation of Industry 4.0
— Lucas Dalenogare. PhD thesis, double degree UFRGS and Grenoble INO (France). Research theme: Service triads and service networks for digital PSS
— Verônica Tabim. PhD thesis, industrial PhD between UFRGS and Randon S.A. Research theme: A framework for the selection of Industry 4.0 technologies
Concluded PhD supervisions
— Guilherme Brittes Benitez. PhD thesis, UFRGS. Research theme: Innovation ecosystem for Industry 4.0 solution development
— Néstor Ayala. PhD thesis (2017), UFRGS. Research theme: Service supplier involvement in servitization
— Adriana Reis. PhD thesis (2016), UFRGS. Research theme: Multicriteria framework for technology selection in water treatment systems
Ongoing M.S. supervision: 2
Concluded M.S. supervision: 14
Concluded B.S. final project: 41
BENITEZ, G.B.; FERREIRA LIMA, M.J., AYALA, N.F., FRANK, A.G. (2021). Industry 4.0 technology provision: the moderating role of supply chain partners to support technology providers. Supply Chain Management: an International Journal. In press.
LERMAN, L.V., GERSTLBERGER, W. FERREIRA LIMA, M. FRANK, A.G. (2021). How governments, universities, and companies contribute to renewable energy development? A municipal innovation policy perspective of the triple helix. Energy Research & Social Science, 71, 101854. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101854
AYALA, N.F.; VALLE, D. E.; GZARA, L.; LE DAIN, M.A.; FRANK, A.G. (2020). IT-enabled NPD activities to support buyer-supplier collaborations: an NDP stage-based approach for different collaboration configurations. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 29 (3), 101633. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsis.2020.101633
BENITEZ, G. B. ; AYALA, N. F. ; FRANK, A. G. (2020). Industry 4.0 innovation ecosystems: an evolutionary perspective on value cocreation. International Journal of Production Economics, v. 228, p. 107735, 2020. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2020.107735
KAHLE, J.H.; MARCON, É.; GHEZZI, A.; FRANK, A.G. (2020). Smart Products value creation in SMEs innovation ecosystems. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 156, p. 12–24, 2020. DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120024
BUENO, A. F., GODINHO FILHO, M., & FRANK, A. G. (2020). Smart Production Planning and Control in the Industry 4.0 context: A systematic literature review. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 106774. DOI: 10.1016/j.cie.2020.106774
FRANK, A. G.; DALENOGARE, L. S.; AYALA, N. F. (2019). Industry 4.0 technologies: implementation patterns in manufacturing companies. Int. Journal of Production Economics, 210, 15–26. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2019.01.004
FRANK, A. G.; MENDES, G.; AYALA, N. F.; GHEZZI, A. (2019). Servitization and Industry 4.0 convergence in the digital transformation of product firms: A business model innovation perspective. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, v.141, p. 341–351. DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2019.01.014
AYALA, N. F.; GERSTLBERGER, W.; FRANK, A. G. (2019). Managing servitization in product companies: the moderating role of service suppliers. Int. Journal of Operations & Production Management, v.39, p. 43–74. DOI: 10.1108/IJOPM-08–2017–0484
MARCON, E.; MARCON, A.; DAIN, M. L.; AYALA, N. F.; FRANK, A. G. (2019). Barriers for the digitalization of servitization. Procedia CIRP, v. 83, p. 254–259. DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2019.03.129
DALENOGARE, L. S.; BASEGGIO, M. M.; AYALA, N. F.; Le DAIN, M.; FRANK, A. G. (2019). The contribution of Smart Glasses for PSS. Procedia CIRP, v. 83, p. 318–323. DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2019.03.307
DALENOGARE, L. S.; BENITEZ, G. B.; AYALA, N. F.; FRANK, A. G. (2018). The expected contribution of Industry 4.0 technologies for industrial performance. Int. Journal of Production Economics, 204, p. 383–394. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2018.08.019
TORTORELLA, G.; FRANK, A.G.; FETTERMANN, D.C. MARODIN, G.A. (2018). Lean manufacturing implementation: leadership styles and contextual variables. Int. Journal of Operations and Production Management. DOI: 10.1108/ijopm-08–2016–0453
MARODIN, G.; FRANK, A.G.; TORTORELLA, G.L.; NETLAND, T. (2018). Lean product development and lean manufacturing: Testing moderation effects. Int. Journal of Production Economics, v. 203, p. 301–310. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2018.07.009
FRANK, A. G.; GERSTLBERGER, W.; PASLAUSKI, C. A.; LERMAN, L. V.; AYALA, N. F. (2018). The contribution of innovation policy criteria to the development of local renewable energy systems. Energy Policy, v. 115, p. 353–365. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.01.036
MARODIN, G.; FRANK, A.G.; GODINHO FILHO, M.; TORTORELLA, G.L. (2017). The moderating effect of Lean Supply Chain Management on the impact of Lean Shop Floor Practices on Quality and Inventory Turnover. Supply Chain Management, p. 1–13. DOI: 10.1108/scm-10–2016–0350
AYALA, N.F.; PASLAUSKI, C. A.; GHEZZI, A.; FRANK, A.G. (2017). Knowledge sharing dynamics in service suppliers’ involvement for servitization of manufacturing companies. Int. Journal of Production Economics, v.193, p.538–553. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2017.08.019
MARODIN, G. A.; FRANK, A. G.; TORTORELLA, G. L.; FETTERMAN, D.C. (2017). Lean production and operational performance in the Brazilian automotive supply chain. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, v. 31-mar, p. 1–16. DOI: 10.1080/14783363.2017.1308221
FRANK, A. G.; CORTIMIGLIA, M. N.; RIBEIRO, J. L. D.; OLIVEIRA, L. S. (2016). The effect of innovation activities on innovation outputs in the Brazilian industry: Market-orientation vs. technology-acquisition strategies. Research Policy, v. 45, p. 577–592. DOI: j.respol.2015.11.011
MARODIN, G. A.; FRANK, A. G.; TORTORELLA, G. L.; SAURIN, T. A. (2016). Contextual factors and lean production implementation in the Brazilian automotive supply chain. Supply Chain Management, v. 21, p. 417–432. DOI: scm-05–2015–0170
FRANK, A. G.; DALLE MOLLE, N.; GERSTLBERGER, W.; BERNARDI, J. A. B.; PEDRINI, D.C. (2016). An integrative environmental performance index for benchmarking in oil and gas industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, v. 133, p. 1190–1203. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.064
CORTIMIGLIA, M. N.; GHEZZI, A.; FRANK, A. G. (2015). Business model innovation and strategy making nexus: evidences from a cross-industry mixed methods study. R&D Management, v. 46, p. 414–432. DOI: radm.12113
GHEZZI, A.; CORTIMIGLIA, M.; FRANK, A.G. (2014). Strategy and business model design in dynamic telecommunications industries: A study on Italian mobile network operators. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, v. 90, p. 346–354. DOI: j.techfore.2014.09.006
FRANK, A.G.; RIBEIRO, J.L.D.; ECHEVESTE, M.E. (2014). Factors influencing knowledge transfer between NPD teams: a taxonomic analysis based on a sociotechnical approach. R&D Management, v. 45, 2014. DOI: radm.12046
FRANK, A. G.; RIBEIRO, J. L. D. (2014). Influence factors and process stages of knowledge transfer between NPD teams: A model for guiding practical improvements. Int. Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, v. 31, p. 222–237. DOI: 10.1108/IJQRM-04–2012-0046
FRANK, A. G.; SOUZA, D. V.; ECHEVESTE, M.E.S.; RIBEIRO, J. L. D. (2013). A framework for decision-making in investment alternatives selection. Int. Journal of Production Research, v. 28jun, p. 1–18. DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2013.802393
FRANK, A.; ECHEVESTE, M. (2012). Knowledge transfer between NPD project teams: A method for the identification of improvement opportunities. Int. Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, v. 29, p. 242–264. DOI: 10.1108/02656711211216126
FRANK, A.G.; RIBEIRO, J.L.D. (2012). An integrative model for knowledge transfer between new product development project teams. Knowledge Management Research and Practice (Print), v. 12, p. 215–225, 2012. DOI: 10.1057/kmrp.2012.57
Papers under review process
MEINDL, B.; MENDONÇA, J. AYALA, N.F., FRANK, A.G..The four smarts of Industry 4.0: evolution of ten years of research and future perspectives. Under review at Technological Forecasting and Social Change.
BENITEZ, G.B.; GHEZZI, A.; FRANK, A.G. Industry 4.0 platforms: a typology using a boundary-spanning perspective. Under review at Expert Systems with Applications.
ENRIQUE, D.V., MARODIN, G., BIGARES CHARRUA, F., FRANK, A.G. Implementing Industry 4.0 for flexibility, quality and productivity improvement: technology arrangements for different purposes. Under review at Int. J. of Production Research.
ALMEIDA, R.; AYALA, N.F., BENITEZ, G.B., KLIEMANN NETO, F. FRANK, A.G. How to assess investments in Industry 4.0 technologies? A multicriteria framework for economic, financial, and sociotechnical factors. Under review at Production Planning and Control.
DALENOGARE, L., LE DAIN, M.A., AYALA, N.F., PEZZOTTA, G., FRANK, A.G. Inter-firm collaboration for smart product-service systems: a social exchange theory perspecitve. Under review at Int. J. of Operations and Production Management.
FRANK, A.G.; AYALA, N.F.; MENDES, G.H. Service customization and service business model of product firms in turbulent environments: a capability-based switching cost perspective. Under review at Industrial Marketing Management (major review requested in January 2020).
MERMINOD, V.; LE DAIN, M.A.; FRANK, A.G. Configurations of knowing in practice to manage glitches in collaborative product development with suppliers. Under review at Supply Chain Management (minor review requested in December 2020).
AYALA, N.F.; LE-DAIN, M.; PEZZOTTA, G.; GAIARDELLI, P.; FRANK, A.G. The contribution of white, grey and black box collaboration with service suppliers for servitization of product firms. Under review at Int. J. of Production Economics (submitted in April 2020).
FERREIRA-LIMA, M.J.; UHR, D.; FRANK, A.G. Exploring the role of technological change in the relationship between Strategic Innovation and Business Model Innovation. Under review at Journal of Engineering and Technology Management (submitted in March 2020).
FRANK, A.G.; BERNARDI, J.A.; FERREIRA-LIMA, M. The moderating role of industrial cooperation in the innovation input–output relationship. Under review at European Journal of Innovation Management (minor review requested in April 2020).
“The influence of innovation barriers on industrial cooperation: evidences from a large-scale innovation survey” with Mateus Ferreira Lima for submission to Research Policy.
Complete list of published papers (journals & conferences): check out here.
Keynote addresses and named lectures
2020 Keynote, Automation and Control industry association, webinar, June 2020.
2020 Keynote, VDI industrial webinar, webinar, June 2020.
2019 Lecture, Universidade Estadual do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, November
2019 Keynote, IX Int. Knowledge & Information Conference, Porto Alegre, November
2019 Keynote, IVECO Innovation conference, Minas Gerais, October
2018 Keynote, MIT-SENAI Annual Meeting, Boston, September
2018 Keynote, SENAI Conference, Porto Alegre, June
2018 Lecture, Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, March
2017 Keynote, General Motors’ Kaizen Week, Gravatí, October
2017 Lecture, Universidad Nacional de Misiones, Oberá — Argentina, September
2017 Keynote, Association of Machinery Builders, Porto Alegre, September
2017 Lecture, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fé, April
2016 Keynote, Association of ICT companies, Porto Alegre, November
2016 Keynote, Association of Automation Enterprises, Porto Alegre, August
2016 Lecture, Hestia Incubator Workshop, Porto Alegre, June
2015 Keynote, Iberoamerican Project Management Conference, Mendoza, September
2015 Keynote, Healthcare Business Annual Meeting, HCPA, Porto Alegre, September
2015 Keynote, Petrobras Conference on Communities of Practice, Rio de Janeiro, August
2014 Lecture, G-SCOPE research meeting, Grenoble INP, France, October
2013 Keynote, Petrobras Conference on Communities of Practice, Rio de Janeiro, August