Doctoral Student

Tami Kim

​​Tami is a doctoral student in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School. ​​Some of her current projects focus on consumer empowerment and firm transparency. Tami graduated from Harvard College with an A.B in Government.

Journal Articles

  1. Creating Reciprocal Value Through Operational Transparency

    Ryan W. Buell, Tami Kim and Chia-Jung Tsay

    We investigate whether organizations can create value by introducing visual transparency between consumers and producers. Although operational transparency has been shown to improve consumer perceptions of service value, existing theory posits that increased contact between consumers and producers may diminish work performance. Two field and two laboratory experiments in food service settings suggest that transparency that 1) allows customers to observe operational processes (process transparency) and 2) allows employees to observe customers (customer transparency) not only improves customer perceptions, but also increases service quality and efficiency. The introduction of this transparency contributed to a 22.2% increase in customer-reported quality and reduced throughput times by 19.2%. Laboratory studies revealed that customers who observed process transparency perceived greater employee effort, and thus were more appreciative of the employees and valued the service more. Employees who observed customer transparency felt that their work was more appreciated and more impactful, and thus were more satisfied with their work and more willing to exert effort. We find that transparency, by visually revealing operating processes to consumers and beneficiaries to producers, generates a positive feedback loop through which value is created for both parties.

    Keywords: operational transparency; service management; Production management; organizational performance; labor; behavioral operations; Service Operations; Service Delivery; Consumer Behavior; Labor; Organizational Design; Operations; Service Industry; United States; Kenya;


    Buell, Ryan W., Tami Kim, and Chia-Jung Tsay. "Creating Reciprocal Value Through Operational Transparency." Management Science (forthcoming). View Details
  2. A 'Present' for the Future: The Unexpected Value of Rediscovery

    Ting Zhang, Tami Kim, Alison Wood Brooks, Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton

    Although documenting everyday activities may seem trivial, four studies reveal that creating records of the present generates unexpected benefits by allowing future rediscoveries. In Study 1, we use a "time capsule" paradigm to show that individuals underestimate the extent to which rediscovering experiences from the past will be curiosity-provoking and interesting in the future. In Studies 2 and 3, we find that people are particularly likely to underestimate the pleasure of rediscovering ordinary, mundane experiences compared to rediscovering extraordinary experiences. Finally, Study 4 demonstrates that underestimating the pleasure of rediscovery leads to time-inconsistent choices: individuals forgo opportunities to document the present but then prefer to rediscover those moments in the future. Underestimating the value of rediscovery is linked to people's erroneous faith in their memory of everyday events. By documenting the present, people provide themselves with the opportunity to rediscover mundane moments that may otherwise have been forgotten.

    Keywords: History; Information Management; Cognition and Thinking;


    Zhang, Ting, Tami Kim, Alison Wood Brooks, Francesca Gino, and Michael I. Norton. "A 'Present' for the Future: The Unexpected Value of Rediscovery."Psychological Science 25, no. 10 (October 2014): 1851–1860. View Details

Other Publications and Materials

  1. Cooks Make Tastier Food When They Can See Their Customers

    Ryan W. Buell, Tami Kim and Chia-Jung Tsay

    While existing theory suggests that increased contact between customers and employees diminishes efficiency, recent research demonstrates that when employees can see their customers, the beneficiaries of their efforts, the quality and efficiency of the service they deliver can actually improve. Studies in food service show how revealing customers to employees can lead employees to feel more appreciated, enhancing their job satisfaction and willingness to exert effort.

    Keywords: operational transparency; service delivery; service operations; service management; Service Industry;


    Buell, Ryan W., Tami Kim, and Chia-Jung Tsay. "Cooks Make Tastier Food When They Can See Their Customers."Harvard Business Review 92, no. 11 (November 2014): 34–35. View Details