GSC Prof Channels Love for Learning & Service
“I have found that the only thing that does bring you happiness is doing something good for somebody who is incapable of doing it for themselves.” Global supply chain management professor Scott Sampson keeps this quote from David Letterman hanging in his office. In essence, it’s what Sampson is all about.
“If I feel like I have impacted people for good, it’s just tremendous how much satisfaction comes out of that,” Sampson says. “I feel driven to see if we can make people’s lives better and if we can help them become more capable and more enthusiastic about what they need to do.”
Well-known in the industry for his research and academic writing, Sampson specializes in service operations management and design and is considered the father of the process chain network analysis concept.
In one of his favorite published works, “Value Paradoxes and the Time Value of Value,” Sampson focused on how things such as financial value don’t often correlate with other measures of value.
“It’s about improving people’s well-being,” says Sampson of the article, which won the 2015 Best Article Award in the journal Service Science. “I think in the business discipline, we need to understand this more. Companies ultimately will be successful to the degree at which they impact people for good.”
While growing up in Providence, Utah, Sampson developed his curiosity and his love for learning. At sixteen, he began an early-enrollment program at Weber State University, studying computer science and electrical engineering. After serving an LDS mission in the Philippines, he attended BYU and earned his bachelor’s degree in human resource management in 1988.
Sampson went to graduate school at the University of Virginia, earning his MBA in general management and his PhD in operations management in 1993. He is currently the Thorsell Professor of Business and Service Operations Management and teaches operations management and customer relationship management classes. In 2015, he earned the Marriott School’s Outstanding Faculty Award.
Sampson says he hopes he can help the students he teaches to cultivate the same kind of curiosity and enthusiasm he has about helping to improve his field.
“I think that if people have a passion about learning, their abilities will rise to whatever is necessary,” Sampson says.