Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version


Document Type



data envelopment analysis; DEA; fixed cost allocation; resource allocation; services; service co-creation


Data envelopment analysis (DEA), by its design, was not intended

for resource allocation but for measuring relative efficiency of decision-making

units. Despite this, many researchers have successfully applied this modelling

technique to a variety of resource and cost allocation decisions in order to

improve operational efficiencies. This paper is a comprehensive review and

classification of such articles. The papers were classified by industry and by

DEA model-orientation. The findings of this paper show that existing models

predominately apply DEA to mass service industries (e.g., banking), thus,

revealing the opportunity for researchers to further develop DEA-based

resource allocation modelling toward improving the operational efficiencies of

other service industries (e.g., professional services). To guide researchers to

this end, we offer a discussion of the use of DEA modelling when the service

provider and the customer are both resources needing to be allocated, in other

words, using DEA to model professional or co-created services.

Published in

International Journal of Services and Operations Management

Citation/Other Information

20(1), 86-101