Barbara Withers

Barbara Withers
Phone: (619) 260-2380
Office: Coronado 224

Professor of Management Science

  • PhD, University of Colorado, Management Science and Business Policy
  • MBA, University of Colorado, Management Science
  • BA, Florida Presbyterian College, Experimental Psychology

Barbara E. Withers is professor of operations and project management in the University of San Diego School of Business, which she joined in 1989. She has more than 15 years experience working in business and government, including serving as regional economist for the Municipality of Anchorage (Alaska) and working in a variety of construction management roles for ARCO Alaska at the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska.

Withers's research interests are in the areas of quality management and quality systems, especially international quality systems and standards. Her empirical studies on these topics have appeared in such journals as International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, Industrial Marketing Management, International Journal of Production Economics, Journal of Business Logistics, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, European Journal of Marketing, Production and Inventory Management Journal, Integrated Manufacturing Systems: International Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management and European Management Journal.

In addition, she has produced more than 70 published conference proceedings, a book section and several monographs. Another scholarly interest of Withers is innovative education and experiential learning. Withers has consistently sought new ways to contribute to student learning. She has used consulting projects as a learning vehicle for students since 1993. For the past seven years, she has internationalized these opportunities by having her students undertake consulting projects for companies in Brazil and South Africa. Withers uses another experiential setting for teaching project management. Each fall her MBA students utilize project management tools and concepts to plan and implement the renovation of the house of a senior citizen in the University of San Diego community. The project, named The Thanksgiving House, has been a huge success as a vehicle for learning project management and contributing to the local community.

Areas of Expertise

ethics, corporate social responsibility


  • University Professorship Award, 2005
  • USD Experiential Education Committee's Innovation Award, 2003
  • The PMI Community Advancement Through Project Management Award, Project Management Institute
  • University Professorship Award, 1997
  • The National Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research, 1995

Selected Publications

  • Partovi, F., Withers, B., Bradford, II, J. (2002) Application of Analytic Hierarchy Process to ISO 9000 Certification, Production and Inventory Management Journal, Q 1-2,, 13-22.
  • Tamir, S., Withers, B. (2016) Insiders’ Perspectives on Project Based Learning – A comparison of US and Israeli approaches, International Journal for Business Education(156), 8-21.
  • Withers, B., Ebrahimpour, M., Liu, Z. (2014) Corporate social responsibility in the supply chain: A look at the Chinese perspective, The Journal of Business and Management Landscapes, 3(1), 15-29.
  • Withers, B., Ebrahimpour, M. (2013) The Effects of Codes of Ethics on the Supply Chain: A Comparison of LEs and SMEs, Journal of Business and Economic Studies, 19(1), 24-40.
  • Withers, B., Ebrahimpour, M. (2001) The Impacts of ISO 9000 Registration on Operations in European Firms: A Case Analysis, Integrated Manufacturing Systems: International Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 12(2), 139-151.