Proceedings of ICCPR2007:
International Conference on
Comprehensive Product Realization 2007
June 18-20, 2007, Beijing, China
Product Lifecycle Management in Support of Green Manufacturing:
Addressing the Challenges of Global Climate Change
Ligia-Varinia Barreto1 Hannah Anderson2 Alyssa Anglin3 Cynthia Tomovic4
Department of Organizational Leadership and Supervision,Purdue University,USA
Abstract: Across the globe, more companies are
pursuing economically viable green manufacturing in
order to efficiently reduce or eliminate pollutants and
hazardous substances. Companies are seeing the
economic impact of green manufacturing because it
creates sustainable development, allows opportunity for
re-investment, supports cost saving strategies, and has a
positive impact on the bottom line. These benefits
support many strategic initiatives and provide a
competitive advantage. In order to implement green
processes and products, companies exploit product
lifecycle management (PLM) practices to achieve their
PLM is a process that focuses on managing a product
through its entire lifecycle, from the conception to the
disposal or recycle of the product. PLM helps a business
reduce the use of time, materials, and energy by using a
shared information core. International laws and
standards have a direct effect on the product lifecycle.
Through the PLM information core, companies can
integrate environmentally friendly practices into their
The focus of this paper is to investigate why companies
practice green manufacturing and how PLM supports
environmentally friendly initiatives. The investigated
companies are taken from the Global Round Table on
Climate Change. In particular, this paper examines
how PLM drives green manufacturing to improve
environmental performance while meeting financial and
long-term sustainability. Mechanisms to increase
energy efficiency, de-carbonization, reduction of
harmful emissions, and better land management practices
such as reducing landfill waste will be studied. This
paper also includes a review of interviews and examples
from previous studies.
Keywords: green manufacturing, Product Lifecycle
Management, environmental standards.
∗ Corresponding author: Author 1: email@example.com , Author 2:
firstname.lastname@example.org, Author 3: email@example.com
The rapid consumption of natural resources and the
growing interest in global warming  have motivated
more and more companies to change their manufacturing
strategies and processes and to become more
ecologically sustainable. Thus, in general, there is a
desire to develop innovative manufacturing systems in
order to move from traditional manufacturing to green
Green manufacturing reduces or eliminates the use and
generation of hazardous substances throughout all
phases of a product’s lifecycle . In addition to being
environmentally friendly, green manufacturing has a
positive effect on the bottom line; its implementation
lowers costs, improves production lead time, or increases
product quality . Green manufacturing is seen as a
competitive advantage by companies who can efficiently
use financial resources, technological knowledge, and
operations to implement green manufacturing practices.
In this paper, we investigate why green manufacturing
processes are beneficial to companies and which green
activities are currently in place. Our study includes a
summary of financial impacts, current sustainability
practices, and regulations and policies associated with
green manufacturing. This paper will present the
argument of how Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
can support green manufacturing strategic initiatives and
offer examples of how green manufacturing can be
integrated into PLM processes.
Six companies were selected for this study from the
Global Round Table on Climate Change (GRTCC).
According to the GRTCC website , they bring
together stakeholders from all regions of the world to
discuss and explore areas of potential consensus
regarding core scientific, technological, and economic
issues critical to shaping sound public policies on
Our study closely investigates green manufacturing, the
adoption of environmentally-friendly standards, and
influences to the PLM process because of green
activities. As background, we provide an overview of
these aspects as well as a summary of the companies
used in this study.
Green manufacturing identifies manufacturing methods
that minimize waste and pollution during product design
, Author 4:
and production. The main goal of green manufacturing is
“sustainability” by reducing waste on the spot and by
promoting recycling such that every company does it
part in conserving natural resources for future
generations. Green trends have caused manufacturers’
business needs to change significantly over the past
several years. In fact, green technology has been
identified as a key factor for the overall success of a
Environmental standards and regulations influence
organizations to follow environmental procedures.
“Organizations must comply with governmental
regulations or face immediate and severe consequences.”
. In the past, multinational companies tended to
operate in places where standards are not as high or are
easy to avoid . However, more recently, some
companies have joined to self-regulate and to adopt
polices that surpass the governmental regulations .
Product Lifecycle Management is an integrated,
information-driven approach to improve a product’s life.
It achieves efficiency by using a shared information core
system that helps a business to efficiently manage a
product’s life cycle from design to disposal .
Thus, PLM can be a key component in helping a
business to reduce the use of materials and energy.
(1) Our Companies
The six companies used by our study (FPL Group,
DuPont, General Electric, Toyota, Dow Chemical
Company, and Bayer) were randomly selected from the
GRTCC. To obtain the companies, an initial set of 10
companies was chosen at random. Foundations,
Associations, Chambers of Commerce and Institutes
were not considered. The companies were carefully
inspected in order to secure enough information was
available for the study. Sufficient information was found
for six companies and all research is based on publicly
available data (e.g., ). The
companies of our study are:
• FPL Group, Inc.: one of the largest providers of
electricity-related services. Its principal subsidiary,
Florida Power & Light Company, serves more than
8 million people along the eastern seaboard and
southern portion of Florida.
• DuPont: a company operating in more than 70
countries and offering a wide range of innovative
products and services spanning many markets.
• General Electric (GE): a multinational company
that participates in a wide array of markets. GE is
dedicated to turning imaginative ideas into products;
in 2006, it recorded revenues of $163.4 billion.
• Toyota: a multinational corporation and the second
largest automaker in the world. Toyota Corporation
encompasses Toyota, Lexus, Scion, and parts of
Daihatsu brands, divisions and companies.
• The Dow Chemical Company: incorporated in
1897 and has since expanded into over 175
countries, employs 43,000 people worldwide, and
has annual sales of $49 billion.
• Bayer: a worldwide company that employs 106,000
employees and in 2006 had 29 million EU in net
sales. Bayer’s corporate mission statement includes
the slogan, “Bayer: Science for a Better Life.”
3. Financial Impacts
Competition is crucial in the globalized market of
consumers’ products. It is of high importance to keep up
with a product’s functionality and cost during the life
cycle of the product .
Two of the biggest benefits for a company to pursue
green manufacturing are additional cost saving and
production increase. This is possible because a good plan
enables a company to spend less money by preventing
unnecessary waste rather spending additional money to
dispose of the waste (e.g., zero-emission strategy).
Alternatively, the company may reuse components or
materials which will represent more savings. Managers
consider improvements in environmental performance
one of the basic competitive priorities along with lower
operational costs and production lead time for higher
quality . Moreover, developing efficient (and green)
product and process technologies constitutes the basic
cost and ecological impact parameters. The processes
drive the types of raw materials used, worker’s health
and safety, ecological risk, materials efficiency, and
In order to achieve best sustainable practices, partners
have to cooperate and tap into the know-how of all
parties at all stages of a product. To minimize the risks
and to secure the maximum result, all of them should be
part of the value-adding processes . This leads to the
need for a system such as PLM as we will detail later in
4. Current Sustainable Practices
In this section, we provide a summary of the
sustainability practices for recycling and disposal, energy
consumption, water and air, and product and processes
by our selected companies. Sustainability and in general
controlling resources and waste has significant potential
for improving environmental friendliness while
simultaneously driving improvements in productivity
and costs. Table 1 indicates the presence of recycling
activities and active green disposal practices.
Table 1. Recycling and disposal
(1) Recycling and Disposal
A comprehensive recycling effort and disposal practice
is crucial for reducing waste. The emergence of product
take-back legislation in Europe and current directives in
the U.S. has forced companies to think about how to
dispose their products through efficient recycling,
disassembly, and reuse. There is also a focus on safe
disposal of hazardous materials or substituting those
materials for more environmentally friendly materials
Our companies perform several types of recycling and
disposal that is summarized in Table 1. An entry in the
table indicates a green activity is performed; when
known, additional details are included in the cell. Dow
Chemical’s main recycled products are their plastics.
In fact, North America, Europe, and Asia are all markets
that recycle billions of pounds of plastics. Toyota uses a
set of recycling guidelines, “Toyota Recycle Vision,” to
help minimize their negative environmental impact. For
example, Toyota adjusted product design in the 2004
Sienna minivan and the Camry Solara coupe to replace
substances of concern with “greener” materials.
(2) Energy Consumption
Energy consumption is clearly important in green
manufacturing and is adopted quite varyingly in our
studied companies. Table 2 indicates energy sources
used and green practices are active. “The electricity
industry is the single largest source of industrial
pollution in the world, and one of the largest sources of
greenhouse gas emissions. Over 80 percent of the
world's electricity and 90 percent of U.S. electricity
comes from nonrenewable fossil and nuclear sources”
. Nevertheless, our investigation found that FLP is
the US’ largest developer, owner, and operator of wind
powered generating plants. Half of the energy they
produce comes from natural gas and only 10 per cent
comes from oil.
General Electric has pursued developing engines that use
an effective and environmentally-friendly energy
generation method from landfill gases. When organic
substances decompose, methane, carbon dioxide and
nitrogen are created. Landfill gas is a high-quality
alternative for gas engines.
Bayer is another company that uses organic methods to
create valuable energy. A new project launched in
2005 treats sewer sludge so that bio-gas can be extracted
from the organic content and used for energy generation.
The European Commission is supporting the
development of this process as part of the “Life”
Since 1994, Dow Chemical has reduced energy
consumption by approximately 900 trillion BTU’s.
Their current goal is a 20 percent reduction in the needed
to fabricate one pound of product.
Table 2. Energy consumption
(3) Water and Air Management
Water and air management has received considerable
attention by our studied companies. Table 3 indicates
green activities in water/air management. DuPont strives
to reduce and conserve water at all international and
domestic sites. Moreover, DuPont commits to reduce
water use by at least 30% over the next ten years at
global sites that are located where the renewable
freshwater supply is either scarce or stressed as
determined by the United Nations. For all other sites,
DuPont holds water consumption flat on an absolute
basis through the year 2015, offsetting any increased
demand from production volume growth through
conservation, reuse, and recycle.
Table 3. Water and air management
GE’s Ecomagination program, where financial and
environmental performance work together to drive
company growth, has played a key role in advancing
water reuse and purification technology. GE’s improved
membrane materials and spiral-wound membrane
Companies Fuel Plastics Copper
DuPont X X
Toyota X X
Dow X chemicals
Gas Conserv. Reduction
FPL X X X X
Companies Conserv. Reuse Recycle/
DuPont X X
Toyota X X
Dow reduce waste
element configurations has revitalized its water reuse and
purification system to address fouling, temperature,
pH-value, and contaminants.
Toyota’s "green" complex in California conserves more
than 11 million gallons of drinking water annually. The
plant uses special pipelines that supply recycled water
for cooling and landscaping.
Bayer has been successful in reducing water usage from
2.2 million cubic meters per day (1994-2004) to 1.2
million cubic meters per day in 2005. The company
has also established a wastewater treatment plant to treat
contaminated water and reuse it in daily operations.
Dow Chemical has made a reduction in water use by 38
percent since 1994. Their strategy is to eliminate
wastewater at the source. Dow states they are “above the
goal to reduce wastewater intensity by 50 percent and
are committed to continue source reduction and recycle
efforts to reduce fresh water consumption.” Not only
does Dow focus on eliminating water at the source, but
they have developed activities to recycle wastewater
wherever feasible. To do so, Dow utilizes a variety of
methods including the following:
• Groundwater Water: created streams from
underground water via wells,
• Fresh Surface Water: water captured from
canals, lakes, and rivers,
• Rainwater: captured or stored rainwater,
• Site Level Recycle: on-site water is reused,
avoiding new supply,
• Seawater & Brackish: surface or groundwater is
captured from brackish or seawater sources, and
• Purchased Steam and Condensate Water: use
purchased water on site.
(4) Products and Processes
Products and operational processes of the studied
companies already have noteworthy environmentally
friendly characteristics. Table 4 indicates which
companies have active green products and operational
processes. For example, FLP joined forces with the US
Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) to ask the US
Government to endorse mandatory policies to reduce
carbon dioxide emissions. FPL endorsed the Joint
Statement of the GRTCC committing itself to global
action to alleviate global warming risks while meeting
the need for energy, economic growth, and sustainable
development world-wide. Furthermore, FLP is ambitious
to become a leading green company by using natural gas
as fuel to produce 50 per cent of their electricity.
Currently, nuclear sources constitute 20% and oil
sources only produce 8% of total energy production.
FLP has added wind sources which are soon expected to
bring significant financial benefits.
Table 4. Products and processes
Since 1994 DuPont has reduced their global greenhouse
gas emissions measured as CO2 equivalents by 72% and
have reduced global air carcinogen emissions by 92%.
By 2015, they plan to reduce their air carcinogen
emissions at least 50% from a base year of 2004. DuPont
will introduce fleet vehicles which use the leading
technologies for fuel efficiency and fossil fuel
alternatives. All together, this will bring DuPont’s total
reductions since 1990 to 96%.
Toyota leads the field in lowering emissions and
improving fuel economy in gasoline-powered vehicles.
Toyota not only developed and produced the world's first
mass-produced gas/electric hybrid car, but is also
pioneering fuel cell cars to further reduce air pollutants.
With the help of a wide-range of technologically-savvy
investments, Bayer cut greenhouse gas emissions to 5.6
millions metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2004 and 3.9
million metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2005 as
explained by Bayer’s Sustainability Report for that year.
In total, greenhouse gas emissions throughout the Bayer
Group decreased by over 70 percent from 1990 to 2005.
Dow’s production has increased by 32 percent since
1994 , their total emissions of CO2 have been
successfully reduced by 32 percent. Dow has achieved
this through long-term energy efficiency improvements
and by converting to more climate-friendly technologies.
5. Regulations and Policies
In addition to the aforementioned practices, many
companies are seeking to improve their environmental
performance in order to join consortia, associations, and
projects and to comply with environmental regulations
. Satisfying the regulations and policies is not easy.
For example, the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) regulation
requires that by 2006 all automakers in the European
Union recover 85% of a vehicle’s weight and 95% by
2015. In addition, no lead, mercury, cadmium, or
hexavalent chromium can be used after July 1, 2003.
There are several internal and external factors that
influence a company to follow environmentally friendly
standards. External factors include customers,
competitors, and regulations. This last factor induces
manufacturing to rapidly implement green processes .
Having environmentally friendly standards creates a very
positive reputation with the public, saves cost, and
efficient Fuel efficient Operational
DuPont X X
GE X X X
Toyota X X
Bayer X X (info
promotes new and improved designs. Internal factors
include ethical objectives and the desire to achieve
Some of the studied companies already follow
environmental regulations. For example, General
Electric, Bayer, and Dow follow the Waste Electrical
and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulation when
developing electronic devices. The WEEE directive
requires manufacturers of electrical and electronic
equipment to recycle their products at no consumer cost
and prohibits the use of certain electrical materials. In
addition, both Bayer and Dow abide by the RoHS
Directive which prohibits the use of certain hazardous
substances in electrical and electronic equipment. The
directive bans from the EU market any new electrical
and electronic equipment containing more than agreed
levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium,
polybrominated biphenyl, and polybrominated diphenyl
ether flame retardants .
Other members of our company set follow additional
regulations and policies. DuPont follows the
International Standards Organization (ISO) and agrees
on specifications and criteria that they will consistently
apply to all stages of a product life--in the classification
of materials, in the manufacture and supply of products,
in testing and analysis, and in the provision of services.
To maintain effective management systems for health
and safety protection, Bayer abides to the Health, Safety,
Environment and Quality (HSEQ). The Sarbanes-Oxley
Act of 2002 (SOX) requires all executives to certify the
accuracy of their financial statements and attest to the
processes, controls, and systems used in financial
As the world moves to more standardized international
regulations, organizations will be required to track more
information. Furthermore, integrating stronger and
efficient green activities complicates company planning.
This brings us to the next section on PLM. PLM will be
an integral part of the information systems executives
will need to have in place in order to abide by the
required regulations and to develop sustainable green
6. Product Lifecycle Management
Environmental changes and the implementation of green
manufacturing require a company to change its entire
processes; from product planning and procurement
policies to production and logistics . The PLM
model, as described by  includes five major
categories (plan, design, build, support and dispose)
centered by an information core as shown in figure 1.
PLM is about product data, information and knowledge
combined with people, processes, and technology. PLM
can benefit a company practicing green manufacturing.
For example, the information core will help a company
capture and organize information, avoid the use of illegal
materials, and help identify processes with negative
environmental impact. As stated by : “The Eco &
PLM database manages data about all stages of the
product lifecycle from procurement to disposal or
recycling. This enables the evaluation of whether the
product complies with the environmental laws. It also
facilitates the recording of environmental data and makes
quick product recall possible.”
It is difficult to achieve efficient green manufacturing by
optimizing individual parts of a product. It is essential to
design the product as a whole from planning, through
design and manufacturing, to usage, maintenance and
reuse/recycling/disposal. A sound strategy for product
maintenance and improvement during usage should be
established, and all the life cycle processes are to be well
controlled. By such approach, reuse/recycling activities
are also rationalized, made visible, and controllable.
Such an approach, called Inverse Manufacturing, stresses
the controllability of reuse/recycling processes, closes
product life cycles, including its maintenance which are
also are pre-planned and controlled .
Fig. 1. Relation between green initiatives/PLM. PLM model taken from
Grieves, M (2006).
During the planning and design phases, specifications,
requirements, and functionality of a product need to be
determined. If a company used a common PLM
information core, not only would data and design
information be accessible, but also a library of green
directives and legal issues. When building a new product,
PLM can provide information on facility lay-outs and
knowledge of existing equipment. This information
can pre-determine which facilities are best suited to
practice green manufacturing. The support of a product
relies heavily on sales and distribution. PLM would
provide information on warranties, product performance,
hiring practices, and other product data that would make
the support function more effective.
The disposal phase is the final stage of a product’s life.
PLM provides information on product design and
material make-up which is vital for the recycle and
disposal phase. Simultaneously, methods of efficient
product disposal and recycling are also related to the
planning and design phases of PLM. Thus, the
accessibility and information sharing that PLM provides
supports green manufacturing because not only does it
assist companies’ compliance with environmental
directives and regulations, but it also greatly decreases
wasted time, energy, and materials.
7. Observations and Conclusions
Green manufacturing changes are not easy and they may
not represent an economic benefit in the beginning but as
shown they do represent a good long-term investment.
From our study, we make the following observations
about our studied companies and PLM:
• FLP, an important energy producer for the US,
is engaged in substantial green energy efforts.
More than half of its energy comes from natural
gas and more green expansions are planned.
• DuPont has committed that by 2015 it will
increase revenues from energy efficient
processes and/or significantly reduce green
house gas emissions.
• General Electric has become a leading company
in developing green products and processes
through their Ecomagination program.
Furthermore, GE’s belief that financial and
environmental performance can work together
to drive company growth will enable them to
continue to undertake the world’s biggest
• Toyota leads green efforts in the automotive
industry and is working towards a “Toyota
Recycle Vision”. Many of Toyota’s goals have
been reached due to their global earth charter
that promotes environmental responsibility
throughout the entire company.
• The Dow Chemical Company implementation
of energy efficient processes, chemical
recycling programs, waste water reduction, and
lowered green house gas emissions prominently
demonstrate their commitment to green
• Bayer is working towards sustainable
development by using energy efficiently,
increasing water conservation, more safely
disposing hazardous wastes, and lowering green
house gas emissions. Their goals are sought
with efficient resource management and
future-oriented climate protection activities.
As presented in this paper, similarities between green
manufacturing processes and PLM affirm the
relationship and support the trend towards green
manufacturing. PLM’s objectives emphasize not to waste
time, energy or materials. Green manufacturing also
looks for the conservation of resources and reduction of
waste. Thus, PLM can support green manufacturing
procedures by tightly integrating such practices into the
lifecycle of a product and yielding environmentally
The environmentally-friendly practices seen in our
studied companies indicate green manufacturing is
already a very actively pursued objective. However, to
compete in a global world and to comply with the many
environmental protection regulations and standards is not
easy. The information core of the PLM cycle helps to
lessen this burden by capturing information and storing it
for use by all stages of a product’s life. This
simultaneously leads to competitive advantages and
8. Limitations and Future Work
Our data comes only from published material. Thus, as a
next step, we are seeking to interview company
representatives to obtain additional details. In addition,
more companies will be considered. The companies
could be divided according to their production methods,
ecological practices, and/or products.
In addition to studying companies and their current green
activities, studying the change of green manufacturing
over time might yield significant insights. This involves
charting when and what activities were adopted by
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Ligia-Varinia Barreto is a current Ph.D. student in
the Department of Organizational Leadership and
Supervision at Purdue University, USA. Previously, she
received a Master’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism
Management from Purdue University and Bachelor’s
degree in Ecological Tourism Management from
Catholic University in Ecuador. She has first-hand
field experience working with ecologically-friendly
practices in the industry.
Hannah C. Anderson is receiving her Master’s degree
in Technology with a specialization in Organizational
Leadership and Supervision from Purdue University in
2007. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in
Communication from Purdue University. Ms.
Anderson’s research focuses on experiential learning in
video production programs.
Alyssa Anglin is receiving her Bachelor’s degree in
Organizational Leadership and Supervision from Purdue
University in 2007. She took part in Dr. Cynthia
Tomovic’s class entitled, “Leadership in International
Human Resources”. Ms. Anglin has accepted a position
with Medtronic, Inc. as an Insulin Pump Specialist and
will begin her career in July of 2007.
Cynthia Tomovic, Ph.D., is Professor and former
Department Head in Organizational Leadership (OLS)
and Supervision, and Research Associate in the Center
for Product Lifecycle Management, Purdue University.
She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education
Administration and M.S. in Organizational Behavior at
the University of Michigan, M.Ed. in Educational
Program Evaluation and Research Design and B.A. in
Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Dr.
Tomovic teaches and writes in the area of organizational
leadership and development, globalization, quality
improvement, product lifecycle management, and
assessment in higher education. Her scholarly works
focus on the effects of faculty socialization on
institutional quality; the impact of university-industry
relationships on business/industry and university renewal;
the application of Total Quality Management and ISO
9000 principles, and the implementation of institutional
and student outcome-based assessment and has authored
papers on the human side of quality, human resource
management, leadership, ISO 9000, faculty development,
and assessment in higher education. In 2006, she
founded Main Academy America, a nonprofit
organization that seeks to inspire systems thinking
through leadership and team development for a creative,
inclusive, and sustainable world community by