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Indiana University Bloomington

Operations & Decision Technologies

Kelley Advantage

Our Operations, Analytics and Information Systems faculty have written many of the definitive textbooks in the areas of operations, data analysis, database management, networking, and Excel modeling.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Logistics of the American Circus: The Golden Age

2010, Production & Inventory Management Journal

Vincent A. Mabert, Michael J. Showalter


Competitive pressures today require enterprises to continually improve performance for various business activities, such as customer service or waste reduction. One area currently receiving significant attention is the logistics function within organizations. In the last decade, numerous authors have proposed many modern logistics management principles and practices that focus on dimensions such as lean, fast, flexible, and so on. Many of these approaches are not new, but rather have been used and refined by business organizations in earlier times. In this paper, we describe many logistics methods employed by the major circuses more than a century ago. While the technology and terminology of that time were different, similarities with current management thought and practice are evident. Hopefully, by reviewing these logistics activities from a century ago, new ideas about logistics for tomorrow can be formulated.


Mabert, Vincent A. and Michael J. Showalter (2010), "Logistics of the American Circus: The Golden Age," Production & Inventory Management Journal, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 74-90.