James Low

James Low


Emeritus Professor of Marketing, Supply Chain Management




2611 Essex Road

Ann Arbor, Michigan  48104

Academic Programs

  • Marketing

James Low


 Dr. James T. Low has an M.B.A. in Marketing and Operations Research, and Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Michigan. Dr. Low holds the Lifetime CPIM Certification in Production and Inventory Management from APICS, which was originally the American Production and Inventory Control Society. In 2014 and 2015, APICS merged with other supply chain organizations to become ASCM, the Association for Supply Chain Management. Dr. Low is also the first Marketing Ph.D. in the world to become a Certified Jonah and Jonah’s Jonah of the Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute. In the last 30 years, Dr. Low has spoken on Theory of Constraints topics at more than 175 meetings and conferences, dealing with applications in manufacturing, marketing, accounting, operations research, and organizational change. He has also authored a number of articles on applications of the Theory of Constraints, and Constraints Management, in recognized journals.

Dr. Low has conducted sessions on Constraints Management at the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) in Washington, D.C.; at Federal Mogul Corporation in Southfield, Michigan; at Kelsey-Hayes Corporation in Livonia, Michigan; at Meritor (formerly Rockwell Automotive) in Troy, Michigan; several sessions at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, at Georgia-Pacific corporation in Atlanta, at DaimlerChrysler Corporation in Auburn Hills, Detroit, Indianapolis, Trenton, and Kenosha, and at i2 Technologies in Dallas.

Dr. Low has published articles in Corporate Controller, APICS: The Performance Advantage, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Logistics Management, the Journal of the Society of Logistics Engineers, the International Journal of Physical Distribution, and the Journal of Marketing Education, as well as the proceedings of a very large number of conferences.


 B.A. in English from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1965.

M.B.A. in Marketing and Operations Research from Ross School of Business,  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1971.

Ph.D. in Marketing from Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1977.

Lifetime CPIM Certification in Production and Inventory Management from APICS, the Society for Resource Management, 1983.

Certified Jonah of the Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute, New Haven, Connecticut, 1989.

Certified Jonah's Jonah of the Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute, New Haven, Connecticur, 1993.

Research and teaching interests

 Out-think your competition and discover breakthrough problem solving strategies at WSU.

Get ahead personally and professionally by honing your critical thinking and problem solving skills at Wayne State University.

Theory of Constraints BreakThrough Solutions (GSC 7260/5670), has been offered by the Mike Ilitch School of Business, since the year 2000.

The three-credit course, has been taught by Professor James T. Low of the Global Supply Chain department, and by Deborah Habel of the Accounting Department.  

The course focuses on the Theory of Constraints, using Cause - Effect logic to enable students to solve problems that nearly everyone would consider to be impossible.  In class, students will learn to use cause-effect logic tools to discover the root cause of a problem and to develop win-win solutions. Students will also learn to use obstacles as a constructive means of achieving a goal, rather than allowing them to derail the process.

The course will also focus planning for the implementation of solutions.

In addition to class exercises, students will have the opportunity to work on a project of their choice related directly to a problem in their own professional or personal environment.

“A number of students in previous classes have used their individual project in the class to solve a major problem for the company they work for, and as a direct result of their project solution being implemented, they have saved the company several million dollars.  In a number of cases, the student was promoted because of the success of their project.  All of the students in the class should have a competitive advantage for the rest of their lives  because of their learned ability to solve problems that no one else can.