Research Summary

Performance Management, Measurement, and Reporting

Dr. Thomas worked with Gary Kelly to develop and implement Southwest Airlines’ financial planning, budgeting, and control systems. Their work was guided by many notable experts, including Herb Kelleher, John Denison, Gary Barron, Robin Cooper, Robert S. Kaplan, Tom Pryor, Gary Cokins, C. J. McNair-Connolly, Lidija Polutnik, Shannon W. Anderson, and S. Mark Young.

Cost Measurement and Reporting

For about a decade, Dr. Thomas worked extensively in support of Southwest Airlines’ supply chain management processes. His efforts included designing and implementing new processes (and related computer technology), competitor analysis, multiparty coordination, and sharing of cost information.

Selected to join a Task Force, Dr. Thomas assisted in the development of the Institute of Management Accountants’ conceptual framework for managerial costing.

Hospitality and Customer Service

At Southwest Airlines after 9/11/2001, much of Dr. Thomas’ work focused on customer service. Airlines faced a customer service crisis resulting from the dramatically increased security requirements following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Risk Management

Working with C. J. McNair-Connolly, Dr. Thomas examined how risk management and capacity cost management affect organizations manage through crises. This work culminated in the 2017 publication of “An Effective Response….”

Original Scholarly Articles

McNair-Connolly, C. J. & Thomas, C. R., 2017.  An Effective Response: Smoldering crisis and capacity cost management.  Cost Management.  November/December 31(6), 1-23.

Das, P. & Thomas, C., 2016. Strategic Development of REITs in India.  Journal of Real Estate Literature, January, 24(1), pp. 103-131.

McNair-Connolly, C. J. & Thomas, C. R., 2016. Blind Faith: The Hidden Costs of Capacity Overutilization. Cost Management, March/April, 30(2), pp. 40-47.

Thomas, C.R., 2015. Learning Like Lightning: Lessons From JSF F‐35 Sustainment Activities. Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance, 27(1), pp.55-61.

Conceptual Framework for Managerial Costing: Report of the IMA Managerial Costing Conceptual Framework Task Force (2013)

McNair, C. J., L. Polutnik, H. H. Johnston, J. Augustyn, and C. R. Thomas. 2003. “Shifting Perspectives: Accounting, visibility, and management action.” Advances In Management Accounting 11, 1-38.

Thomas, Charles R.  1996.  Effects of Managerial Effectiveness on the Public Disclosing of Management Earnings Forecasts (Doctoral Dissertation).  Arlington, Texas, United States: ProQuest.

Articles for a Wider Audience, Discussions, and Editorials

White, Larry, B. Douglas Clinton, Anton van der Merwe, Gary Cokins, Chuck Thomas, Ken Templin, and Jim Huntzinger. 2011. “Why we need a conceptual framework for managerial costing.” Strategic Finance, 2011. 36.

Seibel, Fred, and Chuck Thomas. 2000. Manifest Destiny: Adaptive cargo routing at Southwest Airlines.  Proceedings from the Fourth Annual Colloquium on the Application of Complex Adaptive Systems to Business, 27-33.  Boston: The Ernst and Young Center for Business Innovation.

Awards & Honors

  • Beta Alpha Psi
  • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Southwest Airlines President’s Award (1996)
  • Beta Alpha Psi Gamma Rho Chapter Distinguished Alumnus (Fall 2008)
  • Executive MBA Outstanding Professor Award, Baylor University (May 2012)
  • Barry B. Thompson Service Award, Tarleton State University (February 2019)
  • Best Research Paper Award, Industry Relevance, 3rd Hospitality Finance & Economics Conference (June 2019) for “Routes in Addis Ababa: Feasibility of Walking Tours in Africa’s Capital City”


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