The Role of Industry Studies and Public Policies in Production and Operations Management
46 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2016
Date Written: February 12, 2016
Industry studies and public policy (IS&PP) is a research domain that seeks to further our understanding of industrial practices and managerial challenges by explicitly considering contextual details in the design and interpretation of studies. These details can also be vital considerations when shaping public policies. This article reviews a sample of IS&PP publications and analyzes the content of 180 selected papers - 85 papers published in the Production and Operations Management (POM) journal and 95 research papers published in related journals between 1992 and 2014. Analysis of the sampled data set and examination of exemplar papers provide four findings. First, studies in different industries emphasize different themes of operational decisions. This difference in emphasis reveals potential research opportunities, especially for conducting inter-industry studies. Second, our analysis reveals a shift in focus. Earlier studies contain a mix of benchmarks and inter-industry comparisons, while the later studies tend to focus on context specific, single-industry studies. This trend highlights the potential for developing new measures and multi-method approaches. Third, we report on empirics-analytics-empirics cycles that reveal gaps for building novel theories. Finally, we observe that the relationship between POM decisions and public policy is bi-directional. This highlights the need to jointly examine operational decisions with policy considerations, especially in information goods, healthcare, sustainable operations and high-tech manufacturing industries.
Keywords: Context-Based Research, Industry Studies, Public Policy, Production & Operations Management
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