Interesting, Important and Impactful Operations Management
18 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2019 Last revised: 11 May 2019
Date Written: April 2, 2019
Abstract. Operations management has evolved since the founding of M&SOM: new departments have been created in our journals, new tracks have been established in our conferences, and new methodologies have been adopted in our research. Are these changes good for the field? To some, they seem detrimental, yielding a fragmented community that does not always speak the same language nor interacts in any meaningful way. Others celebrate our expanded diversity and the new areas of research that it opens up. We argue that neither group is entirely wrong, nor entirely correct. Like the latter, we argue that we must contribute to a growing set of domains using all possible tools of inquiry. But sharing the concern of the former, we view fragmentation as a symptom of a problem. To get out of its rut, to have greater impact, the field needs to ask questions that are important and provide answers that are interesting. In particular, we should (i) avoid the trap of specificity (excellent answers to narrowly defined questions), (ii) expand our horizon beyond our (relatively) small field (connect and actively engage with diverse audiences) and (iii) be bold to pioneer new areas of inquiry. Operations management is at the heart of many of the big issues in society today, and we should be (and can be) central to the conversation.
Keywords: Operations Management, Fragmentation, M&SOM, New Research Areas, Innovation
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