Interesting, Important and Impactful Operations Management

18 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2019 Last revised: 11 May 2019

See all articles by Gerard P Cachon

Gerard P Cachon

The Wharton School - Operations, Information and Decisions Department

Karan Girotra

Cornell Tech; Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Serguei Netessine

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: April 2, 2019

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Cachon, Gerard P and Girotra, Karan and Netessine, Serguei, Interesting, Important and Impactful Operations Management (April 2, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3364594 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3364594

Gerard P Cachon

The Wharton School - Operations, Information and Decisions Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Karan Girotra (Contact Author)

Cornell Tech ( email )

111 8th Avenue #302
New York, NY 10011
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.girotra.com

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14850
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.girotra.com

Serguei Netessine

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6367
United States
(215) 573 3571 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.netessine.com

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