Resilience and Robustness of Dynamic Manufacturing Supply Networks

The Same Old Methodologies? Perspectives on OM Research in the Post-Lean Age", International Journal of Operations and Production Management

Jagjit Singh Srai, Bart L. MacCarthy, Michael Lewis, Chris Voss, and Ram Narasimhan
International Journal of Operations & Production Management 33, 934-956, 2013.

Purpose ‐ The world is changing ‐ economically, technologically,
politically, and socially. As an academic discipline, operations
management (OM) is, almost by definition, close to practice. Are our OM
research methods fit for purpose for the new age? This paper reflects on
and develops the principal themes discussed in the "OM Methodology"
Special Session at the 2011 EurOMA Conference in Cambridge, UK. The
paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The
emerging landscape in which future OM research will be conducted is
discussed. The paper provides a range of perspectives on the research
challenges facing the discipline with respect to what the authors
research and how the authors research it. The range of methods open to
us and their relative merits and challenges are debated. Findings ‐ The
traditional research divide between quantitative modelling, often
normative in outlook, and the more reflective modes of qualitative
enquiry, with a wide spectrum of empirical work in between, is reflected
in the different academic traditions, groupings, conferences, and
publications across the discipline. Research should not be driven by
methodological convenience but by the needs of a changing world. Rather
than a sterile "quants versus qual" debate, the paper argues that a rich
diversity of approaches can provide a reinforcing cycle to generate
relevant, interesting and exciting research underpinned by robust and
valid theory. Originality/value ‐ The paper presents detailed
reflections from leading researchers on contemporary and future OM
research, arguing that research approaches must evolve that reflect the
new realities to further enhance OM as a theoretically sound and
practically relevant discipline.

doi: 10.1108/IJOPM-08-2013-0373
permanent link:
The project "Resilience and Robustness of Dynamic Manufacturing Supply Networks" is funded by the EPSRC under grant number EP/K031686/1