Operations Management Essay
The article was written by Roger W. Schemmer in early 2009. Basically, the article is addressing about the usage of theory in operations management. As mentioned in the article, theories used in the journal article, as science defines it, is not at the center of much of the research. This essay and its comments were engaging for more attention to what theories can mean for our understanding in operations management.
Ten years ago, the writer and Morgan Swink published an article “On Theory in Operations Management” which meant to discuss the issues that operations management does not have their own theories that can be the framework of their disciplines. As the time passed by, the role of theories have changed; the existence of question whether theories still being used in productive ways to advance our understanding; and which theories have been forgotten or have been developed, have not gotten a satisfied responses yet, therefore, they wrote this essay to reassess the role of theory in operations management (Schmenner, 2009).
To address those issues related to the reassessment of the role of theory, Schmenner stated out several important parts namely the definition of theory and the way it should be used within a discipline; things that have been done in the operation management and things that have gone wrong with certain approach; and lastly, the things that should be done to tie it better and more fully to the theory. Here, in the first part of the journal Schmenner stated out a number of key features concerning the use of theory as mentioned in his paper 10 years ago.
He addressed the important usage of theory while he also stated out the differences between operations management and the physicists in the way of appreciating theory. Secondly, Schmenner pointed out the problem of typical paper published in operations management and suggested how it should be written. Lastly, he also stated out the things that should be done to understand better the linkage of theory and the good philosophy of science. Article Critique
Schmenner defined theories in 4 important key points in terms of its content of explanation; the way they are invented; the way they can be proved; and the building blocks of its understanding. It is mentioned that in a number of disciplines, those features oh theory and their usage are fundamentally important. However, people involved in operations management do not really appreciate the role of theories as the physicists do. They do not get excited in replacing existing theory with a brand new one that proved able to handle the facts better.
Kaplan also argued that behavioral science often has an unhealthy fixation in methodology; behavioral science tends to regard methodology as a source of rescue. In personal, I find this article has an interesting topic in discussing about the different perception of theory usage in different kind of field. However, I found there is confusion in a sentence saying that “Theories are not built; they are invented. That is to say, theories cannot be systematically constructed or deduced from facts. Theories require inspiration and creativity.
Facts and the regularities among those facts may exist for generations before an adequate theory invented to account for them” (Schmenner, 2009). I personally found this sentence is quite confusing, it basically said theories cannot be deduced from facts but throughout the sentence I interpreted that theories are based on facts. In this part, the writer should have used a simple sentence rather than using a structure that may have given a feeling that the writer is beating around the bush. In general, this article is considered as a good and useful article but there is some part of it which I found are quite offensive.
It is understandable that operations management do not appreciate the existence of theories as the physicists do. The argument of Kaplan regarding the unhealthy obsession on methodology of behavioral scientist is considered as repulsive. “There are behavioural scientists who, in their desperate search for scientific status, give the impression that they don’t much care what they do if only they do it right: substance gives way to form. And here a vicious circle is engendered; when the outcome is seen to be empty, this is taken as pointing all the more to the need for a better methodology.
The work of the behavioural scientist might well become methodologically sounder if only he did not try so hard to be so scientific! (Kaplan, 1964, p. 406)” From the citation above, although we can see that the writer’s perspective in pointing out that methodology is almost completely useless in operations management, methodology still holds a very important role in an approach to the problem of the origins of science is the recognition of the need for a much broader understanding of scientific endeavour than is presently recognized (Carmichael, 2000).
In this point, writer has to critically analyse that even though it is not important in operations management, it might be an important part to scientific status. A different perspective is needed at this point of judgement. For the next part of the article regarding things that have been done in operations management, I do agree to those that have been mentioned in the article (refer to appendix 1). After using archetypal approaches for ages, people started to realize that this approach is outdated. This leads to the suggestion from Kaplan “We, as a discipline, should not get carried away by the form of our research.
Methodology is not knowledge. Instead, we need to focus on what appears to be important to know, what we understand about it, and what we can do to understand it better. ” Overall, this article provides good information about different perspectives regarding the importance of theory. It also involved commentary from any other experts. However, there are some weaknesses of this article. For instance, the writer did not use evidence to support his saying in order to make it valid. Evidence given is not really enough to support his opinion in certain cases.
There are certain opinions which I found was quite offensive in terms of delivery as well. I suggest the writer should consider giving opinion in various kinds of perspectives. Opinions/relevance to BX2062 This particular content of the article has relevant issues with our subject in operations management (BX2062). The article mainly talks about the differences between operations management and science. It can be assumed that the article has relevant issues with the chapter that talks about introduction to operations management.
From the article, it mentioned briefly regarding the role of theory in operations management. The writer said that operations management do not know how to appreciate theory as the scientists do. It is due to the fact that “operations management is the science and art of ensuring that goods and services are created and delivered successfully to customers” (Evans & Collier, 2007). Furthermore, in this particular chapter, it mentions that operations management are quite simple, but they do require vision and discipline to implement (Evans & Collier, 2007) as it mentioned in the article how the operations management works.
It is quite contradictory with the science which tends to use methodology that considered as one of the most important steps. In conclusion, as in according to my opinion, I personally think that this article does not have a strongly relevant issues to the chapter introduced in operations management. It basically keep mentioning about methodology. However, the article does give us a brief image of what actually operation management is. Conclusion To sum up, basically the article contains a lot of information that could be useful to the reader.
It clearly shows the role of theory in operations management although there are some parts of the article that I found is not really relevant to the topic. Furthermore, the writer also pointed out the archetypal approach of operations management that should be changed. It is important for further improvement concerning the operations management system in order to be able to do things better. The article has shown us a clear form of operations management as well. On the other hand, the article has weaknesses that need to be focused on.
The writer delivered his own opinion in a too offensive way. He should have thought to think in a different perspective before he presented the idea. Moreover, the article does not really provide any relevant theory to support the writer’s sayings which makes the level of validity decreases. Overall, regardless all of the weaknesses, this article is considered as a good article. It pointed out where are the weaknesses of operations management and suggested solutions to overcome it. Not only by giving solutions the writer also explained which part went wrong and what should be improved.
Carmichael, M. (2000). Methodology. Retrieved November 24, 2012, from Methodology: http://www. michaelcarmichael. com/methodology. html Evans, J. R. , & Collier, D. A. (2007). Operations Management. USA: Thomson Higher Education. PROMAX. (2003). PROMAX Consulting Service . Retrieved November 30, 2012, from OMS: Operations Management System : http://promaxconsulting. com/Oms. htm Schmenner, R. (2009). Journal of Operations Management 27. Too much theory, not much understanding, 339-343.