اهمیت مشکلات مدیریت عملیات در سازمان های خدماتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|7608||2002||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7650 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Omega, Volume 30, Issue 2, April 2002, Pages 77–87
This article reports on the research to empirically determine which operations management problems are the most important to small service organizations. The authors asked managers of service organizations to rank a set of operations problems according to their relative importance using Q methodology. In this article, Q method is explained, significant factors are analyzed, and explanations are offered for the ranking of the operations problems. The results indicate that forecasting, quality management, and resource utilization are important operational issues for service organizations. However, the results also indicate that facility location and layout, waiting line systems, and distribution requirements planning were for the most part unimportant to the respondent service organizations. In addition, Schmenner's service typology does not provide an explanatory basis for the variations in the factor results. Lastly, the results are used to suggest operations management techniques that should be taught to students who are expected to work in service organizations upon graduation.
Service organizations have many problems and challenges that can be addressed by operations management methods. However, little research has been done to investigate the importance of the operations problems and the methods used to address these problems in the service sector. This paper investigates the first of these two issues; the operational problems that service organizations consider most important. The results of this research can then be used to address the second of these two issues; the operations management methods that would be most useful to service organizations in addressing these problems. This information can then inform educators as to what they should teach as they work to adequately prepare their students for successful careers in service organizations. Studies specifically devoted to the employment of various operations management methods in industry have been conducted. Shannon et al.  reported a ranking of 12 such techniques by practitioners and academics combined in descending importance of usage. Thomas and DeCosta  and Forgionne  surveyed only practitioners who consisted of larger corporations in the US who ranked a number of methods in descending frequency of use. These practitioners also ranked the types of planning and decision-making issues, that these techniques were designed to support according to the descending frequency with which these issues were addressed. The research of Shannon et al. , Thomas and DeCosta  and Forgionne  focused on the importance or frequency of usage of techniques rather than the importance of the problems. In addition, they did not consider service organizations separately from manufacturing organizations. Literature concerned with the application of these methods to service operations issues appears to be generally limited to a specific kind of application (e.g., ,  and ) or reports on deliverables devised and constructed for consulting jobs (e.g., ,  and ). There is clearly a lack of investigation of operations problems that are important to service organizations. In our research, a typology was used to separate service operations into categories to test the importance of different operations problems in different types of organizations. Several ways of typing service organizations have been suggested — Lovelock , Schmenner , Heskett , and the U.S. Department of Commerce — Office of Service Industries. The authors selected Schmenner's service process matrix typology that categorizes service operations into service factories (1), mass services (2), service shops (3), and professional services (4) according to a sequence of overlappings in their respective degrees of labor intensity and customer interaction/customization. Schmenner  proposed to demonstrate the commonality of management problems across service industries with his matrix. Since any one of these four service industries must necessarily be both similar and/or different from the others in degree of labor intensity and customer interaction/customization, one would expect its problems to be both similar and/or different from the others in the same way. Thus, Schmenner's service process matrix provides a convenient and useful heuristic by which to organize the data collected and statistically analyze the results generated. Q method was used to determine the importance of operations problems to service organizations in this research. Q method was selected because the study sought to determine the operations problems that were the most important to service organizations. In addition, a tool that forces the respondent to be discriminating was desired. Although tools such as a survey utilizing the Likert scale also achieve a similar result, they do not require the user to rank the operations problems with respect to each other. The Q methodology was seen as unique in its ability to both require the user to rank the operations problems in terms of their own importance and their importance with respect to other operations problems. Q method possesses advantages over other statistical methods for the researcher. One advantage of particular importance is that it does not require large samples (e.g., n⩾30). In Q methodology, it is necessary only to have enough subjects to establish that a factor exists . According to Benedict , “one quickly reaches the point where the testimony of great numbers of additional informants provides no further validation”. This means that a large sample size and a large response rate are unnecessary. Another advantage as mentioned earlier is that the subject is forced to make difficult decisions as he sorts the Q sample because each operational problem is considered with respect to the others. The method also allows investigation of an issue that can be subjectively addressed, such as the importance of various operational problems to an organization. In addition, the method and Q sample do not require a pre-test because they seek to determine something that is subjectively interpreted.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
8.1. Problems Schmenner's service process matrix was chosen because it was believed that operations problems in service organizations might be related to the degree of labor intensity as well as degree of interaction with customers and degree of customization. However, the results show that this is not the case. Instead, we have shown that, as Schmenner claims, management problems are common across the service industries. In addition, it is clear that some operations problems are very firm specific. Overall, statements 18, 15, and 8 represent the three most important problems. These are “determining how utilize resources most effectively”, “monitoring and measuring quality of services”, “predicting future events, conditions, customer demand, price/cost levels”, etc., respectively. Also, statements 1, 2 and 21 are ranked at zero or lower on all factors, with the exception of factor three that ranks statement 21 at +1. These unimportant statements are related to location, facility layout and determining distribution requirements. In addition, statement 8, which refers to waiting line systems, is ranked as unimportant (i.e., ranked at zero or lower) by all but two factors. 8.2. Business education implications The survey results indicate problems that are important to the respondent service organizations. The authors have little confidence that most of these organizations use the quantitative techniques that would be most appropriate for their operations problems. This leads to the question of how best to use this information. Clearly, some operations management methods that are covered at length in such texts can address the problems cited by the respondents. If one considers the problems cited as most important by the respondents, it is clear that these problems imply particular operations management methods (e.g. forecasting, quality measurement methods, various mathematical programming methods, etc.). If these methods can be matched with service operations problems, we may then determine which methods might be relevant to teach to students who are expected to work in the service sector upon graduation. Second, this study's results indicate that several techniques are considered unimportant to service organizations. One can take this information at face value or look more deeply into its meaning. The low ranking problems that imply queueing, as well as those of facility layout and facility location, may represent the view that location, layout and queueing systems are fixed. In addition, as mentioned previously, a lack of physical customers waiting in lines may imply to organizations that they do not have queues. This suggests that business educators should emphasize that waiting lines are not necessarily physical, and organizations that provide pure services at customer locations must manage waiting lines as well. Third, this study's results support Schmenner's suggestion that management problems are common across different service industries. However, his claim that service managers share common challenges, and the problems that arise there are based on the degree of labor intensity and degree of interaction and customization that their respective service industries share are not supported by our results. Instead, our results imply that many problems are common to all types of service industries. This suggests that the methods one selects for instruction have a general applicability regardless of the category of service organization in which a student might eventually find employment. Although it is beyond the scope of this research, further research that investigates more thoroughly the claims implied by Schmenner's matrix is needed. Another question is which operations problems in service organizations are the most important from a strategic, rather than purely operational, standpoint. This too warrants further research.