تحقیق مدیریت عملیات خدماتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|7889||2007||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||13280 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 25, Issue 3, April 2007, Pages 585–603
The extraordinary importance of the services sector for the economy both in production and employment cannot be denied. As a result, there have been both demands for an increase in Service Operations Management (SOM) research since the 1980s on the one hand, and, on the other, predictions that such an increase will take place [e.g.: Buffa, E.S., 1980. Research in Operations Management. Journal of Operations Management 1 (1), 1–8; Miller, J.G., Graham, M.B.W., Freeland, J.R., Hottenstein, M., Maister, D.M., Meredith, J., Schmenner, R.W., 1981. Production/Operations Management: agenda for the 80s. Decision Science 12 (4), 547–571; Mabert, V.A., 1982. Service Operations Management: research and application. Journal of Operations Management 2 (4), 203–209; Amoako-Gyampah, K., Meredith, J.R., 1989. The Operations Management research agenda: an update. Journal of Operations Management 8 (3), 250–262; Chase, R.B., 1996. The mall is my factory: reflections of a service junkie. Production and Operations Management 5 (4), 298–308; Pannirselvam, G.P., Ferguson, L.A., Ash, R.C., Siferd, S.P., 1999. Operations Management research: an update for the 1990s. Journal of Operations Management 18 (1), 95–112; Roth, A.V., Menor, L.J., 2003. Insights into service Operations Management: a research agenda. Production and Operations Management 12 (2), 145–164; Slack, N., Lewis, M., Bates, H., 2004. The two worlds of Operations management research and practice. Can they meet, should they meet? International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 24 (4), 372–387]. And yet, the amount of SOM research done in OM research has still only been minimal. This contradiction calls for an in-depth study of the state of affairs of SOM research, and we have conducted just such a study in 10 of the most relevant and representative outlets in the OM field, as well as in pipeline research (Proceedings of the POMS, DSI and EurOMA Conferences). Our results aim to provide answers to the following questions, amongst others: (1) Is greater importance now attached to SOM research within OM research? (2) What are the main topics of research? Are they the same topics that have been proposed in SOM research agendas? (3) What methods are used in SOM research? (4) What are the most commonly studied sectors of economic activities? (5) Are there any differences from OM research in terms of content and methods? Some of our findings show that although a growth in SOM research had been predicted in earlier studies, there is still only a minimal amount done (7.5% of OM research); seven topics command 61.5% of SOM research, which (with some exceptions) is consistent with SOM research agendas; there is more research done on strategic issues than on tactical/operational issues; models and simulations are still more common than empirical research, but trends point to a shift to the latter; the majority of research focuses on a specific sector, and three sectors account for 50% of the total; there is a clear connection between type of journal and type of research, research method and sector of activity.
Some of the most fundamental features that have characterized developed economies in recent decades are connected with the services sector, confirming the great importance the sector has: (a) The extraordinary role played by the services sector in production. OECD statistical data for 2003 (OECD, 2005a) attributes approximately 70% of the GDP to services in a large number of developed countries (e.g. USA 76.5%; France 75.9%; UK 73.8%; Italy 70.9%; Germany 70.1%; Japan 69.6%, and Spain 67.2%). (b) The important role the services sector plays in employment. Per-sector civilian employment data for 2004 (OECD, 2005b) puts this at over 60% in many advanced economies (e.g. USA 78.4%; UK 76.4%; France 72.6%; Japan 67.1%; Germany 66.6%; Italy 64.5%, and Spain 64%). And, moreover, this is a growing trend (e.g. in the USA the figure increased from 66.4% to 78.4% between 1981 and 2004, whereas during the same period manufacturing fell from 30.1% to 20%, and agriculture from 3.5% to 1.6% (OECD, 2005a)). (c) Service activities are being incorporated more and more into manufacturing companies. It has been calculated that between 30% and 70% of added value in a typical manufacturing company can be attributed to the services constituent (Rosen, 1998). The relevance of the services sector in developed countries should be reflected in the importance given to instruction and research in the various areas of service company management and administration. But, is this really the case? There has been an awareness of this importance in the specific case of Operations Management (OM) for over 20 years. In their OM research agenda published in Decision Sciences, Miller et al. (1981) cited Service Operations Management (SOM) as one of their four special interest groups. Eight years later, Amoako-Gyampah and Meredith (1989) published an updated Operations Management research agenda in JOM based on Miller et al. (1981) amongst others. Once again SOM is named as one of the important subjects to be taken into consideration. Although the percentage of SOM research was very small, it was forecast that it would play an increasingly important role. Nevertheless, a further update on the state of research in Operations Management published in JOM by Pannirselvam et al. (1999) stated that expectations for growth in published research in SOM had not been met. Observations made in recent papers by other authors (e.g. Roth and Menor, 2003, Slack et al., 2004 and Johnston, 2005) suggest that, in their opinion, there is still not enough research being done in SOM. There is an evident contradiction between the importance of services in the real world and the little attention paid to it in Operations Management research (despite the fact that it is continually found on research agendas) and this, in our view, demanded an in-depth study on the state of current SOM research to be done which would cover both numbers of SOM publications and other important issues. And yet, to date none had been conducted. This was not the case for other significant OM sub-areas, such as International Operations Management (published in JOM by Prasad and Babbar (2000)) or Supply Chain Management (Alfaro Tanco et al., 2002). Our study was conducted with the intention of addressing what we considered to be an urgent need. Its prime objective was to determine the state of affairs of SOM research in the most relevant outlets in the field of Operations Management. The study was designed to answer four basic questions: (a) What variations, if any, might have taken place in underlying trends for the number of SOM publications in OM research since the publication of the most recent studies into the latter? (b) What are the main topics of research? (c) What methods are used in SOM research? (d) Which sectors of activity (if any) are the most commonly studied? Knowing the answers to these questions is important for any subject field, but it is crucial for those, such as SOM, which are still emerging. It is especially important when the due attention a subject's importance in the real world demands does not seem to be paid to it. The answers to these questions do not only allow the state of affairs of SOM research to be established through quantitative data for the first time, but they are also useful in other ways: (a) they show whether SOM has begun to occupy a position in OM research that is more in keeping with its importance in the real world; (b) they allow a comparison to be made with OM research in manufacturing to see whether the two sets of results really are different, as stated by one sector of OM scholars; (c) they allow SOM research content to be compared with the needs that are expressed in SOM research agendas; (d) they will also show researchers the most researched topics and sectors and these which seem to need more attention, as well as the most used research methods in SOM. The following section offers a brief review of literature, the methodology used is then set out and, finally, the results obtained are commented upon. The study ends with a section devoted to main conclusions and final considerations. Our study into SOM reseach focuses on the period from 1997 to 2002 and begins at the end of the period analyzed by Pannirselvam et al. (1999) with a view to determining whether any changes have taken place since then.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The main purpose of our study was to determine the state of affairs of SOM research in the most relevant OM outlets, especially with regard to the number of publications, content, research methods and sectors of activity. To this end, we have collated a large quantity of information in the foregoing sections, including pipeline research, and remarked on the findings that have come out of the analysis. Although it might be useful to offer a final summary of the findings here, a lack of space means we shall have to limit ourselves to setting out the main conclusions, on some occasions in an aggregated form, and to adding some personal observations. With regard to the number of SOM publications: these represent 7.5% of OM research in the analysed journals. This constitutes a rise compared to the previous 6-year period; the 18.4% achieved in pipeline research seem to indicate that there would potentially be further growth during the years following the period analyzed in our study. Despite this, the figures mentioned show that there is still clearly only a marginal amount of SOM research in OM research. How can the enormous gap that has existed for so many years between the crucial importance of services in developed economies and the scant attention that SOM research seems to receive from OM academics be explained? Why do neither this importance nor the various Agendas seem to motivate OM researchers? An exhaustive worldwide survey of OM academics should be the subject of further research to find the answers to these questions and to determine the deep-rooted causes of the problem. This would be a first step towards combating them and finding a solution. In the meantime, it is only possible to speculate about the reasons why OM is out of step with the economy. As early as 1999 Nie and Kellog were already indicating that it was a matter of fact that general research and the teaching focus of OM academics was manufacturing based (only 21.3% of respondants to their survey were catalogued as service type). This might be one of the causes for the lack of relative importance of SOM research. Although the Nie and Kellog survey was only sent to USA scholars, the situation does not seem to be any better in the EU judging by the results of pipeline research, which show that the percentage of SOM papers (2001 and 2002) at the mainly European researcher-attended EurOMA conferences is about half that at US-based conferences (11% (EurOMA) versus 20% (POMS + DSI)). This could lead us on to other possible causes of the problem: most reviewers in OM outlets could be on the manufacturing side, as a result of which the number of qualified reviewers in service research is much lower than for manufacturing. In our opinion, this is not a minor issue, as when comparisons were made with previous research it was seen that there are differences between research in SOM and in manufacturing (e.g. the former has closer links with strategic issues and makes a greater use of empirical methods). We share the opinion of Nie and Kellogg (1999), who indicated that most manufacturing-oriented academics were more likely to believe that extensions and adaptations of existing theories are sufficient to deal with SOM research problems. This was not the case with service-oriented academics, who were of the opinion that this was not true on many occasions and defended the uniqueness of SOM research for many problems (for example, in SOM problems are usually less-structured than in manufacturing and more cross-functional). Those less familiar with SOM can also make wrong value judgements regarding the relevance of SOM topics. Following the same line, Roth and Menor (2003) pointed out that the types of problems and methodologies found in SOM research tended to be different to manufacturing and that, because of this, “it may be more difficult for many POM scholars (less familiar with SOM research) to evaluate publication quality and contribution”. It is evident that all this might lead to a manufacturing bias when judging SOM research. Another cause of misunderstanding could arise out of the insufficient use of a cross-functional approach in OM research despite the fact that a number of authors (e.g. Hayes, 1998, Machuca, 1998 and Krajewski, 1998) see it as an urgent requirement and have been making demands for its greater use for a good number of years. It should therefore not come as a surprise that traditional manufacturing academics are likely to misunderstand the complexity of service design and delivery, which require an even greater interdisciplinary view than manufacturing problems. These circumstances may serve as justification for the statement made by Roth and Menor (2003) to the effect that traditional POM outlets may not be the most suitable for SOM research as they could be less receptive to it. This is a concern, as new faculty and candidates for faculty positions are still under great pressure to publish in prestigious OM outlets. This usually leads to a choice of tried and true topics whose publication involves less risk. Research in services does not appear to comply with these prerequisites and this could be another reason for the low percentage of OM research it represents. We believe that as long as the above mentioned situation persists it will continue to be difficult to get SOM research in the place where it belongs. And yet, it is urgent to bridge the gap in order that our discipline meet the needs of the Economy. In this regard, it would be an important step if efforts were made both by suitable senior researchers to lead research teams, and also by OM outlet editors to publish more special issues and encourage SOM research through the Editorial included in each issue. We strongly believe that the problem is so great that OM society leaders (e.g. EurOMA, POMS or even DSI) should also launch a “crusade” in favor of SOM research. With regard to research content: due to a lack of space here, we refer readers back to Section 4.2 for the main findings that come out of the results in journals and pipeline research. We only remind you that the results for SOM research have been consistent with the Agenda proposals for the most part, but that there are, nevertheless, a number of topics which, despite including issues that appear on at least two of the SOM research Agendas considered, figure poorly in SOM published research (without pipeline research showing any trends towards a change). These are: Service selection and design, Planning, scheduling and control of service operations, Work design, Capacity design/long-term capacity decisions, Service facility design and layout and Expansion/globalization of services. If we accept the validity of the above-mentioned Agendas, greater attention ought to be given to these topics in the future. Nevertheless, for a more complete vision of all the SOM topics that should be researched, Agendas drawn up by Academics should be supplemented with others taken from the professional field. To this end, further research should include a survey conducted amongst service organization managers. This should be as exhaustive as possible in order to prevent there being any gaps between both worlds and to provide answers to the needs of said organizations. Another interesting issue is the evident evolution of SOM research towards a clear predominance of strategic issues. This is clearly a positive move and responds to recommendations that a number of authors have made since the 1980s (e.g. Buffa, 1980 and Chase, 1980). Nevertheless, the authors believe that there might also be a negative aspect to this for SOM. In our opinion, one of the reasons for the smaller number of tactical/operational studies might be the fact that they are more diffuse, less structured, greatly varied and, in short, that their standpoints and the solutions to their problems are more difficult to determine than those on the same level in manufacturing. In our opinion, a small amount of research in tactical/operational issues may be a failing in SOM, and an effort should be made to increase research in this area (whilst not halting the drive in strategic issues). With regard to research methods: the evolution of models/simulation and empirical methods over the period under consideration would seem to indicate a shift towards a prevalence of the latter, which is in keeping with recommendations by the well-known authors for OM research as a whole. Another interesting aspect is that the percentage of surveys is smaller than in OM research, while the use of case studies is greater. With regard to sectors of activity: it must be highlighted that, contrary to what happened with OM research during the 1980s, the majority of SOM publications focus on a specific sector of activity. Nevertheless, practically 50% of attention focuses on three sectors: Transportation, Commercial distribution and Health. Pipeline research confirms this focus, although Transportation is replaced by Tourism, leisure, culture and sport in the group of the three main sectors. Some empirical research amongst service organizations is necessary here too, analagous to the research mentioned for ‘Content’, in order to determine which sectors are most in need of research. The relationship that was found between content and research methods should also be highlighted, as well as that between the research methods and sectors of activity. These relationships might serve as a guide for researchers when designing their research. Another interesting aspect revealed by our study is the connection discovered between the different types of journal (OM and OR/MS) and their content and the research methods and sectors they deal with. OM outlets have greater links with strategic content, empirical methods and some specific sectors of activity. OR/MS journals, on the contrary, have greater connections with tactical/operational content, the use of models and simulations, and other sectors. With regard to the number of articles, it must be remarked than the percentage of SOM/OM in OR/MS journals is clearly higher than in OM journals. However, there has been a decrease in OR/MS journals in the last 2-year periods and an increase in OM journals for all periods. As shall be seen, these trends could be associated with changes in the types of topics dealt with (strategic versus tactical/operational (see Section 4.2.3)), and the methods used in SOM research (empirical versus quantitative methods (see Section 4.3)). This information may be of aid to researchers looking for a suitable outlet for their research. As far as we, the authors, are concerned, this indicates that further profiling of the various OM journals would be useful, and we are currently researching this issue. Information on the absolute and relative numbers of publications in the various journals is also of great use as it can help researchers determine which journals show the greatest interest (or apparent interest, at least) in the field of SOM. People looking for the results of SOM research will also find this of interest, as they will be able to go straight to journals that have the greatest number of publications. It will also be important for the editors of the journals themselves, who will see how they are positioned in both absolute and relative terms and, on this basis, they will, perhaps, be able to decide whether to reposition their journal by encouraging research in SOM. We would encourage the use of this first study of ours into SOM research as a springboard for further research, but with a wider focus. If this is done, our analysis could be expanded and the criteria for selection broadened to include more journals, such as some that are specifically devoted to the services sector, as well as other prestigious outlets in the wider field of management. These were not included in our study as they did not meet the criteria that we had established to ensure the quality/relevance (for the OM community)3 of the outlets to be analyzed. It should be highlighted that only one service specific journal (The International Journal of Service Industry Management) can be found in one of the published rankings that were used (Soteriou et al., 1999), albeit in 18th place. The content analysis could also be expanded to include not only pure SOM articles, but also others that deal with the service-component in manufacturing and yet others that have a greater interdisciplinary element, especially those that connect SOM with marketing and/or human resources. There could also be more detailed research into content with topics being disaggregated into more specific issues. Finally, more studies could also be done on pipeline research; a comparison of SOM topic and manufacturing topic “hit rates” for example, with an analysis of any differences and their causes. We believe that our study can be considered to be representative despite the fact that it is limited to only 10 journals and that it could be broadened to include a greater number outlets and a wider range of content. We base this belief, on the one hand, on the fact that the list of journals is in line with the earlier studies devoted to OM research which we used for a comparison with our results and, on the other, because our list takes its selection of the most prestigious OM outlets from a total of seven studies on their quality/relevance and number of citations. As we have previously pointed out, it is a well-known fact that researchers tend to submit their studies to journals of this type. This analysis could possibly be flawed if what is being published does not reflect what is being submitted (that there is a bias in the journals regarding appropriate topics for publication). However, Amoako-Gyampah and Meredith (1989) and Pannirselvam et al. (1999) demonstrated that this was not the case in reality.