Process Theory: The Principles of Operations Management

ISBN : 9780199641055

Matthias Holweg; Jane Davies; Arnoud de Meyer; Benn Lawson; Roger W. Schmenner
256 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
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The motivation for this book came out of a shared belief that what passed as 'theory' in operations management (OM) was all too often inadequate. In one respect, OM scholars were bending over backwards to make theories from other fields fit our research problems. In another, questionable assumptions were being used to apply mathematics to OM problems. Neither proved a good match with what the authors' had observed in practice. Successful operations were managed by considerations that were far more straightforward than much of what was being published.

The authors of this book codify these practical considerations into a set of ten fundamental principles that bring together a century of operations management thinking. The authors then apply these principles to important topics such as process design, process improvement, the supply chain, new product development, project management, environmental sustainability, and the interfaces between operations management and other business school disciplines.


1 The Discipline of Operations Management; 2 The Process; 3 Analyzing Processes; 4 Variation, Capacity, and Throughput; 5 Scale, Scope, and Complexity; 6 Aligning Operations; 7 Measuring Performance; 8 Improving Processes; 9 Coordinating Interfaces; 10 The Principles of Operations Management; Appendix A: The 10 Process Principles and Subprinciples; Appendix B: Jargonbuster; Appendix C: The Cost of Inventory; Appendix D: Little's Law 204; Appendix E: Push Versus Pull Systems; Appendix E: Basic Trade-Off Models; Appendix F: The Kingman Formula; Appendix G: Capability, Control, and Six Sigma

About the author: 

Matthias Holweg is Professor of Operations Management at Said Business School, University of Oxford, where he is also chairs the Technology and Operations Management, and Organisation Studies department. His research focuses on the application and adaptation of process improvement methods across manufacturing, service and office contexts. Prior to joining Oxford, he was on the faculty of the University of Cambridge, and a Sloan Industry Center Fellow at MIT's Engineering Systems Division.; Jane Davies is Director of the Cambridge MBA and Senior Faculty in Management Practice at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the role of operations management in creating organizational value and growth. Before her academic career, Jane spent ten years consulting to companies in the service and public sectors on process improvement initiatives and technology change projects. ; Arnoud De Meyer is President of Singapore Management University. He was Director of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, and was the Founding Dean of INSEAD's Asia Campus in Singapore. He has an MSc in Electrical Engineering, an MBA and a PhD in Management from the University of Ghent. He serves on several boards as an external director both in Europe and Singapore.; Benn Lawson is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Operations Management at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, and Director of the Centre for Process Excellence and Innovation. His research focuses on the management of global supply chains, particularly issues around strategic sourcing, supplier management, and the interface with new product development. Prior to joining Cambridge, Benn held positions at Queen's University Belfast, and The University of Melbourne.; Roger W. Schmenner is Professor Emeritus of Operations Management and the former Randall L. Tobias Chair at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. He has held faculty appointments at Duke, Harvard, and Yale universities, and has been a three-time visiting faculty member at IMD in Lausanne, and a visiting professor at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. He is also a former President and Fellow of the Production and Operations Management Society. His research interests within the field include manufacturing strategy, productivity, and manufacturing and service operations location.

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