Activity: Membership types › Membership of network
Can operations management be ‘sexy’?
The Future of Operations Management Teaching
Operations Management (OM) is not seen as ‘sexy’ as marketing, human resources, and other Business disciplines. This is far from being a problem only for OM. Many disciplines that are grounded quantitative techniques tend to carry a burden of being too difficult or theoretical, and boring.
Despite the lack of ‘sexiness’, OM has a very important function. It holds the companies’ core competences as it is responsible for the ‘doing’ part in organisations. While employers value a lot the quantitative and analytical skills that OM modules are normally linked to, soft skills have been increasing in importance. Students taking OM modules are well respected in the market, particularly, in the times of crises, when it is vital to find ways to reduce production costs and rethink relationships with suppliers.
In this context, OM teachers are faced with various challenges when making the discipline more attractive to Business students. First, with the increase in student numbers, content, delivery, and assessment techniques may require changes that could also affect the balance between quantitative and soft skills aimed in the learning processes. Second, the new trends such as green/sustainable operations, servitization of manufacturing, and internationalisation of production pushes the boundaries of OM towards interdisciplinary subjects such as ecology, international economics, ethics, and culture – which will need to be appropriately accommodated in the module learning activities. Are these and other trends opportunities to make OM sexy? Or will they create more difficulties in making it sexy for our students?