A Note on the Growth of Research in Service Operations Management

Topics: Management, Service system, Operations research Pages: 27 (7209 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Vol. 16, No. 6, November-December 2007, pp. 780 –790 issn 1059-1478 07 1606 780$1.25

doi 10.3401/poms. © 2007 Production and Operations Management Society

A Note on the Growth of Research in Service Operations Management Jeffery S. Smith • Kirk R. Karwan • Robert E. Markland
Department of Marketing, Florida State University, Rovetta Business Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32306, USA Department of Business and Accounting, Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, South Carolina 29613, USA Management Science Department, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, 1705 College Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA jssmith@cob.fsu.edu •kirk.karwan@furman.edu •bobbym@moore.sc.edu

e present an empirical assessment of the productivity of individuals and institutions in terms of service operations management (SOM) research. We reviewed five mainstream operations management journals over a 17-year time period to generate a sample of 463 articles related to service operations. The results indicate that SOM research has been growing and key contributions are being made by an array of researchers and institutions. Key words: research productivity; research review; service operations Submissions and Acceptance: Original submission: Received November 2005; revisions received July 2006 and October 2007; accepted October 2007 by Aleda Roth.




The transformation of industrialized economies from a manufacturing base to a service orientation is a continuing phenomenon. The trend is readily apparent in the United States where, by virtually all accounts, over 80% of private sector employment is engaged in some sort of service work (Karmarkar, 2004). Despite this, observers of research in operations management (OM) have long been critical of the field for not transitioning in a similar manner. One study by Pannirselvam et al. (1999) reviewed 1,754 articles between 1992 and 1997 in seven key OM journals and reported only 53 (2.7%) addressed service-related problems. Roth and Menor (2003) also voiced concern about a paucity of research in presenting a Service Operations Management (SOM) research agenda for the future. Regardless of the exact figures, there is clearly enormous potential and need for research in the service operations arena. Recent developments within the discipline are encouraging. For example, Production and Operations Management (POM) and the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) have taken several steps to facilitate research in service operations. First, the journal recently published three focused issues on 780

service operations. Second, POMS created a society subdivision, the College of Service Operations, that has hosted several national and international meetings. Finally, the journal now has an autonomous editorial department dedicated to service operations. Other initiatives to promote the service operations management field include the establishment of IBM’s Service Science, Management, and Engineering initiative (Spohrer et al., 2007) and the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science Section on Service Science. To a large extent, the service operations field has long been considered to occupy a niche within operations management. If service operations management researchers are to establish themselves firmly within the OM community, it is our contention that their theoretical contributions to leading academic journals must be more widely recognized and their relevance to practice acknowledged. As a part of the effort to encourage this progress, the purpose of this note is twofold: (1) to demonstrate that published work in the key operations journals is indeed showing an upward trend and (2) to facilitate research of individual scholars by identifying the individuals and institutions that have contributed most to the field of service operations.

Smith, Karwan, and Markland: Growth...
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