Operations Management

Topics: Psychology, Theory, Scientific method Pages: 5 (1554 words) Published: December 10, 2012
BX2062 Operations Management |
Literature Review|
“Too much theory, not enough understanding”Veronika12665417| |

Bachelor Of BusinessSP53 2012 James Cook University Singapore |

Article Overview
The article was written by Roger W. Schemmer in early 2009. Basically, the article is addressing about the usage of theory in operations management. As mentioned in the article, theories used in the journal article, as science defines it, is not at the center of much of the research. This essay and its comments were engaging for more attention to what theories can mean for our understanding in operations management. Ten years ago, the writer and Morgan Swink published an article “On Theory in Operations Management” which meant to discuss the issues that operations management does not have their own theories that can be the framework of their disciplines. As the time passed by, the role of theories have changed; the existence of question whether theories still being used in productive ways to advance our understanding; and which theories have been forgotten or have been developed, have not gotten a satisfied responses yet, therefore, they wrote this essay to reassess the role of theory in operations management (Schmenner, 2009). To address those issues related to the reassessment of the role of theory, Schmenner stated out several important parts namely the definition of theory and the way it should be used within a discipline; things that have been done in the operation management and things that have gone wrong with certain approach; and lastly, the things that should be done to tie it better and more fully to the theory. Here, in the first part of the journal Schmenner stated out a number of key features concerning the use of theory as mentioned in his paper 10 years ago. He addressed the important usage of theory while he also stated out the differences between operations management and the physicists in the way of appreciating theory. Secondly, Schmenner pointed out the problem of typical paper published in operations management and suggested how it should be written. Lastly, he also stated out the things that should be done to understand better the linkage of theory and the good philosophy of science. Article Critique

Schmenner defined theories in 4 important key points in terms of its content of explanation; the way they are invented; the way they can be proved; and the building blocks of its understanding. It is mentioned that in a number of disciplines, those features oh theory and their usage are fundamentally important. However, people involved in operations management do not really appreciate the role of theories as the physicists do. They do not get excited in replacing existing theory with a brand new one that proved able to handle the facts better. Kaplan also argued that behavioral science often has an unhealthy fixation in methodology; behavioral science tends to regard methodology as a source of rescue. In personal, I find this article has an interesting topic in discussing about the different perception of theory usage in different kind of field. However, I found there is confusion in a sentence saying that “Theories are not built; they are invented. That is to say, theories cannot be systematically constructed or deduced from facts. Theories require inspiration and creativity. Facts and the regularities among those facts may exist for generations before an adequate theory invented to account for them” (Schmenner, 2009). I personally found this sentence is quite confusing, it basically said theories cannot be deduced from facts but throughout the sentence I interpreted that theories are based on facts. In this part, the writer should have used a simple sentence rather than using a structure that may have given a feeling that the writer is beating around the bush. In general, this article is considered as a good and useful article but there is some part of it which I found are quite...
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