Evolution of operations management: Past, present and future

Erkan Bayraktar, Ekrem Tatoglu, M. C. Jothishankar, Teresa Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Purpose This paper seeks to analyze the evolution of shift in the area of operations management (OM) and attempts to anticipate potential developments in the relevant areas of OM. Design/methodology/approach A hybrid approach is adopted to understand how the field of OM has evolved over time relying on the perspectives of both academics and business practitioners. This evolution of shift in the area of OM is examined based on a thorough literature review and the authors’ industrial experience. Findings From the days of functional point solutions relying on concepts like reorder point to finite capacity planning, OM research at present deals with a set of important problems facing both private and public sectors at the organizational level. Most prominent of these include e-business, supply chain management, production planning and scheduling, product development, decision support systems, information-based strategy, systems development and implementation, risk and environmental management. OM has also embraced several organization-wide philosophies including lean production, mass customization and agile manufacturing. Practical implications With the advent of Internet and burgeoning of the new economy, this paper provides important insights regarding the evolution of OM in the past, recent developments at present and what the future holds for this field. It is envisaged that a focus on the issues central to OM will soon propel both researchers and industry practitioners beyond existing technologies and also provide the catalyst for developing new ones. Originality/value This paper provides useful insights to both researchers and practitioners who are interested in the field of OM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-871
Number of pages29
JournalManagement Research News
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 10 2007


  • Lean production
  • Operations management
  • Resource management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting

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