INFORMS Open Forum

MSOM: Creation of Three New Departments

  • 1.  MSOM: Creation of Three New Departments

    Posted 11-25-2015 09:41

    The Creation of Three Departments for M&SOM

    As stated in the article “The past, present, and future of M&SOM” (, I promised to change the structure of the editorial board by creating three new departments by 2016.  With more support, M&SOM will have more band-width and capacity to process more OM research articles, and the Editor-in-Chief can spend more time on promoting M&SOMand improving the review process. 

    I am delighted to inform you that Morris Cohen (UPenn), Hau Lee (Stanford), and Brian Tomlin (Dartmouth) have agreed to serve as Department Editors.  Below is the mission statement of each of the three departments.  Authors can submit their articles directly to one of the following departments starting January 1, 2016.  The Editor-in-Chief shall continue to handle OM Forum paper submissions and papers not covered by any department. (To ensure we draw on the expertise of our editorial board members, all departments will share a common pool of Associate Editors.) 

    Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management (Department Editor:  Brian Tomlin, Dartmouth)

    The Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Department focuses on the internal and external operations management challenges facing product-based companies (and other organizations); from the acquisition of inputs, through their transformation into physical products, to their distribution and sale to customers.

    Operations management also encompasses the design and management of the assets, financial and information flows, networks, processes, relationships, and resources necessary for the effective production and distribution of physical products.  Moreover, operations management is not limited to repetitive situations; project-based situations in which a unique, “one-time” product build occurs are also relevant.

    This department is interested in all papers that advance knowledge in or more of the above areas. Papers that bring a new perspective are especially welcome.  The department does not require a paper to apply to all product-based industries. However, the paper’s research should be motivated by an important operations challenge common to some industry or some important segment of an industry.

    Please note the following:

    • Papers that deal with retail operations are appropriate for this department if they focus primarily on product operations. Papers that primarily focus on retail service operations should be directed to the Service Operations Department.
    • Papers that focus primarily on the service challenges associated with the distribution, sale, and usage of physical products should be directed to the Service Operations Department.
    • Papers that focus primarily on the environmental and sustainability challenges associated with manufacturing and supply chain operations should be directed to the Innovative Operations Department.

    Service Operations (Department Editor: Morris Cohen, Upenn)

    The Service Operations Department focuses on all aspects of management for the production and delivery of services.  This encompasses decisions and issues such as long term competitive strategies based on service performance, the design of service products, the deployment of the resources and capabilities required to produce services, real time control of the assets used in the production of services, the development of incentives, coordination policies and mechanisms appropriate to services, attention to behavioral and perception issues associated with the consumption of services and public policy issues where services are especially important.

    Services are ubiquitous in today’s economies and can be found both in traditional service industries (such as transportation, hospitality, health care, retailing, restaurants, etc.) as well as in traditional manufacturing industries where services are bundled with tangible products to enhance the value created by products.  Moreover, the management of service processes are critical for the internal operation of all firms regardless of their products or technology.

    The department is interested in papers that contribute to the development of methodologies and analytical tools that are relevant to the above areas that include analytical models, behavioral analysis, and empirical studies.  The department is also interested in papers that describe real world implementations or develop relevant managerial insights.  We encourage papers that expand the scope of service operations and/or that provide new perspectives based on technology and competitive developments.

    Innovative Operations (Department Editor: Hau Lee, Stanford)

    The Innovative Operations refers to new frontiers of operations management that bring in new innovative ways to manage operations, innovative processes used in operations, or advances in the processes that are critical in the creation and development of innovations. It can also cover operations management applications in non-conventional areas such as humanitarian, non-profit sectors, or in emerging economies.

    Examples of topics of interest to this Department include:

    • Management of new product design and development, including the processes of product introduction and life cycle management.
    • Operations management with innovative technologies, such as additive manufacturing, digitized supply chains, and internet of things, etc., in operations.
    • Operations management with expanded objectives such as social impacts and equity, which are critical for humanitarian or social entrepreneurs, and social and environmental responsibility, which are critical for all sectors.
    • New business models resulted from innovations in operations.
    Christopher Tang
    University of California-Los Angeles
    Los Angeles CA