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Background, aim and learning objectives
The background to this course is a wish to provide students at the graduate school in Technology Management and Economics a profound understanding on issues related to research within operations and supply chain management. We have chosen to subtitle the course theories, perspectives, history, and current research topics to give guidance about what we aim to accomplish.
Both operations management and supply chain management are emerging professions and research areas, which have strong theoretical and historical roots in a variety of disciplines; logistics, purchasing, distribution, transportation, manufacturing and production.
The two research areas show both similarities and differences and they are also somewhat interlinked. This is the reason for why we have chosen to integrate these two research areas into one course.
The aim of this course is manifold. First, the course aims to explore the history of the research areas; how they have developed over time, both in terms of theoretical concepts and practical context, and how they are historically interlinked. Another aim is to identify and create an understanding of key theoretical principles and concepts within the wider area of operations and supply chain management. The focus will be in particular on the problem area and explanatory power of a selection of theories, to understand their origin, fundamental assumptions, and use in problem solving. These theories span over intra to inter-organisational perspectives. The course should be regarded as a process in which participants are given opportunity to learn about historical roots of their academic discipline, key concepts and their fundamental assumptions, and encouraged to position their research in the wider context of operations and supply chain management.
After successfully completing this course, students have:
1. Developed an understanding of contemporary frameworks and emerging themes within operations and supply chain management.
2. Developed an insight into a selection of theories from other disciplines that can be applied to define and analyse problems related to operations and supply chain management.
3. Understood the importance of the empirical context for the development and use of theoretical principles.
4. Developed an appreciation of the historical context and key concepts and approaches within operations and supply chain management, and their problem areas.
By this, students acknowledge the background of their theoretical frameworks and the underlying basic theoretical assumptions, and should be able to position their own studies relative to relevant schools of thought within the discipline.
The maximum number of students in the course is 16.
Organisation of the course
Before each session students (in groups of two) should have read the literature for that session and handed in about two A4 pages to the responsible teachers for that session. This hand-in should discuss two general questions and two session specific questions.
The two general questions are the following:
When reading the articles do you identify something especially surprising/interesting? Motivate and discuss your choice
Is there a connection to your own research area? If yes, describe how. If no, is there anyhow something in the articles that inspires you?
This should be handed-in at the latest one week before the theme session.
All sessions are mandatory.
A term paper is approximately 3000 words.