This is a reading seminar intended for PhD students interested in a teaching and research career in Operations Management (OM). The aim of the course is to expose students to the classical literature in OM and to give them a sense of the historical intellectual origins of the field. In short, the goal is to cover the papers that “every scholar in OM should know” - but which are often overlooked in the process of taking methodological courses and more specialized seminars.
We begin with a brief look at the early intellectual origins of the scientific management of production (Fredrick Taylor, Adam Smith, Henry Ford, Demming, etc.). We will then look at the most influential papers in OM, including classic papers on traditional topics such as production planning (e.g. Holt, Modiliani and Miller, Wagner & Whitin, Roundy), theory of production (e.g. Koopmans) and inventory theory (e.g. Wilson, Karlin, Clark and Scarf, Eppen) as well as more recent topics like contracting (e.g. Spengler), the bull whip effect (e.g. Lee, Padmanabhan & Whang) and accurate response (e.g. Fisher & Raman). Our primary objective is to analyze the intellectual contributions of this classical literature and how it has influenced the field as we know it today.
Students will be asked to present selected papers and to serve as discussants for others. A final take-home exam will also be given. A detailed syllabus will be distributed during the first class.