Khade, Aly, & Murti Trends in Graduate Operations Management Curricula at Leading Universities in the United States

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2 the somewhat harder concept, Just-in-Time manufacturing. By the beginning of the 90 s, the European Union (EU) was requiring ISO 9000 certification for products as a prerequisite for doing business with them. The advent of computer and internet revolution spawned technology-based solutions, including SAP, ERP, TPM, E-commerce, and Supply Chain Management (Bowersox, 2007). Almost at the same time, Motorola, and IBM took the lead to evolve Quality Management towards Six Sigma (Summers, 2007). Since the beginning of the 21 st century, many companies became interested in implementing Lean Manufacturing as a natural progress from the Toyota Production System and now Lean Six Sigma have become all the rage (Mike et al., 2004). Operations Management in the last two decades had to dynamically evolve as a result of rapid globalization, international competition, worldwide sourcing supported by advances in technology and telecommunications (Hayes, 2002 and Starr, 2003). The global marketplace presented tremendous challenges and opportunities to the OM field. Obviously, OM has grown from merely a back room operation to a sophisticated discipline which contributes significantly to the overall competitive strategies of business. This growth has not only helped manufacturing but is now successfully supporting the service sector, private and public, as well. Current Status of Graduate Operations Management Curricula at Leading U.S. Universities In order to study the status of graduate Operations Management curricula at leading universities, we selected a group of twenty-nine top universities in the US. The choice of these leading universities was based on a list of America s Best Graduate Schools With Business Specialties in Production/Operations and Supply Chain/Logistics for These two lists, published by U.S. News and World Report (2006), each included the top twenty five graduate programs for that specialty. Combining these two lists yielded twenty-nine top graduate programs in both Production/Operations and Supply Chain/Logistics. In addition, another list of the top ten MBA programs known for excellence in Operations Management published by The Wall Street Journal/Harris (2006) was also considered. All ten programs on this list were already included in the group of twentynine leading universities in the US considered in this study. Even though goals and markets for these leading universities are different from those of State Universities and other similar universities, these leading universities usually offer cuttingedge Operations Management curricula which can be used as a benchmark for other universities. Table 1 shows the complete list of the twenty-nine selected universities and their graduate Operations Management course offerings. These courses are available to all students in the following programs: Ph.D. in OM, MBA with OM related concentration, and MS in OM related fields. Ph.D. Research-related courses as well as the basic graduate courses in Operations Management and Management Science are not included in Table 1 because they often represent the core requirements for all students in these OM graduate programs. In addition, the table also does not include any graduate courses in Management Science since this paper is focused mainly on Operations Management courses. For the purpose of standardization of course titles for inclusion, the actual course names are sometimes modified based on the course. Analysis of OM Graduate Programs and Curriculum Trends Graduate Programs in Operations Management The graduate programs in Operations Management at the top US universities are strong and ever changing. Figure 1 shows that 25 out of 29 (86%) of top US universities offer 61

3 Table 1: OM Graduate Courses Offered By U.S. Leading Universities Grad Programs Graduate Operations Management Course Offerings University/School 4L( 1&% 17 SCM QM SO Serv PM MIM Int l MOT PR LM OM OM OM M OM OM MGT 1 MIT/ Sloan yes yes yes yes yes yes 2 Purdue Univ. yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 3 Carnegie yes yes yes yes yes Mellon Univ. 4 U. of Michigan yes M yes yes yes yes 5 Stanford yes yes 6 U. of Penn yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 7 Harvard yes yes yes yes yes 8 Northwestern yes MM yes yes yes yes yes yes 9 Columbia Univ. yes yes yes yes yes yes 10 Indiana Univ. yes yes SCM yes yes yes yes yes yes 11 U. of North yes SCM yes yes yes yes yes yes Carolina 12 UCLA yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 13 Michigan State yes SCM SCM yes yes yes yes yes yes 14 Ohio State yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 15 U of Chicago yes yes yes 16 Georgia Tech yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 17 UC Berkeley MOT yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 18 UT Austin yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 19 Arizona State SCM SCM yes yes yes yes yes 20 Cornell Univ. yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 21 Dartmouth/Tuck yes yes yes yes 22 Duke Univ. yes yes yes yes yes yes 23 New York Univ. yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 24 U of Maryland yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 25 U of Minnesota yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 26 Penn State SCM SCM MM yes yes yes yes yes 27 U. of Wisconsin yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 28 U of Arkansas SCM yes yes yes 29 U of Tennessee LM yes yes yes yes Number of Schools % of Schools (All universities offer the Operations Management Core Course in addition to above courses.) SCM-Supply Chain Management QM- Quality Management SOM- Strategic Operations Management Serv OM- Service Operations Management PM- Project Management MIM- Materials/Inventory Management Int l OM- International Operations Management MOT- Management of Technology PR MGT- Process Management/Analysis/Improvement LM- Logistics Management MM- Manufacturing Management M- Manufacturing 62

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5 Ph.D. program in Operation Management. In addition, an MBA in Operations Management major or specialization is offered by 25 out of 29 (86%) universities. Five of these universities also offer MS program in Operations Management in addition to the MBA in Operations Management major. About 23% of the MBA/MS programs offer a concentration in supply chain management. This indicates that the leading US universities are actively educating future Ph.D.s and MBAs in Operations Management and conducting research in operations management and supply chain management. Supply Chain Management The operations management curricula across these top 29 universities show a fast pace of change in the courses offered. Supply Chain Management courses, relatively unknown just ten years ago, are now by far the most popular. Figure 2 shows that 26 out of 29 (90%) US leading universities offer at least one graduate course in Supply Chain Management. The robust and growing trend in Supply Chain Management is a reflection of globalization of Operations Management curriculum in tune with the growing international trade and outsourcing of manufacturing and services. Furthermore, 14 out of 29 (48%) of these top universities offer two or more courses in Supply Chain Management, 8 out of 29 (28%) offer three or more courses in Supply Chain Management. At least five of the top US universities have a graduate program in Supply Chain Management major. This trend in the curricula and the Operations Management programs indicate a fundamental shift from the traditional courses such as Inventory Management, Production Planning/Control, and Logistics to Supply Chain Management. This trend seems to be responding to the increase in jobs in the Supply Chain Management field. As reported by Goldsby (2006), there is tremendous growth in career opportunities in Supply Chain Management and research interests in the field. This trend also validates Johnson and Pyke s (2000) prediction that Supply Chain is not just the popular fad of the late 1990s and a closer look at the interest in Supply chain Management at both business practice and MBA programs reveals stronger forces at work creating an environment ripe for Supply Chain concepts. Strategic Operation Management A graduate course in Strategic Operations Management is offered by 25 out of 29 (86%) of the top 29 universities. This synchronizes with the increase in popularity of Supply Chain Management courses. Since Supply Chain Management studies a strategic view of the entire business enterprise, therefore, a graduate course in Strategic Operations Management is a natural consequence of the growing trend in Supply Chain Management courses. All universities that have Supply Chain Management course(s) have a course in Strategic Operations Management. According to Aly et al. (2005), there are significant differences in undergraduate and graduate courses in Strategic Operations Management. Only 50% of the undergraduate programs offer a course in Strategic Operation Management compared to 86% at the graduate level. At undergraduate level, there appears no correlation between courses in supply chain management and the Strategic Operations Management. Traditional courses in Inventory Management, Materials Management, Production Planning, are being offered by fewer and fewer universities. These courses are being replaced by courses in Supply Chain Management courses. However, many of these traditional Operations Management courses are still popular at the undergraduate level (Aly et al., 2005). Other Operation Management Courses Service Operations Management course is offered by 18 of the top 29 (62%) leading US universities. This also is expected because there is steady growth in the U.S. service sector as the U.S. economy is gradually reaching the maturity level. Quality Management is still a popular 64

6 graduate course at 16 of the top 29 (55%) U.S. universities. Management of Technology course is offered by 12 out of the 29 (41%) leading US universities. The offering in the graduate programs of a Management of Technology course is about the same level as that in undergraduate programs (Aly et al., 2005). Also, it is important to note that even though topics such as Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma are currently popular among many World Class organizations, few courses devoted to these topics are offered at the top 29 universities. For example, Six Sigma courses are offered by only 4 of the top 29 (14%) leading US universities. While only 2 of these universities (7%) are now offering courses in Lean Enterprise. Conclusion The leading universities have made dramatic changes in the OM curriculum in order to better prepare their students to meet the challenges of the ever-changing market place. The Operations Management programs at Ph.D. and MBA/MS levels are strong and growing as evidenced from studying the OM curricula of 29 leading US universities. This finding is quite contrary to some beliefs that the operations management discipline is on a gradual decline. Many of the traditional OM programs at the graduate level are reemerging as Supply Chain Management programs with tremendous opportunities for careers and research interests. Supply Chain Management courses are more popular at the graduate level than at the undergraduate level and many traditional OM graduate courses are being reinvented as Supply Chain Management courses. A large number of top U.S. universities are now offering more than one graduate course in Supply Chain Management. And many of them are also offering graduate courses in Strategic Operations Management. The growth in Strategic Operations Management is in line with growth in Supply Chain Management courses. The popularity and significance of rapid realignment of Operations Management curriculum into Supply Chain Management is a manifestation of the globalization of trade and outsourcing of manufacturing and services. As we know, the globalization of the business world is here to stay and will continue growing. As a result of this research, we expect the Supply Chain Management programs and courses to grow both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The Operations Management curricula at the undergraduate level has much to learn and adopt from the emerging trends in the graduate programs in leading US universities. References Aly, Nael, Khade, Alan and Murti, Gene, Operations Management Curriculum: Emerging Trends, California Journal of Operations Management, 4 (1), 2006, Bowersox, Donald; Class, David; Cooper, Bixby, Supply Chain Logistics Management, 2 nd Edition, McGraw-Hill-Irwin, New York, George, Mike; Rowlands, Dave; Kastle, Bill, What is Lean Six Sigma? McGraw-Hill-Irwin, San Francisco, Goldsby, Thomas J., The Trial and Tribulations of Supply Chain Management Research, Decision Line, 37 (5), 2006, 4-7. Hayes, R.H., Challenges Posed to Operations Management by the New Economy, POM, 11 (1), 2002, Johnson, M.E. and Pyke, D.F., A Framework for Teaching Supply Chain Management, POM, 9 (1), 2000, May, Matthew, Lean Thinking for Knowledge Work, Quality Progress, 38 (6), 2005, Starr, M.K. Application of POM to e-business: B2C e-shopping, IJOPM, 23 (1), 2003., Summers, Donna, Six Sigma, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Columbus, Ohio, The Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive Survey in Both 2005 and 2006, Top Schools By Academic Discipline, accessed on November 6,

7 l06/ table-discipline.html U.S. News & World Report, Premium Online Edition, America s Best Graduate schools 2007, Business Specialties Production- Operations, accessed on November 6, kings/mba/premium/specialties/mbasp09.php U.S. News & World Report, Premium Online Edition, America s Best Graduate schools 2007, Business Specialties Supply Chain/Logistics, accessed on November 6, kings/mba/premium/specialties/mbasp13.php 66

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