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“Operations Management” Term in Academic Literature

EBSCO Search

This paper is aimed at discussing how such the business notion “operations management” is introduced in the academic literature. The following graph will plot the number of academic sources in which the notion is discussed.

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The usage of the concept

It should be noted that this chart is based on the results of the search queries done in the database called EBSCO. During the search, I focused on the period between 1930 to 2013. It was necessary to identify the number of articles or other scholarly sources incorporating such a term as operations management. I did nine search queries, and each of them was done for a separate decade such as the sixties or seventies. The only exception was the final inquiry when I looked at the number of articles published in 2011, 2012, and 2013. While collected the data, I relied on the abstract search which that the database engine focused only on the abstracts of sources. Therefore, one should take into consideration that there could be a greater number of articles in which operations management could be discussed. This is one of the main issues that should be considered while discussing the frequency of usage.

One should mention that the term operations management is not a new concept. This notion was introduced by Fredrick Taylor at the beginning of the twentieth century and it had profound implications for many manufacturing companies (Khanna 2007, p. 7). However, this concept was not widely used by scholars. For example, according to the results of my search queries, during the period between 1930-1950, there were only twelve articles related to this concept. Nevertheless, the situation began to change dramatically in the following decades. For instance, between 1961 and 1970 the number of sources rose by 8745 percent. This trend continued in the following decades, and there is no evidence suggesting that the interest in this topic will decline since it is still relevant to many professionals.

To a great extent, this tendency can be explained by the increasing attention to various aspects of operations management. At the end of the twentieth century, researchers understood that the productivity of many firms could be improved by elaborating or optimizing their operations management strategies (Bames 2008, p. 3). Additionally, scholars attempted to construct theoretical models of operations management. This is one of the reasons why there were 11949 academic sources published within the period between 2000 and 2010. Currently, this term can be related to a great number of areas such as information technology, supply chain management, customer relations, financial performance, and so forth. On the whole, various aspects of operations management can be discussed by the representatives of various disciplines. Thus, the active participation of many researchers can account for the increasing number of academic sources in which this concept is mentioned. These are the main aspects that should not be overlooked.

This discussion indicates that the term operations management has become extremely popular among many researchers. It is very likely, that in the future, this concept will attract even more attention. Nowadays, business executives understand the importance of operations management for the financial and organizational performance of their companies. One can argue that in the following decades, even more attention will be paid to this concept.


Bames, D 2008, Operations Management: An International Perspective, Cengage Learning EMEA, New York.

Khanna, R 2007, Production And Operations Management, PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd, New York.

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