Many of us including myself have been wondering about this question for a long time….. In my view, this question should be addressed as two sub-questions:
- Why is it important for MSOM to be different from MS and OR?
MSOM is an OM journal and it should continue to position itself as the premier OM journal. As such, it is important to differentiate MSOM from MS and OR because MS is a multi-disciplinary journal and OR focuses on operations research methodologies.
Regarding the difference between MSOM and OR, I think OR is a collection of tools that enables us to examine certain OM issues in a scientific manner and to articulate our thoughts in a logical manner. Over the last few decades, OR tools have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of many OM issues. At the same time, the limitations of various OR tools have restricted us from exploring more complex OM issues. I strongly believe that understanding real and complex OM issues should come before research methodologies especially when the impact of OM research is ultimately measured by the way we affect how practitioners think and do.
- How to make MSOM different from MS and OR?
To serve our OM community comprising researchers, students, and practitioners, MSOM should publish OM papers that are relevant, rigorous, and innovative. Before MSOM printed its first issue in 1999, I was excited to serve on the first editorial board especially because MSOM was originally intended to publish new frontiers of Operations Management research that Management Science or Operations Research will not publish. With this original intent in mind, I would like to start a new dimension of MSOM (in addition to Manufacturing/Service Operations): Innovative Operations.
What is Innovative Operations? I think there are many Innovative Operations happening every day. How does Uber utilize data about its customers and drivers to achieve operations excellence? How should company leverage social media to improve operations? How does mobile technology improve farmer’s productivity and welfare in emerging markets? How can information transparency curb air pollution in China? If we publish an exciting portfolio of articles in MSOM that deals with Innovative Operations as well as Manufacturing / Service Operations, then we can clearly differentiate MSOM from MS and OR.
Being different and being more focused, MSOM will become the preferred outlet for innovative, relevant, and rigorous OM research!