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The programme in Operations & Production Management will include seminars on the following topics :

  • Research Methodology in Operations Management
  • Technology Management
  • Project Management


Prof. Pär AHLSTRÖM, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden


Prof. Pär AHLSTRÖM, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden

Prof. Cipriano FORZA, University of Padova, Italy

Prof. Rui SOUSA, Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal

Prof. David COGHLAN, University of Dublin, Ireland

Prof. Paul COUGHLAN, University of Dublin, Ireland

Prof. Jan FRANSOO, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

Prof. Will BERTRAND, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands


Monday February 4: Introduction to Research Methodology in Operations Management
Prof. Pär Ahlstrom

Session 1: Program introduction and overview
Overview of the week. Participant presentations. Agenda setting.

Session 2: Research contributions
Creating and developing knowledge. The twin pressures on operations management contributions. Judging the quality of research contributions.

Session 3: Choosing a topic
Examining and synthesizing the literature. Developing research hypotheses and propositions. Sources of topics. Characteristics of interesting topics.

Session 4: Locating topic within the operations management field
The conceptual framework. Antecedent literature, concepts and theories.

Session 5: Developing research questions
Types of research questions. The nature of theory and its components. Paradigms and philosophical positions.

Session 6: Research approaches
The importance of research design. Fitting questions to method. Overview of research methodologies in operations management. Sign of good operations management research.

Tuesday February 5 Surveys
Prof. Cipriano Forza

Session 7: Introduction
Survey research in OM. Appropriateness of survey.

Session 8: Research design
Purpose of the study and types of investigation. Unit of analysis. Time horizon.
Population, population frame and population sample. Sampling designs.

Session 9: Data gathering (comparison of different methods)
Mail-out questionnaires. In-person structured interviews. Telephone surveys

Session 10: Questionnaire design
Wording. Scaling-coding-categorizing. General appearance.

Session 11: Measurement of variables
Operational definition of variables. Measure validity. Measure reliability.

Session 12: Data analysis
Getting data ready for analysis. Obtaining a feel for data. Check goodness of data.
Test hypotheses. Brief presentation of statistical techniques used in OM.

Session 13: Presentation and discussion of results
Presenting information to allow future replications or meta-analyses.
Interpretation of the analyses in the context of the hypotheses. Discussion of the implications.

Session 14: Workshop
Presentations and critical analysis of each survey-based participant's research plan with reference to research design, population and sampling, method of data gathering, questionnaire design, measurement of variables, and process of data analysis.

Wednesday February 6 Case studies
Prof. Rui Sousa

Session 15: Introduction to case studies
What is a case study - the commonalties with differences between teaching and research case

Session 16: When to use cases
Strengths and weaknesses of the case approach. Single versus multiple cases. Triangulation with other methods. Selection of cases - replication versus sampling logic.

Session 17: Case methodology
Developing research instruments and protocols. Choice of data to be collected. Data collection methods. Interviewing strategies. Use of secondary data. Validation. Key references - e.g. Yin.

Session 18: Case analysis
Methods of analysing case data. Dealing with and exploiting the richness of case research. Dealing with small sample sizes. Developing generalisable conclusions from case data. Relating conclusions to the theory and practice development. Reliability and validity in case research. Examples form published case research.

Session 19: Writing up and evaluating case research
Recognising good case research. Issues in publishing case research.

Thursday February 7 Action research
Prof. Paul Coughlan & David Coghlan

Sessions 20: What is Action Research?
What type of research is this? How was it set up and structured? What was the process? What role did the researchers play? What were the outcomes, in terms of action for the companies involved and theory generation? What would you see to be the difficulties and obstacles, in terms of both the actions for the companies and the generation of theory?

Session 21: Experiential Activity, Reflection and Feedback
The process of operational improvement based on an emerging understanding of a running operation. Reflection on the running operation from a number of perspectives.

Session 22: Action Planning and Research Planning
What is the context and purpose of Sticklebrick Corporation? What data have we gathered? What actually happened? Can we list and name events and incidents? What actions and clinical interventions are in prospect? How do we analyse the data? What theories can we draw on to make sense of what took place? What working hypotheses are emerging which might be understood in terms of OM theory and concepts?

Session 23: Action Research in Organisational Systems – Action Research Theory
What is action research and when can it be used? What is needed before entering into action research?

Session 24: Action Research in Organisational Systems – Planning an Action Research Project
How do you design an action research project? Implementing action research. Action research skills. How do you generate theory? Assessing the quality of action research.

Friday February 8 Models and simulation
Prof. J. Will Bertrand & Jan C. Fransoo

Session 25: History of Quantitative Modeling in Operations Management  - Will Bertrand
The development of Operations Management from the discipline of Operational Research; role of quantitative modeling in (European) Operational Research vs (American) Operations Research; implications for current OM Research

Session 26: Methodology in Quantitative Modeling, Jan C. Fransoo
Developing a formal model of an operational process, verification of the model (internal consistency) and validation of the model in view of the research questions (external consistency)

Session 27: Opportunities and Limitations with Quantitative Modeling, Will Bertrand / Jan Fransoo
Work on a quantitative modelling exercise.


The seminar will be held at the EIASM, BRUSSELS.
The programme will start on February 4, 2008 and is scheduled to end February 8, 2008

The participation fee is 1500 €. This fee includes participation to the seminar, the documents, lodging and full board.
Doctoral students will be assigned rooms for two.

Should you wish a single room, an extra fee of 25 € per night will be charged to you.

Cancellations made before January 15, 2008 will be reimbursed with 10% deduction of the total fee. No reimbursement will be possible after this date.

The Institute offers a limited number of scholarships of 700 € each. Scholarships are strictly limited to students coming from an EIASM Institutional Member (the Academic Council). Allocation of the scholarships is entirely at the discretion of the European Institute.

Interested doctoral students should register online (and add the required documents) no later than December 4, 2007. Besides doctoral students, other researchers may participate. The number of participants will be limited to create a stimulating environment. The selection among the applicants will be conducted by the Institute’s Faculty. They will review the following documents which should necessarily complement each application form:

  • the applicant’s curriculum vitae demonstrating his/her capabilities of doing research ;
  • a letter of recommendation of his/her local faculty supporting the application ;
  • a two-page description of his/her doctoral research, indicating the general objectives.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Nina Payen
Tel: +32 2 226 66 61 - Fax: +32 2 512 19 29
Email: payen@eiasm.be