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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. Christer KARLSSON, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark


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

Prof. David COGHLAN, University of Dublin, Ireland

Prof. Paul COUGHLAN, University of Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Simon CROOM, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom

Prof. Cipriano FORZA, University of Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy

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

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




Monday January 31

Dr. Simon Croom : Introduction to Research Methodology in OM

Session 1 : Choosing a topic
Examining and synthesizing the literature. Developing research hypotheses and propositions. Conducting a test of the validity of the proposal.

Session 2 : Locating the topic within the field of operations management
The conceptual framework. Antecedent literature, concepts and theories. Choosing and managing the supervisor.

Session 3 : Funding, industrial support and access for empirical study
The importance of access. Time and resources for research. Thinking about funding.

Session 4 : Theory in OM
The nature of theory. Paradigms and epistemology. Emerging trends in OM

Session 5 : Research methodology
Choices and approaches. Qualitative and quantitative methods. Locating your methodology. Validity.

Tuesday February 1

Prof. Cipriano Forza : Surveys

Session 6 : Introduction
Survey research in OM. Appropriateness of survey.

Session 7 : Research design
Purpose of the study and types of investigation. Unit of analysis. Time horison.
Population, population frame and population sample. Sampling designs.

Session 8 : Data gathering (comparison of different methods)
Mail-out questionnaires. In-person structured interviews. Telephone surveys

Session 9 : Questionnaire design
Wording. Scaling-coding-categorizing. General appearance.

Session 10 : Measurement of variables
Operational definition of variables. Measure validity. Measure reliability.

Session 11 : 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 12: 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 13 : 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 2

Prof. Rui Sousa : Case studies

Session 14 : Introduction to case studies
What is a case study - the commonalties with differences between teaching and research case

Session 15 : 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 16 : Case methodology
Choice of data to be collected. Data collection methods. Interviewing strategies. Use of secondary data. Validation. Key references - e.g. Yin.

Session 17 : Examples of case research
Review of published case based research. Different styles and methods used. How it was conducted and written. How conclusions were drawn and related to theory and practice development.

Session 18 : Case analysis
Methods for analysing case data. Dealing with and exploiting the richness of case research. Dealing with small sample sizes. Developing generalisable conclusions from case data.

Thursday February 3

Prof. Paul Coughlan & David Coghlan : Action research

Session 19 : What is Action Research ?
What type of research is this? How is it set up and structured? What is the process? What role do researchers play? What are the outcomes, in terms of action for the companies involved and theory generation? What difficulties and obstacles arise, in terms of both the actions for the companies and the generation of theory?

Session 20 : Experiential Activity, Reflection and Feedback
The process of operational improvement. Reflection on the running operation from a number of perspectives.

Session 21: Action Planning and Research Planning
What is the context and purpose? What data have been gathered? What actually happened? What actions and clinical interventions are in prospect? How to analyse the data. What theories can make sense of what took place? What working hypotheses are emerging?

Session 22: Action Research in Organisational Systems – Action Research Theory
When can action research be used? What is needed before entering into action research?

Session 23 : Action Research in Organisational Systems – Planning an Action Research Project
Designing an action research project? Implementing action research. Action research skills. Generating theory. Assessing the quality of action research.

Friday February 4

Prof.J. Will Bertrand & Jan C. Fransoo : Models and simulation

Session 24 : 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 25 : 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 26: Opportunities and Limitations with Quantitative Modeling (Will Bertrand / Jan Fransoo)
Work on a case that has been modeled using Systems Dynamics Modeling


The seminar will be held at the EIASM.
The programme will start on January 31, 2005 and is scheduled to end February 4, 2005

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, 2005 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 6, 2004. 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. Ene Kannel
Tel: +32 2 226 66 65 - Fax: +32 2 512 19 29
Email: kannel@eiasm.be