Welcome to Advances in Operations and Supply Chain Management

Description: With the rediscovery of its strategic importance, Operations Management (OM) or, as it should be more appropriately called Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM), has undergone massive changes as a field of research in the last three decades. Until the early 1980s, OM research was focused on areas such as inventory management, scheduling, quality inspection and control, layout and location decisions. Today, with the enormous possibilities offered by Information Technology, massive globalization, and core competence thinking, industrial production is taking place in elaborate global supply chains and networks of partners each focusing on what they are best at and together aiming at delivering superior value to the global market place in a world, which is running out of natural resources, undergoing a climate change with possibly dramatic consequences, and suffering from natural and human disasters. Current OSCM research focuses on operations and footprint strategy, performance management, manufacturing and supply chain configurations and governance, sustainability, crisis management and humanitarian operations.

With the introduction of the Internet of Things and Services in manufacturing systems, the next wave of technology-driven innovation is on the doorstep, and one of the key questions for OSCM to address is: what are the implications of concepts such as Enterprise 2.0, Industry 4.0, and the smart factory of the future for OSCM as a field of practice and research.

While the progress in practice has been massive, OSCM has also been accused of being theory-poor and irrelevant for practitioners. The call to recognize OSCM for what it is, a field of management research and practice, which requiring the discipline to both improve its theoretical basis and practical relevance and accessibility, is become louder and louder.

The course on Advances in Operations and Supply Chain Management addresses several OSCM topics related to the management of “manufacturing systems of today and tomorrow”, including:

  • OM theory and practice – implications for research design
    • Relevance and the role of theory in OSCM research
    • Collaborative research strategies
    • Developing theory from research with practice
  • From mass manufacturing through lean production to agility and beyond
    • The principles of lean and agile production
    • Are lean and agile mutually exclusive concepts, mutually supportive concepts, or is lean an antecedent to agile?
    • What, if any, alternative concepts are just beyond the horizon?
  • The implications of Enterprise 2.0, Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing and the “factory of the future” for OSCM
    • How will OSCM as a field of practice and research be affected if factories and supply chains are populated by highly connected smart machines and smart (knowledge) workers?
  • Manufacturing strategy in a global context
    • Manufacturing strategy as a process
    • Footprint strategy
    • Global performance management
    • Globally sustainable supply networks


Form: The course is organized as a block of 2½ days and includes lectures, small group assignments, and plenary discussions.

Reading: A list of compulsory and suggested reading will be available well before the start of the course.

Exam: The participants will be asked to write a short essay on a relevant OSCM topic of their choice.

Organizer: Professor Harry Boer, e-mail: hboer@business.aau.dk

Lecturers: Professor Harry Boer (AAU) and Professor John Johansen (AAU)


Time: 30 May to 1 June 2018 (2.5 day course)

Place: Aalborg University

Zip code:

City: Aalborg

Number of seats: 30

Deadline: 3 April 2018 

Important information concerning PhD courses: We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.