Sushil Gupta

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We review and evaluate empirical research in more than 150 papers published in Production and Operations Management (POM) during 1992 to 2005 to assess how far the papers’ authors have met the journal’s stated objective of promoting empirical research. We also assess the diversity of articles in terms of the purposes of research, data collection approaches, and data analysis techniques. We classify the empirical research articles based on their primary purpose (theory building, theory verifying, application, and providing evidence), data collection approach (case study, qualitative research, archival research, survey-based research, laboratory research, and field research), data analysis technique (descriptive statistics, various multivariate statistical techniques, and mathematical modeling), and operations topics (strategy, quality, and supply chain management). We also discuss directions for future empirical research in operations management.

During 1992 to 2005, the articles based on empirical data have increased substantially from 30 to 50 percent of all articles published in POM. During 1992 to 1998, about three-fourths of the empirical research-based articles published in POM focused on the manufacturing industry, but recently the gap between the numbers of manufacturing- and service-focused articles published in POM has almost disappeared. While a previous assessment of articles published in a range of operations management journals showed that almost all of the empirical articles were based on either surveys or case studies, our results indicate that POM has published articles that were based on a much wider and more diverse range of data collection approaches. Production and Operations Management has clearly established itself as a leading outlet for publishing empirical research in operations management.


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© Wiley. Final version published as: Gupta, S., Verma, R., & Victorino, L. (2006). Empirical research published in Production and Operations Management (1992–2005): Trends and future research directions. Production and Operations Management, 15(3), 432-448. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.