This text provides informative, short introductions to the core concepts of Operations Management. This text contains more than 50 concept entries and is fully cross-referenced.An outstanding reference for Operations Management students at all levels.
An operations system is an objective-oriented network of specialist processes through which a collection of inputs are transformed into higher-value output. (Adapted from Hopp and Spearman, 2000)
In the 1940s, the biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy was critical of the predominant use of reductionism in science. The reductionist approach means that to understand a phenomenon one should isolate and study [Page 13]individual characteristics of the elementary parts or components causing this phenomenon. For example, to understand medicine, one should study how the cells of the body function.
Von Bertalanffy stressed that real systems interact with an environment and that this open form of interaction induces consequences which cannot be modelled and understood within a reductionist approach. He also suggested that system theory – the idea of studying ...