The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the theory of constraints (TOC) can serve as a general theory in operations management. The paper first investigate linkages between TOC and the core concepts/components of operations management (OM) and show how OM concepts can be integrated with TOC using examples from the published TOC literature. A second important purpose is to show that TOC, as a theory, has properties essential for a good theory.
Using a commonly accepted categorization of operations decisions (process, quality, inventory and capacity), traditional views, and approaches to operations decisions to those inherent in the TOC are compared.
The paper concludes that the TOC provides approaches to operations decisions that avoid pitfalls of local optimization by reaching across functional boundaries in organizations. In addition, while the TOC appears to meet the criteria of a good theory, it has not been empirically tested for the most part.
The TOC can serve as a unifying theory or theme for operations management, providing new insights for researchers and an organizing principle for teachers.
Gupta, M.C. and Boyd, L.H. (2008), "Theory of constraints: a theory for operations management", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 28 No. 10, pp. 991-1012. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570810903122Download as .RIS
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