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Necessary condition hypotheses in operations management

Jan Dul (Department of Management of Technology and Innovation, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Tony Hak (Department of Management of Technology and Innovation, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Gary Goertz (School of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA)
Chris Voss (London Business School, London, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 19 October 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that necessary condition hypotheses are important in operations management (OM), and to present a consistent methodology for building and testing them. Necessary condition hypotheses (“X is necessary for Y”) express conditions that must be present in order to have a desired outcome (e.g. “success”), and to prevent guaranteed failure. These hypotheses differ fundamentally from the common co‐variational hypotheses (“more X results in more Y”) and require another methodology for building and testing them.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews OM literature for versions of necessary condition hypotheses and combines previous theoretical and methodological work into a comprehensive and consistent methodology for building and testing such hypotheses.

Findings

Necessary condition statements are common in OM, but current formulations are not precise, and methods used for building and testing them are not always adequate. The paper outlines the methodology of necessary condition analysis consisting of two stepwise methodological approaches, one for building and one for testing necessary conditions.

Originality/value

Because necessary condition statements are common in OM, using methodologies that can build and test such hypotheses contributes to the advancement of OM research and theory.

Keywords

Citation

Dul, J., Hak, T., Goertz, G. and Voss, C. (2010), "Necessary condition hypotheses in operations management", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 30 No. 11, pp. 1170-1190. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443571011087378

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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