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Bringing teaching to life: Exploring innovative approaches to operations management education

Alistair Brandon‐Jones (Bath School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, UK)
Niall Piercy (School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK)
Nigel Slack (University of Warwick, Coventry, UK and University of Bath, Bath, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 9 November 2012



The aim of this review and of the papers in this special issue is to critically examine different approaches to teaching operations management (OM) in order to provoke and stimulate educators within the discipline.


The papers within this special issue include empirical assessments of a problem‐based learning enterprise resource planning (ERP) simulation; a computer‐based learning tool for material requirements planning (MRP); a simulation of assembly operations; an operations strategy innovation game; an extension of the production dice game; an experiential teaching method in different class settings; and problem‐based assessment methods in OM. A variety of data are used to support these empirical studies, including survey, interview, and observational data.


The papers within the special issue support the argument that OM is well‐suited to more applied methods of teaching focusing on the application of subject knowledge to real‐life situations through a variety of techniques.

Practical implications

It is hoped that this review and the papers within this special issue act to stimulate educators to re‐evaluate their approaches to teaching OM and encourage them to consider adopting experiential teaching methods, business simulations, role‐plays, group exercises, live cases, and virtual learning environments, instead of, or in addition to, the more conventional lectures that typically dominate many OM modules around the world.


A special issue on teaching OM appears timely given the significant changes to both the university landscape and to the nature of the discipline that we have witnessed over the last quarter of a century.



Brandon‐Jones, A., Piercy, N. and Slack, N. (2012), "Bringing teaching to life: Exploring innovative approaches to operations management education", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 32 No. 12, pp. 1369-1374.



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