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The state of production and operations management (P/OM) teaching in United Arab Emirates universities

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef (Department of Business Administration, United Arab Emirates University, Al‐Ain, United Arab Emirates)

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues

ISSN: 1753-7983

Article publication date: 13 July 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the state of production and operations management (P/OM) teaching in universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in terms of course characteristics, objectives, content, adopted textbooks, didactic materials, teaching faculty, teaching methods, assessment tools, and course requisites.

Design/methodology/approach

Due to the exploratory nature of this study and the small population surveyed, the author employed descriptive statistical analysis such as frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations.

Findings

The results show that in the majority of UAE universities offering P/OM as a college‐requirement course, it is being taught by highly qualified and well‐trained teaching faculty. The main objectives of P/OM courses are: teaching students how to analyse and understand situations from an operations perspective; understanding the links between strategy, production, capacity and core competencies; and preparing students to be able to understand how supply chains work, including the ability to forecast production levels. More emphasis is placed upon operational and tactical issues rather than on strategic issues. The most common assessment methods used in P/OM courses were found to be theoretical examinations with questions, student projects, practical examinations, and class participation. The most frequently covered topics in P/OM courses in UAE universities include competitiveness, strategy, productivity, strategic capacity planning for products and services, supply chain management, forecasting, introduction to operations management, product and service design, and management of quality. Lecturing is the main teaching method used in P/OM courses. The main didactic materials used were found to be textbooks, manuals of problems/solution and case studies, class notes taken by students, and externally produced software.

Research limitations/implications

This study has a number of limitations. For example, it is based mainly on a questionnaire as a tool of data collection. Questionnaires have a number of drawbacks which might affect the results of the study. In addition, the study is based only on the viewpoint of teaching faculty rather than students. Nevertheless, the implications of the study for course developers, instructors, and managers are discussed.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to assess P/OM teaching in UAE universities.

Keywords

Citation

Abdulrahman Yousef, D. (2012), "The state of production and operations management (P/OM) teaching in United Arab Emirates universities", Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 112-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/17537981211251151

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited