From M&SOM Journal Editor

I am honored and privileged to serve M&SOM for the second term (2018-2020).   To renew my commitment to the OM research community, I write to share my plan for the next 3 years.

To begin, let me thank all of you (authors, reviewers, editorial board members, Fran, Toni, Meaghan, and Matt) for supporting M&SOM over the last 3 years (2015-2017).  Your support has helped M&SOM to achieve the following milestones:

  • Higher submission rate
  • Higher acceptance rate
  • M&SOM is listed on Financial Times since 2017
  • Higher impact factor
  • Biennial M&SOM Practice-Based Competition since 2017 (chaired by Jeremie Gallien of London Business School)
  • MSOM Data Driven Research Challenge in 2018 (Supported by Cainiao of Alibaba, and co-chaired by Gad Allon)
  • M&SOM Special Issues (Finance/Operations Interfaces, Value Chain Innovation, Responsible Operations, Sharing Economies & Innovative Marketplaces, People Centric Operations, etc.)

Because OM research is evolving and changing rapidly, I wonder if M&SOM should make some drastic changes.  Upon reflection of the M&SOM review committee report (which includes your online survey feedback) and my discussion with our DEs (Morris Cohen, Hau Lee, and Brian Tomlin); it gives me comfort that we all believe M&SOM is on the right course.   For this reason, we have decided to maintain our stability and increase our flexibility at the same time. Here is our plan:

  • Stable Departmental Structure.   Established in 2016, our 3 departments (Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, Service Operations, and Innovative Operations) capture the fundamental meaning of M (Manufacturing) & S (Service) O (Operations) M (Management). Also, to ensure a more consistent review process, these 3 anchor departments are here to stay.   (It is certainly tempting to create new departments based on some latest topics.  However, it can be counter-productive: starting a new department is easy by shuffling people in, but closing a department later can be sensitive.)
  • Flexible Research Topics and Methods.  M&SOM embraces innovative and relevant OM research topics and different research methods (analytical, empirical, behavioral, experimental, field-based, etc.).  To renew our commitment, I am grateful to Morris Cohen, Hau Lee, and Brian Tomlin for preparing an updated version of their department statements (below). 
  • All submissions are “fast track” papers.   M&SOM treats all submissions as equals: all papers are fast track papers.  M&SOM is committed to shorten the cycle time for every submission.  The DEs and I are tracking papers that are late.  In rare occasions, we take over the review process to ensure the cycle time does not exceed 100 days.  By cramping down the “long tail,” our average cycle time is around 60 days.

In addition to the above plan, I shall continue to support special issues based on innovative topics, our practice-based competition in 2019, and solicit ideas for data driven research challenge in 2020. 

Finally, I am also working with INFORMS to explore the possibility of making M&SOM a bi-monthly journal like Marketing Science so that M&SOM is on-par with Marketing Science in all dimensions (submission rate, acceptance rate, FT list, impact factor, etc.)    All I need is your continued support by submitting your high quality papers to M&SOM and by providing timely reviews.

With your help, M&SOM can achieve even greater heights!   Together, OM community will thrive!

Department Mission Statements (Updated on March 30, 2018)

Innovative Operations (Department Editor: Hau Lee, Stanford University)

The Department of Innovative Operations focuses on how innovations affect operations, and how the innovation process itself can be better managed.  Innovations are needed in operations because of multiple scope expansion in business.  First, businesses are operating in expanding geographies.  Some of these geographies are in emerging or developing economies, requiring innovative ways to manage supply bases, manufacturing and distribution there.  Second, technological advances, such as IoT or  IIoT, additive manufacturing, advanced robotics, platform economies, big data, and AI, etc., may result in innovative operating models to take full advantages of such advances.  Third, businesses and public concerns require broadening of the business objectives of enterprises to include social responsibility, environmental sustainability, supply chain responsibility, and integrity dimensions.  We need to innovate new approaches to capture such expansions in business objectives.  The operation process of innovations, including product development and launches, should also be well managed.  This process also has to leverage technological advances, the multi-polar strengths of different economies, and the potential partners in the eco-system.  All these topics are welcome in this Department.

The Department encourages submissions of papers that are grounded on rigorous research methodologies that could include analytical modeling, empirical data analysis, field experiments, behavioral sciences methods, or ethnographic research.  Papers should be well motivated by the setting of the innovations, with the managerial or policy questions to be addressed clearly spelled out.

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management (Department Editor: Brian Tomlin, Dartmouth College)

The Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Department focuses on the internal and external operations challenges facing product-based companies (and other organizations); from the acquisition and sourcing of inputs, through their transformation into physical products, to their distribution and sale to customers, and in some cases their after-market uptime management.  Operations also encompasses the design and management of the assets, financial and information flows, networks, processes, relationships, and resources necessary for the effective production and distribution of physical products. Moreover, operations is not limited to repetitive situations; project-based situations in which a unique, "one-time" product build occurs are also relevant.

This department is interested in all papers that advance knowledge in one or more of the above areas.  Papers that bring a new perspective are especially welcome. The department does not require a paper to apply to all product-based industries. However, the paper's research should be motivated by an important operations challenge common in some industry or some important segment of an industry. Because no one methodology can adequately answer all possible research questions, the department welcomes a variety of research approaches, including empirical, experimental, and modeling (whether it be data, insight, or problem-driven).

Service Operations (Department Editor: Morris Cohen, University of Pennsylvania)

The Department of Service Operations addresses service process design, management and policy questions from the perspective of service providers, customers, government and society in a variety of industries where the delivery of services is required. Service Operations also considers coordination, incentives, contracting and other interactions that are present when multiple actors are engaged in the delivery of services.

The department is especially interested in papers that reflect the growing role of services in economies and the impact of technology development. Analytical (model based), empirical, experimental and conceptual papers are all welcome. A strong motivation derived from real world applications is necessary, along with a clear contribution to knowledge and/or a demonstration of managerial relevance.

Topics include: queueing systems, revenue management, capacity and process design, service quality management, global sourcing, servicization, human resources, after-sales services, customer support and knowledge management. Industries of particular interest include health care, logistics, financial services and e-commerce. Emerging areas that reflect changes in how services are designed, delivered and monitored including automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data are also encouraged.

Please note the following:

 1. Papers that deal with retail operations are appropriate for the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management department if they focus primarily on product operations. However, papers that primarily focus on retail service operations should be directed to the Service Operations Department.

2. Papers that focus primarily on the service challenges associated with the distribution, sale, and usage of physical products should be directed to the Service Operations Department.

3. Papers that focus primarily on the environmental and sustainability challenges associated with manufacturing and supply chain operations should be directed to the Innovative Operations Department.


Happy New Year! Thank you for your continued support of Manufacturing & Service Operations Management (i.e., the M&SOM journal). I wish to report some of the highlights for the year of 2017.

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Management research journal editors, practitioners, and even researchers lamented that most management articles are filled with rigorous analysis but they lack innovative ideas that can challenge the way researchers think and/or change the way practitioners act. Without innovative research ideas to spark the interest of researchers and practitioners, our research community cannot grow and the impact of our research will be limited.

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Many organizations (police departments, non-profit healthcare organizations, etc.) and corporations (airlines, banks, hotels, manufacturers, etc.) embrace Business analytics (BA) to conduct exploratory, descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analysis. At the same time, universities developed BA degree programs, INFORMS developed BA certification programs, and researchers developed new techniques (machine learning, deep learning, etc.) to gain insight and drive business planning.

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Happy New Year! Starting January 1, 2017, the M&SOM journal is on the Financial Times Top 50 journal list.

M&SOM achieved new heights in 2016. First, the number of original submissions hit a new record. We received 460 original submissions as of December 10, 2016. In addition to United States and Canada, we have received more submissions from Asia and Europe. Also, we have received more submissions in the area of healthcare operations, empirical OM, and innovative operations.

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Due to the support of our community (authors, reviewers, and editorial board members), the journal of M&SOM has continued to improve. Since we launched the general two-round policy in January 2015, we have observed more paper submissions, shorter review cycle time, and fewer review cycles. At the same time, the impact factor, 5-year impact factor, and article influence score of M&SOM have continued to increase. Finally, in July 2016, we received the great news that Financial Times decided to include M&SOM on the FT 50 journal list beginning January 2017.

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We strive to do innovative research that has impact, not only in terms of opening pathways to other researchers but also in terms of how it affects practice and gets appreciation from the broader research community. Identifying innovative and impactful research ideas can be easier if one has an eye on the dynamics of what is relevant in the business world. In this blogpost, we aim to highlight an opportunity to do innovative and potentially impactful operations management research in a particular research field, sustainability.

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Authors (including myself) often receive comments from reviewers that their papers have incremental value. Knowing breakthroughs in any academic field are rare events, I often wonder if papers with incremental value are publishable especially when the measure of incremental value is somewhat subjective. Should we (as a research community) advocate incremental research?

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This article has appeared as an Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability blog post (Please see the original article at and will be published by Huffington Post as well.

We believe that the OM community will have a lot to contribute to the development and the advancement of the circular economy concept, and hope that this will initiate ideas for new OM research on the topic.

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Over the last 20 years, two surprising trends in top OM research journals have emerged:

1) The length of reviewers’ reports are getting longer; and

2) The tone of the reviewers’ reports are getting more negative.

However, it does not have to be this way. These trends are not prevalent in engineering (except Industrial Engineering), Marketing, Economics, etc. Our community is comprised of friendly colleagues who are social and caring. Ask someone for help on a paper at a conference and you’ll likely get thoughtful well-meaning advice. However, when it becomes a review, something changes. Why is this happening?

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