We review the sustainable operations management research published in the first 20 years of Manufacturing & Service Operations Management (M&SOM), and we outline our hopes for the next 20 years. This review provides a “big picture” overview of trends in the sustainable operations management research in M&SOM, along with an impact assessment both inside and outside the boundaries of operations management research. We provide a brief chronological survey of sustainable operations management publications in M&SOM, as well as a high-level citation analysis. Together, these analyses indicate that the topics studied in the sustainable operations management publications in M&SOM have largely followed some issues of business relevance and have made a substantial scholarly impact both inside and outside our field. We also propose a number of open research directions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Editor-in-Chief Chris Tang for commissioning this special issue and inviting reflections on the trajectory of sustainable operations research in M&SOM. The addition of the Innovative Operations department to the journal under his leadership, with an explicit focus on sustainability and emerging economies, has undoubtedly supported the growth of this area in both the number and diversity of submissions. The authors also acknowledge former Editor-in-Chief Stephen C. Graves for commissioning the first special issue on the environment (published in 2013), which established M&SOM as a clear outlet for sustainable operations research. The authors gratefully remember two pioneers of research in sustainable operations management, Paul R. Kleindorfer and Jo van Nunen, who inspired many operations management researchers to push the boundaries of mainstream operations management research by taking on environmental-impact considerations with relevance to practice.
- Operations management
- Public policy