Exploring the seminal origins of key operations management developments

The purpose of this paper is to explore the underlying systems approach associated with key developments in operations management, namely operations strategy, TQM, lean supply and TOC. These developments are shown to have embraced a paradigm shift in both thinking and practice which reflect a common systems perspective. However, this perspective has been interpreted in different ways to address the needs of different operations environments at different times. Through analyzing the originating literature the underlying conflicts and key developments have been explored as a means of clarifying the seminal contributions. This is then used to better understand the assumptions associated with these distinct developments providing a basis for extending such applications into other environments.