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Dr. Jeff Foote presentation on 'Towards a critical operations management?'

Contemporary operations management theories are premised on a mechanistic view of the world.

Although operations are socio-technical, a 'hard' systems perspective and concern for efficiency dominate scholarship. The role that values, interests and power-relations play in governing operational performance is seldom acknowledged but necessary if operations management scholars are going to contribute to societal challenges.

This presentation outlines some early thinking about what a critical perspective on operations management might look like by drawing on an enriched understanding of systems theory that includes 'soft' and 'critical' traditions.

The presenter illustrates this thinking using a case study of an ultrasound imaging service with lengthy waiting times.  The case is made that embracing insights from 'soft' and 'critical' systems thinking allows for a richer understanding of operational processes.

Presenter

 Jeff Foote photo

Dr Jeff Foote

Dr Jeff Foote is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Management, University of Otago.

Jeff’s research focuses on developing and trialling systemic and participative methods in areas such as mental health and addiction, healthcare quality improvement and sexual violence prevention.

Prior to joining the University of Otago, Jeff was a Science Leader at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research where he undertook policy relevant research in areas related to environmental health and natural resource management.