Department of Management


Date of this Version



The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 15, No. 3 (Sep., 1972), pp. 382-385.


Published by The Academy of Management Journal. Used by permission.


Production management, taught in nearly all colleges of business administration, is not a popular course. One reason it is not popular is that it does not relate to the typical young student's life experiences. This typical student has for 18 years or more been a social animal, and thus he can relate to college courses in the sociopsychological realm. The rare student who has considerable work experience is the only one likely to appreciate and perhaps even enjoy a course in production management (or operations management, as it is called in some schools).

But this kind of problem is found in many fields: engineering, the physical sciences, foreign languages, etc. The instructor in such areas tends to shrug his shoulders and occasionally express the forlorn wish that more students would go to work for a few years before entering college.