Do entrepreneurs need special operations skills?

The vast majority of the knowledge and case materials that we use for teaching in the operations management field relates to large firms (Toyota, Southwest Airlines, Wal-mart, Zara, etc.). We know of little work that attempts to build a knowledge base on how to develop operations capabilities in early-stage firms. We hypothesize, however, that some of the large firms with excellent operations began to cultivate superior operations capabilities when they were very young. Such a pattern might call into question the strategy by some startups of putting off operations excellence while pursuing fast growth rates.

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