Thirty years ago we both set out, initially independently, to develop networks and activities to develop the broad field of operations and technology management. Important objectives were among others to make the field of OM more established and accepted as a management discipline, to raise the level of quality in research and to strengthen the European community of researchers in the field. We soon got together, and with the help and support of many others, this led to the formation of EurOMA
From small beginnings, all of our initial ambitions have been met and surpassed. From a small network of likeminded individuals, EurOMA has developed into a Europe-based, global community with its vibrant conference and its own journal. In the context of other similar associations in Europe and the US, EurOMA has developed a particular distinctive style and positioning. This is through, but not exclusive, focus on both empirical research and research that engages closely with industry, both manufacturing and service. This has led to and is being supported by the book “Researching Operations Management”, which was developed based on the work done by us and other EurOMA members in developing the research methodology course at EIASM.
Since we have stepped back and let the association be taken forward by others, there are many things that give us pleasure. First, has been the growth of the portfolio of activities to support the discipline, and in particular to help develop the younger and newer members of the community. Second has been the degree to which members have enthusiastically taken on board both the management of the association and its conferences, it is so much better organised than when we were more closely involved, and in particular the development and management of all the new initiatives from the publishing and doctoral workshops and areas such as service. All of these have teams putting in time, commitment and enthusiasm to make them successful. A third area is the broadening of the community, for example, in the past decade the involvement of those in the supply chain and logistics area has grown enormously. The building of global links through the world conferences and strong links with POMS has been important.
The conference is a source of both pride and pleasure. Pride through the professionalism, the process ensuring that there are strong contributions, and the insistence on papers, not just abstracts as in many equivalent conferences. Pleasure because of the commitment to making each conference special from the conference dinner to meeting up with everyone.
As co-founders we would like to thank all those who have played a part in moving the small organisation that we founded 20 years ago to become the success that it is today. We would also welcome all the newer members of EurOMA and encourage you to become part of our community and to play your role in taking EurOMA forward for the next 20 years. EurOMA’s success has been based on its ability to serve the members and to evolve over time. We encourage you to keep the process going and to participate enthusiastically in our community.