The role of OM EDEN in building the EurOMA community

Coughlan, Paul, Hargaden, Vincent, Coghlan, David, Idris, Aida and Åhlström, Pär (2018) The role of OM EDEN in building the EurOMA community. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 38 (8). pp. 1664-1682. ISSN 0144-3577



Doctoral education (DE) is central to the development and application of operations management (OM) thinking. The European Doctoral Educational Network (EDEN) seminar on research methodology in OM is a structured initiative developed in 1999 by European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) and European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM). This intensive five-day seminar has run annually since and, to date, has engaged 486 students. The purpose of this paper is to ask: what role has the OM EDEN seminar played in the formation and academic career development of doctoral researchers, and how has it contributed to the development of EurOMA as a community of practice?

The authors developed a retrospective case on the design, launch and growth of the OM EDEN seminar employing two data gathering methods (collecting secondary and archival data, and a survey of four selected seminar participants) and a social network analysis.

The EDEN seminar is an effective educational intervention in developing doctoral researchers and their subsequent academic careers. The seminar has also contributed to EurOMA as a community of practice, bringing faculty together to teach, write and publish leading edge contributions in research methods for OM.
Research limitations/implications

The case is focused on the OM EDEN seminar only, within which the survey is limited to four of the early participants. While another set of participants might respond differently in detail, the authors’ expectation is that participant perception of the role of the seminar would not change. The paper provides an exemplar for European academic associations to guide how they might explore the formation and academic career development of doctoral candidates within a community of practice.
Practical implications

The seminar merits the ongoing support of EurOMA and EIASM, not just in educating doctoral students but also in bringing faculty together to publish leading edge contributions to the OM domain.
Social implications

The paper draws on the areas of student formation, academic career development and communities of practice to illustrate the role played by the OM EDEN seminar.

This paper is the first description, analysis and reflection on the role played by the OM EDEN seminar.

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