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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter aims to reflect on the past and present move of OM from manufacturing to service through analysis of key OM journals and recognition of practice before considering in more depth the future of OM in terms of the ‘fit’ for public services. It offers an analysis of ‘lean’ in public services. A philosophy and methodology much hailed as way to manage operations effectively. The review will present the prespective that uncritically applying manufacturing ideas to public service is flawed. It argues that adapting OM to the public service environment whilst, learning from existing thinking, should also recognise themselves as services, with the distinctive service operations management logic and managerial challenges that this implies. In conclusion, the chapter will state that managing operations across all sectors in the future should draw on a range of disciplines, theory and concepts.

Keywords: lean, public service, manufacturing, operations management, service

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