Experimental Methods in OM/SCM Research


Jenna and Calvin R. Guest Professor, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

Short bio to be added.


This workshop mainly focuses on introducing how experimental methods can be applied in operations and supply chain management research. Experimental methods allow researchers to approach a variety of OM/SCM issues from a behavioral perspective and reveal important insights. Our workshop first provides a brief overview of the extant experimental research in OM/SCM literature as well as the commonly used methodologies. We then provide the audience a hands-on experience of conducting experimental research that involves experimental design, data collection, and data analysis. 


Introduction to Experimental Research in OM/SCM

Our workshop starts with an introduction to experimental research in OM/SCM.  We will first discuss the importance of using experimental methods to examine behavioral issues in the realm of operations and supply chain management. Several influential papers will be used as examples to demonstrate how experimental methods are particularly useful in answering certain research questions. We will also acknowledge the advantages and disadvantages of using experimental methods as well as discuss when experimental methods are most apposite. We then briefly review the commonly deployed experimental/behavioral methodologies. 


Conducting Experimental Research in OM/SCM

The main purpose of this workshop is to expose the audience to the actual process of experimental design, data collection, and data analysis in experimental research. Therefore, we will spend the majority of the time discussing the practical perspectives of conducting experimental research in OM/SCM.  We do so by replicating one of our ongoing research projects of ethical behavior in purchasing management during the workshop. 


At the beginning of this module, we will distribute our experiment material through Qualtrics and collect responses from the workshop participants. We will then present our research questions, theoretical background, and corresponding hypotheses in our research. We will focus our discussion on why it is important to identify the best-fitting empirical methodology for our specific research questions.  Accordingly, we will discuss how our statistical models reflect our theoretical arguments and test our hypotheses directly.  Next, we will demonstrate how to fit our statistical models to the collected data.  We will discuss the potential challenges in this process and interpret the empirical results. 


In summary, our workshop seeks to introduce the participants to the experimental methods in OM/SCM research, especially in the context of purchasing and supply chain management.  We also plan to provide the participants a hands-on experience of the entire process of conducting experimental studies.