Behavioral Operations Management: A Review of the Field

Rosa Hendijani (Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Iran)

Article ID: 736



Behavioral operations management (BOM) is one of the new areas in operations management. In the past 12 years, the field has made huge progress and researchers have become interested in this new perspective to solving operational problems. BOM is now one of the major subfields of operations management. In this paper, we examine and categorize areas of BOM based on the mainstream literature. Key areas include behavioral issues in new product development and project management, quality management, production management, inventory management, service operations, and forecasting. Studies in each area are divided into three subcategories, including OM context, individual attributes, heuristics, and biases, and individual differences. In OM context category, feedback and reward, training, work monitoring, teamwork and group decision making, goal setting, task assignment, and flexibility are among the main topics. In individual attributes, heuristics, and biases category, sunk cost effect and escalation of commitment, endowment effect, overprecision bias, planning fallacy, pull-to-center effect, anchoring and insufficient adjustment, and misperceptions of feedback are mainly discussed. In individual differences, analytic thinking and system thinking are mainly studied. New areas for research are suggested in each related section and are summarized in future directions and conclusion sections. In contexts such as new product development, project management, and inventory management, a shift to finding solution to performance improvement is beneficial instead of focusing on heuristics and biases and considering them as a deficiency in human decision making. Regarding individual differences category, a shift toward attributes other than cognitive abilities, such as global processing, creative thinking, and design thinking are recommended.


Behavioral operations management; Pure rationality; Bounded rationality; Biases; Heuristics

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