FROM THE EDITORTERRY R. RAKES, Decision Line Editor Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Welcome to the March installment of Decision Line. In this issue, we have an interesting selection of features for you to browse. Along with insightful articles on a variety of topics, we have more information about the upcoming Orlando annual meeting, regional activities, election results, and a number of other aspects of the Institute.First is the "President's Letter," contributed by John C. Anderson, University of Minnesota. In his last feature column before turning over the presidency to Betty Whitten, University of Georgia, John reviews the five priorities which the DSI Board adopted as the focus of last year's efforts. He reports on the significant accomplishments in these five critical areas.
In the "International Issues" column, Arthur V. Hill, University of Minnesota, shares details of his recent "globalization experience" at the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. His comments should be particularly interesting to those just beginning to broaden their own teaching and research efforts into the international arena.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is undoubtably one of the hottest current topics in operations improvement. In the "Research Issues" column, Sanjay L. Ahire, Western Michigan University, endeavors to provide a framework for development and testing of TQM theory and to identify research projects and project guidelines in TQM.
Manoj K. Malhotra, University of South Carolina, discusses what should be taught and researched in the production/ operations management area in the "Production/Operations Management" column. With a critical eye toward relevance, he attempts to define the challenges that must be met by the leading-edge thinkers in the field, and outlines where the field should be going and the barriers to getting there.
In the "Information Technology" column, Lance Eliot, Eliot & Associates, argues that many information systems groups and managers have lost sight of the importance of project management for IS systems development due to the fracturing of projects into numerous small projects. He contends that this is a sure-fire formula for failure.
In our last installment of the "Doctoral Issues" column, we presented a discussion of the current state of the academic job market. In this issue, Peter B. Barr, Coastal Carolina University, provides some guidance for recent graduates of doctoral programs who desire faculty positions in relatively small, public assisted regional institutions that are primarily focused on the undergraduate mission.
In "The Specialist With A Universal Mind," Andrew Vazsonyi, University of San Francisco, discusses the need for students and potential employees to be value-focused in today's environment of constant reengineering. He stresses the importance of developing an awareness of the type of cognitive and emotional behavior which makes one valuable in today's business market.
Robert Marsh, Michigan State University, provides a review of Extend, a powerful simulation program, in the "Software Review" column. Extend is a new simulation product that employs an intuitive graphical interface.
In the "From The Bookshelf" column, Andrew Ruppel, University of Virginia, provides information about several sites on the World Wide Web which pertain to books of interest to decision scientists. The list includes directory-type sites and others that are more topic or publisher specific.
On a lighter note, a colleague of mine recently gave me a list of interesting quotes which he came across on the Web. They dramatically point out why we must be careful what we say, if we do not want history to mock us. I have included a few of these in the left-hand column for your amusement. Enjoy!
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." (Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949)
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." (Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943)
"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." (The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957)
"But what ... is it good for?" (Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip)
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." (Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977)
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." (Western Union internal memo, 1876)
"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" (David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s)
"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible." (A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper." (Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in Gone With The Wind.)
"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." (Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962)
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." (Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895)
"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" (Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer)
"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." (Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859)
"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." (Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929)
"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." (Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre)
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." (Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899)
"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." (Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872)
"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon." (Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873)
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." (Bill Gates, 1981)