Howard L. Timms
Production problems are generally confined to internal firm relationships having physical, economic, and human dimensions. Business schools should concentrate on the last two aspects of production, relying chiefly on microeconomic analysis and taking account of the human aspects through the exercise of judgment. The business curriculum in production should move in this direction just as rapidly as students can acquire the necessary background preparation in mathematics, statistics, and science.
Production is a pervasive function in American business. On this account alone it ought to be a core course in the business school curriculum, if it can be offered at an intellectual level appropriate to the university course. This can be done, as will be shown, provided the student's mathematics-statistics skills are improved considerably over what they usually are now. For students with the appropriate level of talent in mathematics-statistics, and an interest in the production area of business, a concentration (major) can, and very probably should, be offered in production, so designed that it will promote maximum exploitation of their talents and interest. This can be done at both the undergraduate and graduate level in a 9- to 12-hour major.
The task undertaken here is to outline in general terms the direction which business schools should follow in the area of production. The ideas presented here are the outgrowth of a number of years of practice in production management, almost as many years of teaching in the area, followed by considerable discussion with many who are interested in improving the production curriculum. The recommendations for the future are in part an extrapolation of movements already under way in a number of schools of business and in part the outgrowth of faculty ideas