The enthusiasm of the users of this MBA-oriented book has been greatly rewarding for us and we thank them for their comments, suggestions, criticism, and support. Although the book is not the massive seller that an undergraduate textbook can become, it is clear that there is, as we felt, a need for a solely MBA-level text. The book was originally written because of the express need we felt in our many MBA programs at Wake Forest University for an operations management textbook directed specifically to MBA students, and especially to those who had some real-world experience. We tried all of the current texts but found them either tomes that left no time for the cases and other materials we wanted to include, or shorter but simplistic quantitative books. Moreover, all the books were so expensive they did not allow us to order all the cases, readings, and other supplements and class activities (such as the “Beer Game”; see Chapter 7 Supplement) that we wanted to include in our course.

What we were looking for was a short, inexpensive book that would cover just the introductory, basic, and primarily conceptual material. This would allow us, as the professors, to tailor the course through supplementary cases and other materials for the unique class we would be teaching: executive, evening, full-time, short course, and so on. Although we wanted a brief, supplementary-type book so that we could add other material, we have colleagues who need a short book because they only have ...

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