Call for papers

International Journal of Production Economics

Special Issue on Models for Compassionate Operations

Guest Editor

Joseph Sarkis, Professor of Operations and Environmental Management, Graduate School of Management, Clark University, Worcester, MA  01610-1477, USA. Email:

‘Passion for Compassion’ and ‘Dare to Care’ are the underlying themes of the 2010 Academy of Management meeting to be held in Montreal, Canada.  Production and operations economists feel that issues such as financial strength and efficiencies are the overriding concerns of organizations and thus develop tools and models that help organizations manage these dimensions.  We need to expand beyond this mindset and think creatively on how we can aid the broader communities in which we live.  We decouple morality and ethics from many of our modeling and research efforts.  Sometimes this decoupling is necessary to make academic, theoretical, and technological progress.  But given the various financial, social, and health crises occurring at all levels of society, and are seemingly inexhaustible, using our tools and expertise as an academic community to aid in managing, if not preventing, these crises requires that we reengage ourselves with some of these ethical concerns and compassion issues.

The issue of compassion and caring is part of broader corporate social responsibility themes that have started to permeate management and engineering disciplines.  Focusing on operations and production as tools for social change and management has not garnered as much attention as other topics in production economics such as technological and inter-organizational focus and developments.  Some ‘social caring’ topics have been covered in previous issues of this journal, such as sustainable supply chains topics.  We seek to expand these concepts with the introduction of models for compassionate operations.

Compassionate operations does not necessarily mean just being soft and emotional, but that we can use existing and emergent knowledge related to production and operations to aid others, and not necessarily for profitability.  There are many topics that can be covered in this issue and we will allow the creativity of our research community expand on these issues which include:

Humanitarian and Relief Logistics

Social learning (education) and enterprise networking models

Non-profit services planning and management

Poverty relief operations models

Models to aid in production and industry development in underrepresented regions

Models to aid public policy development for social programs

Investigations of resource efficiency of philanthropic and charitable organizations

Local and regional management of food and social services

The use and application of production and information innovations and technology for social crises

Health and safety management of communities

Triple bottom-line management of organizations

Risk, security, and resiliency management of communities

We welcome high quality modeling and study approaches for advancing production and operations economics research in these areas.  Analytical, Economic, Quantitative tools and methodological developments are welcome.  We will also welcome empirical and conceptual review papers that provide a broader understanding of tools and models that currently exist and are practiced.  Thus, normative and descriptive approaches are welcome for submission to this special issue.  Production economics foundation and economic consequences should be an important, but not exclusive, aspect of manuscripts.

Accepted papers are expected to be within the scope of the IJPE, authors are referred to the home page As part of the relevancy, it is important to relate submitted manuscripts with other work previously published in the IJPE. Thus, authors are strongly encouraged to reference previous works within IJPE for journal consistency and to ensure relevancy.

All manuscripts will be double-blind reviewed by at least two reviewers. Papers will be evaluated based on high scientific quality, taking into consideration rigour, scientific novelty and scientific contribution.


Authors may submit manuscripts using the Elsevier Editorial System (EES) at their URL:

Please make sure to select the appropriate special issue on the EES site when submitting.

Authors may have to register onto the EES system, if not already registered.

Submission Deadline: September 15, 2010.

Questions pertaining to this special issue may be sent directly to


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