As the nature of work has become more service-oriented, knowledge-intensive, and rapidly changing, people—be they workers or customers—have become more central to operational processes and have impacted operational outcomes in novel and perhaps more fundamental ways. Research in people-centric operations (PCO) studies how people affect the performance of operational processes. In this OM Forum, we define PCO as an area of study, offer a categorization scheme to take stock of where the field has allocated its attention to date, and offer our thoughts on promising directions for future research. The future of PCO is bright: Thanks to today’s availability of granular data, PCO researchers have numerous and growing opportunities to study, from both descriptive and prescriptive angles, the link between people’s behavior and operational performance.
Note: Research papers posted on SSRN, including any findings, may differ from the final version chosen for publication in academic journals.