Purpose – To show that necessary condition hypotheses are important in operations management, and to present a consistent methodology for building and testing them. Necessary condition hypotheses (“X is necessary for Y”) express conditions that must be present in order to have a desired outcome (e.g. “success”), and to prevent guaranteed failure. These hypotheses differ fundamentally from the common co-variational hypotheses (“more X results in more Y”) and require another methodology for building and testing them. Design/methodology/approach – Reviewing operations management literature for versions of necessary condition hypotheses. Combining previous theoretical and methodological work into a comprehensive and consistent methodology for building and testing such hypotheses. Findings – Necessary condition statements are common in operations management, but current formulations are not precise, and methods used for building and testing them are not always adequate. Outline of the methodology of Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) consisting of two stepwise methodological approaches, one for building and one for testing necessary conditions. Originality/value – Because necessary condition statements are common in operations management, using methodologies that can build and test such hypotheses contributes to the advancement of operations management research and theory.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA), critical success factors, logic, methodology, theory building, theory testing
Publisher Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/19666
Citation
Dul, J., Hak, A., Goertz, G., & Voss, C.. (2010). Necessary Condition Hypotheses in Operations Management (No. ERS-2010-019-LIS). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/19666