IE-OPIM Joint Graduate Seminar
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IE-OPIM Joint Graduate Seminar: Muhittin Oral (Özyeğin University)

 Research Evaluation Through a Paradigm

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Time: 13:40 – 14:30
Location: FENS G035

Abstract: A particular sequence of ontological, epistemological, and methodological assumptions made in management science results in a particular understanding of the quadrivium of reality-problem-theory-model. Ontological assumptions made about reality result in a perceived reality within which researchers identify and define a research problem from a problem/issue domain to study. Epistemological assumptions are for building a theory about the problem identified and defined. It is possible to build many alternative theories about a given problem, and the task is then to come up with the one that explains why and how such a problem occurs. Theory is an unobservable abstract in reality, and therefore it needs to be associated with the reality. The intermediary between reality and theory is a model. There might be many alternative models connecting a theory to the reality. The most appropriate one is justified through methodological assumptions. I claim that ontological assumptions necessitate wisdom, whereas epistemological assumptions knowledge, and methodological assumptions expertise. Moreover, the research paradigm based on the sequence of ontology-epistemology-methodology is a simplification process – requiring validity and the opposite sequence is a complexification one – necessitating legitimacy.    


Bio: Dr. Oral holds a BS in Industrial Management from Middle East Technical University (1964), an MA in Industrial Administration from Robert College (1967), an MS (1971) and PhD (1972) in Operations Research from Case Institute of Technology. He worked as a researcher at TÜBİTAK (1965-1966) and at the National Coal Board in London 1966-1968). After receiving his PhD, he joined the Department of Operations and Decision Systems at Université Laval (1972-1974). He became the Director of the Operations Research Unit at Marmara Research Institute of TÜBİTAK (1974-1978). He then returned to the same department at Université Laval (1978-1999). In 1996, he became an active member of the “Sabancı University Design” project (1996-1997) and was appointed as the Founding Dean of the Faculty of Management, where he served two terms (1997-2003) and remained at Sabancı University as a Professor of Management until 2010. He has also held positions as a Visiting Scholar at Boğaziçi University (1981-1982), University of Canterbury (1989-1990), and Bilkent University (1996-1997). He has also had research affiliation with the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce since 2005.


Dr. Oral’s past research activities have included inventory management, production planning and scheduling, R&D project management, science policy, mathematical modeling, computational efficiency, multiple-criteria analysis, operational research methodology, and competitiveness analysis for strategy formulation. His current research interests concentrate on research paradigm, reasoning types in the modeling process, meaning management, leadership and wisdom. He has published numerous articles in journals such as Management Science, Operations Research, Operations Management, IIE Transactions, the European Journal of Operational Research, Interface, Computers and Operations Research, Journal of the Operational Research Society, the International Journal of Forecasting, the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Journal of Global Optimization, Journal of Multinational Financial Management, and Industrial Marketing Journal.


Dr. Oral teaches courses on research methodology, managerial statistics, competitiveness analysis and strategy.