Progression of knowledge in operations management (OM) relies on researchers building and testing theories using data from practice. However, standalone empirical research designs have inherent limitations and may not adequately capture complex OM problems. This may result in researchers narrowing the scope of the problems that they create epistemological silos and study empirical elephants. In this introductory article to the special issue, we look at the ways simulation methods can augment and answer questions that are not addressed through traditional empirical methods. We offer a framework regarding how and when to use simulation methods for a given research objectives and design. We conclude by discussing the contingencies of using these methods as well as the role of reviewers and editors in evaluating papers that involve such methods.
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