The aim of the module is to introduce you to the importance of the operations functions of an organisation and how operations performance can impact on the success of the whole organisation. The module discusses the role played by operations managers in setting an operations strategy through which products and services can be designed and delivered. The module focusses not only on systems, processes and facilities in the production and flow of goods and services, but also on the general principles an organisation can use to guide its decision-making. Particular attention is given to operational objectives, capacity management, project management and the process choice decisions facing organisations in pursuit of ‘delighting’ the ever demanding customer; the customer who today typically expects; quality, value for money, and consistently excellent customer service.
Key areas covered in this module include; making the best possible use of people and equipment, through different strategies for managing capacity and inventory (make-to stock and make-to-order for example), planning and control, supply chain management, simulation of service outcomes and organising for improvement. Additional context is provided by considering a contemporary and increasingly complex operating environment where attention is turning to such matters as; super-efficiency, service operations, strategic sourcing, e-commerce, transnational networks, and sustainability, as the new requirements for competing in the modern business world.
Diversity is encouraged and celebrated through the analysis of case studies on international companies, e.g., Amazon.
The Teaching Team operates an inclusive policy of multicultural mixed group construction and composition for group and pair work. Also, students are required to complete a group assignment in which they research and present a computer simulation study.
Sustainable supply chain frameworks and management philosophies, such as the triple bottom line, are included in the module content.
This module may draw on guest lecturers who are either academics from other universities or industry professionals in operations management. This is based on topics covered and availability of external speakers. They provide practical insight into theoretical frameworks, and employ innovative delivery techniques.
Students develop their skills in analytical thinking, computer modelling and simulation skills, team-working and communication, planning and organisation.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Managing Operations|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the role played by operations managers in setting an operations strategy through which products and services can be designed and delivered. The module will provide you with conceptual frameworks and practical examples of how operations can be analysed in manufacturing and service environments. The quantitative element of the module will include the conceptualisation and implementation of quantitative models, in particular, Discrete-event Simulation, that are often used by decision makers to experiment with operational strategies prior to its implementation.
This module is designed to enhance your involvement in the learning process through the use of active learning techniques including group work, case studies and simulation workshops.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Explain the major theories, concepts and practices of operations management from the perspective of transformational activities
- 2. Synthesise from a range of approaches to operations strategy and apply within to a variety of problem contexts
- 3. Analyse complex operations using the concepts of supply chains, applying simulation tools to plan capacity and design processes
- 4. Analyse the effectiveness of operations management practices in a wide range of organisations and sectors (manufacturing, service and public sector)
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 5. Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical principles through application to organisational problems
- 6. Analyse and challenge organisational practices using systems concepts
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Present analytical findings in written and oral formats
- 8. Critically evaluate alternative approaches
- 9. Generate and record reflective observations
- 10. Undertake research to gather secondary evidence from both library and internet resources
- 11. Engage in group debates to challenge academic enquiry
- 12. Manage your time and to work to specified deadlines
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||22||Lectures (2 hours) x 11|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||5||Tutorials (1 hour) x 5|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||4||Simulation Workshops (2 hours) x 2|
|Guided Independent Study||119||Pre and post session reading; assignment preparation|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Tutorial based case study||4 x 1 hour sessions||1-10||Oral feedback in tutorial session|
|Simulation Workshop||3 x 2 hour sessions||2-10||Oral feedback in workshops|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Examination||50||1.5 hours||1-7, 10||ELE / Written Feedback|
|Group assignment with 3 components||50||2500 word report, group presentation, submission of simulation models||1-12||Written feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Examination (50%)||Examination (1.5 hours) (50%)||1-7, 10||August re-assessment period|
|Group assignment (50%)||Individual assignment (2500 words), individual presentation and submission of simulation models (50%)||1-12||August re-assessment period|
- Introduction to operations management
- The role of operations in organisational performance
- Project management
- Modelling and simulation
- The management of capacity
- Global supply chains
- Just-in-Time and Lean Systems
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
(1) N. Slack, A. Brandon-Jones and R. Johnston, 'Operations Management', 8th edition, Pearson, 2016. Link to catalogue: http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/record=b3469223~S6
- Resource available online (access from UOE catalogue): https://www.vlebooks.com/vleweb/Product/Index/863327?page=0
(2) R. D. Reid and N.R. Sanders, ‘Operations Management – An integrated approach’, 3rd edition, Wiley, 2007. Link to catalogue: http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/record=b1749514~S6
(3) Mustafee, N. (2021). Simulation Workbook (to be circulated).
(4) Resources uploaded in ELE
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Last revision date