International Operations Management

Module description


Operations management is concerned with managing processes, and how organisations capture value in the production of goods and delivery of services. This field of study is applicable in manufacturing and the service sector, from small retailers and professionals to banks and insurance companies, hospitals and utilities. We study how firms achieve competitive success through improving the processes involved in delivering their products and services, and reducing costs through increased efficiencies. The module covers operations strategy, process design, capacity planning, project management, quality, supply chain management, and improving how the product/service is delivered. We draw upon case studies from around the world, focusing on businesses and government service operations which draw upon the opportunities and added dynamics of managing operations in an international market place.

Additional Information


Diversity is encouraged and celebrated through the analysis of a wide range of global case studies and examples. Operations plays a key role in identifying how the traditional distinction between countries being ‘developed’ or ‘less developed’ is being replaced by ‘innovation rich’ vs. ‘innovation poor’ countries.


Sustainable supply chain frameworks and management philosophies are an essential feature of operations management through the provision of modern and eco-efficient customer solutions.

External engagement

The lecturing team draws on theoretical frameworks, mathematical approaches and industrial practice from the perspective of extensive theoretical and practical experience. Teaching is based on lecturers’ published research as well as their involvement with operations management practice.


You develop your skills in knowledge acquisition, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation (the factors are known as Bloom’s taxonomy).

Full module specification

Module title:International Operations Management
Module code:BEMM173
Module level:M
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Holly Henderson - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

This unit aims to develop understanding of the nature of global markets, and focal firms’ international operations in such markets. The unit aims to explore the concepts and practical issues surrounding international and global operations and strategic management, which include three key parts: supply chain collaboration (ownership expansion), geographic dispersion and ecosystem virtualisation. It aims to identify, analyse and evaluate infrastructures, resources, processes and mechanisms crucial to the growth and sustainability of business operations in a global setting.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. understand the major theories, concepts and practices of operations management from the perspective of transformational activities in an international context
  • 2. synthesise from a range of approaches to operations strategy and apply them to a variety of problem contexts
  • 3. analyse complex operations using the concepts of supply chains and quantitative techniques
  • 4. evaluate the effectiveness of operations management practices in a wide range of manufacturing and service organisations and sectors

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 debate to challenge academic enquiry
  • 12. manage time and work to specified deadlines

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact Hours22Lecutres (2 hours per lecture)
Contact Hours5Tutorials (1 hour per tutorial)

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial-based case study analysis5 x 1 hour sessions1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11Oral feedback in tutorial session
Tutorial assignment5 minute presentations1,4,5,6,7,9,10,12Peer feedback with guidance from tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group assessment (groups of 3 students)251,000 words1,3,5,8,10,11,12Assessment grade and formative feedback
Examination752 hours1,2,3,4,5,6,7Assessment grade

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group assessment Individual essay (1,000 words)1,3,5,8,10,11,12July
ExaminationResit examination1,2,3,4,5,6,7August referral period

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to operations management
  • The role operations of in organisational performance
  • The strategic contribution of operations management
  • Product/service and process design
  • Project management
  • Strategic capacity management
  • Facilities layout
  • Service processes
  • Quality management
  • Supply chains, inventory management and materials requirements planning

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Other reading:

Brown, S., Bessant, J. and Lamming, R. (2013). Strategic Operations Management, 3rd edition, Abingdon: Routledge.

Johnsen,T.E., Howard, M. and Miemczyk,J. (2014) Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, 1st edition, Abingdon: Routledge.

Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. and Johnston, R. (2013) Operations Management, 7th edition, Essex: FT Prentice Hall.

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