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University of Exeter Business School

International Operations Management

Module titleInternational Operations Management
Module codeBEMM173
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Wendy Jiao (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


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).

Module aims - intentions of the module

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.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

Syllabus plan

•          Introduction to operations management

•          Operations performance

•          Process and layout design

•          Process Planning and Control

•          Capacity management

•          Inventory management

•          Supply chain management

•          Quality management

•          Risk management

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
Scheduled learning and teaching activity11Lectures (1 hour per lecture)
Scheduled learning and teaching activity9Tutorials (1 hour per tutorial)
Pre-independent study52Guided Independent Study
Post-independent study78Guided Independent Study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial-based case study analysis9 x 1 hour sessions1-12Oral feedback in tutorial session

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
Examination1002 hours1-12Assessment grade

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination (100%) (2 hours)Examination (100%) (2 hours)1-12August referral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A., Operations management. Pearson, 9th edition, 2019.

Johnston R., Shulver, M., Slack, N., and Clark, G. Service Operations Management: Improving Service Delivery, Pearson, 5th edition, 2020.



Key words search

Operations management, organisational performance, 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, materials requirements planning

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date