Managing Strategic Resources and Operations

Module description

This module provides a fundamental underpinning for the design of sustainable business strategies by focusing on how to achieve the efficient and effective management of resources and operations.  You will be introduced to a range of operations management concepts, within the context of framing operations as transformational systems.  Key themes addressed will include sustainability, technology disruption, efficiencies and waste, and customer needs and satisfaction. The module will provide you with the means to analyse operations activities and develop strategies to improve operational processes and deal with problematic issues.           

Internationalisation:  The global nature of today’s business and the complexity of supply chains will be explored. The importance of international alliances is explored in the topics of buyer-supplier relations, inventory management, supply and innovation.  

Sustainability: Whilst inventory management, managing quality and process choice and layout contribute detail about ensuring avoidance of waste and improving efficiency of operations, sustainability will also be explored from the wider perspective of technology disruptions.  New business models will be explored and their potential consequences and outcomes considered.

Employability: In this module, you will develop skills in team working, problem solving, and giving presentations in class.

Ethics and Corporate Responsibility: the module will look at corporate responsibility as part of several topics, especially in regard to new business models.

Research in Teaching: the module will use research articles in addition to the core text. 

Full module specification

Module title:Managing Strategic Resources and Operations
Module code:MBAM906
Module level:M
Academic year:2018/9
Module lecturers:
  • Mike Yearworth - Convenor
Module credit:10
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:

4 days

Module aims

In short, the aims of the module are to:

  • Introduce you to the basic framework, scope, and management of activities involved in operations management 
  • Understand some of the complexities in operations
  • Appreciate the strategic importance of operations management
  • Identify emerging trends impacting on the sustainability of organisations

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. identify, apply and critique the strategic frameworks of operations management.
  • 2. model organisations as systems and sub-systems.
  • 3. describe the main design factors and their alternatives which shape operations management.
  • 4. explain and apply a range of fundamental operational improvements.
  • 5. explain and apply quality management concepts.
  • 6. analyse organisations using standard benchmarking
  • 7. synthesise from a range of operations management methods and apply within problem contexts.
  • 8. critically evaluate the role of operations within different business models.
  • 9. explain the evolution, challenges and consequences of new business models and sustainable production.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 10. apply appropriate theoretical principles to analyse complex organisational problems.
  • 11. contribute solutions to the transformation of operations in pursuit of strategic aims.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 12. present analytical findings effectively.
  • 13. manage independent study and research using library and internet resources

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 Teaching28Lectures & facilitated group discussions
Guided Independent Study72Reading, Research, Writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In class discussions/feedback on case studies/problem solving30 – 40 minutes in class3,4,7,11Oral feedback
Assignment planning, presentation of outlinePreparation plus 5 minute presentation in class1,4,7,10,12Oral feedback

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
Individual Assignment 1003000 words1 - 13Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual AssignmentIndividual Assignment (3000 words) - 100%1-136 weeks after briefing

Syllabus plan

Strategic operations management: the major areas of responsibility in operations management and their strategic importance. 

Supply chain management: power, value, inter-firm relationships and value stream management. Process choice and strategy in manufacturing and services; types of layout; cutting edge practices

Scheduling and capacity management: impact on key competitive areas such as cost, delivery, speed and delivery reliability. 

Improving operations through a range of appropriate techniques. 

Services operations management: concepts, definitions and practice; service strategy; delivery systems; image and differentiation in services; lean thinking in services.

Emerging trends: Sustainability, technology disruptions, challenges and consequences.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


  1. Brown, S., Bessant, J., & Lamming, R. (2013). Strategic Operations Management (3rd ed.): Routledge.
  2. Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A., & Johnston, R. (2016). Operations Management (8th ed.): Pearson.


Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Journal Articles:

  1. Benner, M.J., & Tushman, M. (2002). Process management and technological innovation: A longitudinal study of the photography and paint industries. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47(4), pp.676-706+768-769. doi: 10.2307/3094913
  2. Benner, M.J., & Tushman, M.L. (2003). Exploitation, exploration, and process management: The productivity dilemma revisited. Academy of Management Review, 28(2), pp.238-256. doi: 10.5465/AMR.2003.9416096
  3. Brown, S., & Blackmon, K. (2005). Aligning manufacturing strategy and business-level competitive strategy in new competitive environments: The case for strategic resonance. Journal of Management Studies, 42(4), pp.793-815. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2005.00519.x
  4. Chesbrough, H.W. (2003). The era of open innovation. Sloan Management Review, 44(3), pp.35-41.
  5. Hendricks, K.B., Singhal, V.R., & Stratman, J.K. (2007). The impact of enterprise systems on corporate performance: A study of ERP, SCM, and CRM system implementations. Journal of Operations Management, 25(1), pp.65-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jom.2006.02.002
  6. Klassen, R.D., & Menor, L.J. (2007). The process management triangle: An empirical investigation of process trade-offs. Journal of Operations Management, 25(5), pp.1015-1034. doi: 10.1016/j.jom.2006.10.004
  7. Kleindorfer, P.R., Singhal, K., & Van Wassenhove, L.N. (2005). Sustainable operations management. Production and Operations Management, 14(4), pp.482-492.
  8. Linton, J.D., Klassen, R., & Jayaraman, V. (2007). Sustainable supply chains: An introduction. Journal of Operations Management, 25(6), pp.1075-1082. doi: 10.1016/j.jom.2007.01.012
  9. Neely, A. (2009). Exploring the financial consequences of the servitization of manufacturing. Operations Management Research, 1(2), pp.103-118. doi: 10.1007/s12063-009-0015-5
  10. Rahmandad, H., & Repenning, N. (2016). Capability erosion dynamics. Strategic Management Journal, 37(4), pp.649-672. doi: 10.1002/smj.2354
  11. Shah, R., & Ward, P.T. (2003). Lean manufacturing: Context, practice bundles, and performance. Journal of Operations Management, 21(2), pp.129-149. doi: 10.1016/S0272-6963(02)00108-0
  12. Spring, M., Hughes, A., Mason, K., & McCaffrey, P. (2017). Creating the competitive edge: A new relationship between operations management and industrial policy. Journal of Operations Management, 49-51, pp.6-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jom.2016.12.003
  13. Swank, C.K. (2003). The Lean Service Machine. Harvard Business Review, 81(10), pp.123-129+138.
  14. Zeithaml, V.A., Berry, L.L., & Parasuraman, A. (1988). Communication and Control Processes in the Delivery of Service Quality. Journal of Marketing, 52(2), pp.35-48. doi: 10.2307/1251263

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