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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, 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 through the problems inherent in managing supplier networks, inventory management, and dealing with disruptive innovation.  

Sustainability: Whilst inventory management, managing quality and process choice and layout contribute detail about improving the efficiency of operations. Sustainability will also be explored from the wider perspective of disruptive innovation.  Emerging 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 structuring, and giving presentations in class.

Ethics and Corporate Responsibility: The module will look at corporate responsibility in regard to emerging 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:2019/0
Module lecturers:
  • Mike Yearworth - Convenor
Module credit:10
ECTS value:






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

4.5 days

Module aims

In short, the aims of the module are to:

  • Introduce you to the concepts, theories, frameworks and tools of Strategic 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. 1. identify, apply and critique the concepts, theories, frameworks and tools strategic frameworks of strategic 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 performance indicators.
  • 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 class1,3,4,7,10,11,12Oral 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

  • Introduction to managing strategic resources and operations; key concepts, models and framework
  • Operations strategy; industry dominant and emerging strategies, key performance indicators, moving from craft to mass customisation, sustainability
  • Designing the transformation; process choice and layout, modelling and simulation for performance analysis
  • Managing supply networks; inventory management, dynamics of supply chain management
  • Service operations; servitisation and service dominant logic, quality and the customer experience
  • Analytics for operations management; capacity planning, demand management, quality losses, design/planning losses and capability traps, management of improvements and lean operations
  • Disruptive innovation; technology trends, innovation strategies, innovator’s dilemma, lead user innovation, platform innovation, open innovation, innovation in operations design, emerging business models
  • Circular economy, eliminating waste, re-use and re-manufacturing, innovating in the circular economy, biomimicry, systems view

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


Brown, S., Bessant, J., & Jia, F. (2018). Strategic Operations Management (4th ed.): Routledge.

Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A., & Johnston, R. (2016). Operations Management (8th ed.): Pearson.


Journal Articles:

Benner, M. J., & Tushman, M. L. (2003). Exploitation, exploration, and process management: The productivity dilemma revisited. Academy of Management Review, 28(2), 238-256. doi:10.5465/AMR.2003.9416096

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), 793-815. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.2005.00519.x

Chesbrough, H. W. (2003). The era of open innovation. Sloan Management Review, 44(3), 35-41.

Feldman, M. S., & Orlikowski, W. J. (2011). Theorizing practice and practicing theory. Organization Science, 22(5), 1240-1253. doi:10.1287/orsc.1100.0612

Flynn, B. B., Schroeder, R. G., & Flynn, E. J. (1999). World class manufacturing: An investigation of Hayes and Wheelwright's foundation. Journal of Operations Management, 17(3), 249-269. doi:10.1016/S0272-6963(98)00050-3

Hines, P., & Rich, N. (1997). The seven value stream mapping tools. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 17(1), 46-64. doi:10.1108/01443579710157989

Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (2008). Mastering the management system. Harvard Business Review, 86(1), 62-77+136.

Kraljic, P. (1983). Purchasing Must Become Supply Management. Harvard Business Review.

Linton, J. D., Klassen, R., & Jayaraman, V. (2007). Sustainable supply chains: An introduction. Journal of Operations Management, 25(6), 1075-1082. doi:10.1016/j.jom.2007.01.012

Neely, A. (2009). Exploring the financial consequences of the servitization of manufacturing. Operations Management Research, 1(2), 103-118. doi:10.1007/s12063-009-0015-5

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1985). A Conceptual-Model of Service Quality and its Implications for Future-Research. Journal of Marketing, 49(4), 41-50.

Repenning, N. P., & Sterman, J. D. (2002). Capability traps and self-confirming attribution errors in the dynamics of process improvement. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47(2), 265-295. doi:10.2307/3094806

Shah, R., & Ward, P. T. (2003). Lean manufacturing: Context, practice bundles, and performance. Journal of Operations Management, 21(2), 129-149. doi:10.1016/S0272-6963(02)00108-0

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, 6-19. doi:10.1016/j.jom.2016.12.003

Thomke, S., & Von Hippel, E. (2002). Customers as innovators - A new way to create value. Harvard Business Review, 80(4), 74-77.

Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2004). Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing. Journal of Marketing, 68(1), 1-17. doi:10.1509/jmkg.

Von Hippel, E. (1986). Lead Users - a Source of Novel Product Concepts. Management Science, 32(7), 791-805.

Womack, J., & Jones, D. (1994). From lean production to the lean enterprise. Harvard Business Review, March-April, pp.93-103.


Background Reading:

Chesbrough, H.W. (2006). Open innovation: the new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School; Maidenhead : McGraw-Hill.

Christensen, C.M. (1997). The innovator's dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.

Cooper, R.G. (1998). Product leadership: creating and launching superior new products. Reading, Mass.: Perseus Books.

Grönroos, C. (2000). Service management and marketing: managing customer relationships for service and manufacturing firms (2nd ed.). Chichester: Wiley.

Hayes, R.H., & Wheelwright, S.C. (1984). Restoring our competitive edge: competing through manufacturing. New York; Chichester: Wiley.

Johnsen, T.E., Howard, M., & Miemczyk, J. (2014). Purchasing and Supply Chain Management: A Sustainability Perspective.

Rees, A. (2001). Supply, costs and profits. In I. Worthington, C. Britton & A. Rees (Eds.), Economics for business: blending theory and practice. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Rogers, E.M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster.


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