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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Postgraduate Course: Operations Managment (MBA) (BUST11207)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe aims of this course are

to provide an integrated and coherent introduction to the major aspects of modern Operations Management for students with limited operations management experience;

to provide students with operations management expertise an opportunity to share it with their co-students;

to provide students with an appreciation of the inter-relation between Operations Management and the other functional management disciplines;

to provide a foundation for advanced specialist modules in Management Science, Technology & Innovation Management, Quality Management, and Electronic Commerce in semesters 2a and 2b.
Course description Week 1: Innovation and Lean Operations

This session provides an overview of Operations Management. The importance of innovation, both for products and processes, is placed at the heart of operations management.

This session then introduces what has become the dominant paradigm for the management of operations: Lean. The roots of Lean are traced back to the just-in-time inventory techniques pioneered over twenty years ago by Toyota, the growth of teamworking and the Total Quality Management movement of the 80s.

Week 2: Planning, Control and Supply-chain Management

This session will explore the practical use of Enterprise Resources Planning and supply-chain management. In particular the key role of interorganisational IT systems in facilitating supply-chain management, for example in supporting vendor managed inventory, will be considered.

Week 3: Operations Improvement and Operational Risk

The history of operations improvement is surveyed, from Taylorism through to Business Process Re-engineering. The importance of the management of expertise in operations improvement is highlighted, contrasting Taylorist Scientific management with the more fashionable Knowledge Management perspectives on expertise. This session will briefly cover the management of operational risk and discuss critically why the banking industry is seen ironically as the sector in which these techniques are most highly developed.

Week 4: Operations Strategy

The process of developing an operations strategy ensuring that operations are aligned with customers and overall business policy will be considered. The importance of a coherent overall framework for the management of operations and their improvement will be discussed and the need to integrate this with wider business policy addressed. Students will give informal unassessed feedback on their group wiki reports.

The management of innovation in technology companies will be addressed in a talk and discussion by Oliver Vellacott, founder and Chief Executive of Indigo Vision.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding:

On completion of this course students should be able to

analyse an organisation as a network of transformation processes;

outline and critically compare alternative approaches to operations improvement, including the Business Excellence Model, the use of Balanced Scorecards, the construction of management science models and the implementation of innovative process technologies;

discuss the linkages between the design of product and processes and the operations system;

describe the concept of Supply Chain Management and the organisational and technological means available for co-ordinating material flows across inter-organisational boundaries;

describe elements in Technology Management and be able to discuss the practical use of the elements;

be able to relate operations strategy to broader concepts of business policy covered in other courses;
be able to integrate the concepts covered in the course and relate them to current real-world organisational scenarios, suggesting possible methods for operational improvement;
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMBA OpMgmnt
Course organiserMr Ian Graham
Tel: (0131 6)50 3797
Course secretaryMiss Kate Ainsworth
Tel: (0131 6)51 3854
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