Operations Management theory

Operations Management: MBA Assignment Assessment: 100% individual coursework You are required to consider an operational issue within an organisation of your choice and propose specific and practicable recommendations for action, which will lead to a measurable improvement in efficiency or effectiveness. The issue could be organisation wide or specific to a particular department. You should present your analysis of the issue using the concepts, vocabulary and techniques of Operations Management theory that you have encountered on the course. The report should be no more than 2,500 words in length and should normally contain the following elements: ï‚· Executive Summary ï‚· Introduction, which should include a discussion of the internal and external context of the problem. ï‚· Statement and analysis of the problem ï‚· Proposal(s) for workable recommendation(s) and realistic implementation plan. ï‚· Critical analysis of the recommendation(s) and implementations plan, which should include a discussion of – alternative solutions and their relative merits – potential barriers to the success of the implementation ï‚· Appendices, to include any appropriate calculations, background data etc. The report will be assessed on the basis of: ï‚· Collection of primary data that will support your analysis (interviews, questionnaires, observations etc.…) ï‚· depth and relevance of research ï‚· synthesis and evaluation of data ï‚· application and understanding of appropriate concepts ï‚· critical appraisal and analysis of Operations issue ï‚· a clear, professional and well-presented report Because of the range of possible issues, which may legitimately come under the title “Operational” you are required to submit a one page transcript, preferably via e-mail, of your assignment proposal for confirmation by the lecturer.BIBLIOGRAPHY (INDICATIVE): Core Text(s): Hill, A. and Hill, T. (latest edition) Operations management, Palgrave Macmillan Hill, T. (1998) The strategy quest, AMD Publications Journal articles (EXAMPLES) Gavetti, G., 2011. ‘The new psychology of strategic leadership’, Harvard Business Review, 89(7/8), 118-125. Leaders must use ‘associational thinking’ to learn from businesses in other industries. Gino, F. and Pisano, G.P., 2011. ‘Why leaders don’t learn from success’, Harvard Business Review, 89(4), 68-74. Companies should implement systematic after-action reviews to understand all the factors that led to a win, and test their theories by conducting experiments even if ‘it ain’t broke.’ Gouillart, F.J. and Sturdivant, F.D. (1994) ‘Spend a day in the life of your customers’. Harvard Business Review, 72(1), 116–25. The article argues that a senior executive’s instinctive capacity to empathize with and gain insight from customers is the single most important skill that can be used to direct a company’s strategic posture approach. Yet most top managers retain only limited contact with consumers as their organizations grow, relying instead on subordinates’ reports to define and feel out the market for them. To get a true sense of the market, senior executives should consider the wants and needs of every step in the distribution chain, right down to the end user of a finished product. Grant, A.M., 2011. ‘How customers can rally your troops’, Harvard Business Review, 89(6), 96-103. End users can inspire workers by demonstrating the impact of their efforts, showing appreciation for their work, and eliciting employees’ empathy for them. To outsource inspiration effectively, leaders must identify end users (both past and present), collect their stories, introduce them to employees across the organization, and recognize workers’ impact on customers’ lives. Gulati, R. (2007) ‘Silo busting: how to execute on the promise of customer focus’. Harvard Business Review, 85(5), 98–108. Shifting from selling products to selling solutions (packages of products and services) is a strategic alternative that many business need to consider. However, many companies are not structured to make that shift. Knowledge and expertise often reside in silos, and companies often have trouble effectively harness- ing these resources. The article identifies four key sets of activities that need to be in place for this to successfully occur. Heracleous, L. and Wirtz, J. (2010) ‘Singapore Airlines’ balancing act’. Harvard Business Review, 88(7), pp. 145–9. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is widely regarded as an exemplar of excellence both in its service standards and as one of the civil aviation industry’s cost leaders. SIA executes its dual strategy by managing four paradoxes: achieving service excellence cost-effectively, fostering centralized and decentralized innovation, being a technology leader and follower, and using standardization to achieve personalization. The results speak for themselves – SIA has delivered healthy financial returns, it has never had an annual loss and, except for the initial capitalization phase, the Asian airline has funded its growth itself while paying dividends every year.Kaplan, R.S. and Norton, D.P., 2004. ‘Measuring the Strategic Readiness of Intangible Assets’, Harvard Business Review, Feb, 52-63. This article presents a tool called the ‘strategy map’ that can be used to determine the alignment of an organization’s human, information, and organization capital with its strategy. Keiningham, T. L., Aksoy, L., Buoye, A. and Cooil, B., 2011. ‘Customer loyalty isn’t enough, grow your share of wallet’, Harvard Business Review, 89(10), 29-31. The article present an algorithm for determining a brand’s ‘wallet share,’ which depends on both customer satisfaction with a brand relative to competing brands, and the number of competitors. Khanna, Tarun; Song, Jaeyong; Lee, Kyungmook., 2011. ‘The paradox of Samsung’s rise’, Harvard Business Review, 89(7/8), 142-147. Twenty years ago, few people would have predicted that Samsung could become a world leader in R&D, marketing, and design. Fewer still would have predicted success given the path it has taken: grafting Western business practices onto its essentially Japanese model. Kumar, N. (2006) ‘Strategies to fight low-cost rivals’. Harvard Business Review, 84(12), p. 104–12. Successful price warriors, such as the German retailer Aldi, are changing the nature of competition by employing several tactics: focusing on just one or a few consumer segments, delivering the basic product or providing one benefit better than its rivals do, and backing low prices with superefficient operations. This article discusses the various approaches to competing against cut-price players. Mittal, V., Sarkees, M. and Murshed, F. (2008) ‘The right way to manage unprofitable customers’. Harvard Business Review, 86(4), pp. 95–102. Customer divestment (whereby a company stops providing a product or service to an existing customer) was once considered an anomaly. However, it is fast becoming a viable strategic option for many organizations. The article reports its findings from interviews with 38 executives from 32 companies in a variety of industries, including IT, manufacturing, health care, finance and professional services. The research results identified four common reasons why businesses terminate relationships with end-users. Newstead, B. and Lanzerotti, L., 2010. ‘Can you open-source your strategy?’, Harvard Business Review, 88(10), 32-36. This article discusses the open-source business strategy used by the Wikimedia Foundation. And asks if you can effectively opensource your strategy? Ramaswamy, V. and Gouillart, F., 2010. ‘Building the co-creative enterprise’, Harvard Business Review, 88(100, 100-109. The article examines how companies can use its stakeholders including customers, employees and distributors to d
etermine HR practices and design and market its services and products. Simons, R., 2010. ‘Stress-test your strategy’, Harvard Business Review, 88(11), 92- 100. You must engage in ongoing, face-to face dialogue with those around you concerning emerging data, unspoken assumptions, difficult choices, and, ultimately, action plans. You and they must be able to give clear, consistent answers to ensure that your strategy is firmly on track. Washburn, N.T. and Hunsaker, B.T., 2011. ‘Finding great ideas in emerging markets’, Harvard Business Review, 89(9), 115-120. A new kind of manager, a ‘global bridger’, can help companies take advantage of the innovative energy that permeates emerging markets.Wilson, H.J., Guinan, P. J., Parise, S. and Weinberg, Bruce D., 2011. ‘What’s your social media strategy?’, Harvard Business Review, 89(7/8), 23-25. The article discusses four social-media strategies used by corporations. TED Talks Gladwell, M. (2004) Spaghetti sauce. Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness. www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce.html Godin, S. (2003) Standing out. Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. www.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_on_sliced_bread.html Jacques, M. (2010) Understanding the rise of China. Martin Jacques asks why the West often puzzles over the growing power of the Chinese economy, and offers three building blocks for understanding what China is and will become. www.ted.com/talks/martin_jacques_understanding_the_rise_of_china.html Pugh, L. (2010) Mind-shifting Everest swim. Lewis Pugh vowed never to take another cold-water dip after he swam the North Pole. Then he heard of Lake Pumori created by recent glacial melting at an altitude of 5,300 m on Everest, and so began a journey that would teach him a radical new way to approach swimming and think about climate change. www.ted.com/talks/lewis_pugh_s_mind_shifting_mt_everest_swim.html Schwartz, B. (2005) The paradox of choice. Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied. www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html Sinek, S. (2009) How great leaders inspire action. Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers. www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

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