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The University of Southampton

MANG6292 Operations Management

Module Overview

In an era of extreme volatility where organisations depend more than ever upon capabilities, it is vital that students understand the importance of the operation function to the success of an organisation. Students will be exposed to internal issues within the firm/organisations, as well as the importance of forming strategic alliances and buyer-supplier relationships with other organisations. Key concepts of world-class and Lean processes will be explored throughout.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

to examine the strategic importance of Operations Management in manufacturing and service settings in both private and public sectors. In the past, where organisations tended to be more hierarchical than today, the words, "strategy" and "operations" were almost mutually exclusive. In today's highly competitive, global environment, thorough, strategic operations capabilities must be in place in order for organisations to provide goods and services that meet and exceed customer requirements. Key issues such as cost, speed, quality, flexibility and constant innovation are all part of strategic operations.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the role of operations management both at a strategic level and for the effective production of goods and services;
  • the various tools of operations management;
  • the behavioural aspects of managing operations;
  • how Operations contributes to wider aspects of firms’ capabilities and Competencies;
  • the importance of operational paradigms and how they are integrated together in managing operations including TQM BPR and Lean and Agile operations;
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate a variety of theories and concepts relating to supply chain management;
  • develop insights into the competencies required to become an effective manager in TQM or operations.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • problem solve;
  • effectively communicate through the written word;


Session 1: Introduction; Strategic Operations Management. Session 2: Services Operations - concepts, definitions and quality. Session 3: Process Choice & Strategy in Manufacturing & Services. Session 4: Managing Materials & Inventory; MRPI; MRPII; ERP and Just-in-Time.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The sessions will consist of lectures, case studies and discussions. The module is supported with assigned reading and practice example sheets. Formative feedback will be provided throughout the class discussions and interactive parts of the lectures. The module will be international in content and scope. For example, the Mattel Case (A & B) focuses on outsourcing but in doing so this deals with internationalisation processes from America to China. This in turn allows us to explore potential opportunities and problems with outsourcing and gets to the core question including: 1. Why did Mattel outsource to China? 2. How should Mattel have prepared for such international outsourcing? 3. What went wrong? 4. What would you suggest could be done to improve the situation now? Similarly, class discussions on operations strategy, services, process choice and inventory will deal with international dimensions of operations. For example, a firm may have something designed in Taiwan; then have the product manufactured in China; at the same time logistics are being undertaken by Amazon; marketing and finance functions may, or may not, be undertaken locally. This common scenario leads us to think about the complexities of doing business in the 21st Century where globalisation is a common – and often a necessary – feature of day to day business.

Independent Study63
Total study time75

Resources & Reading list

Pisano, G. and Willy, C. Shih (2009). Restoring American Competitiveness. Harvard Business Review. , pp. 114-25.

Berman, B. (2002). â€™Should Your Firm Adopt A Mass Customization Strategy?. Business Horizons. , pp. 51-60.

Brown, Bessant and Jia (2018). Strategic Operations Management. 

Slack et al (2016). Operations Management. 

Baines, T., Bigdeli, A., F. Bustinza, O., Shi, V. G., Baldwin, J., & Ridgeway, K. (2017). Servitization: revisiting the state-of-the-art and research priorities.  International Journal of Operations and Production Management. ,37(2) , pp. 256-278.

Adner, Ron (2016). Many Companies Still Don't Know How to Compete in the Digital Age. Harvard Business Review. , pp. p2-6.

Davenport, Thomas H (2013). Analytics 3.0. Harvard Business Review. ,91 , pp. 64-72.

Brown, S. and 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 , pp. 793-815.

Matthias, O., & Brown, S. (2016). Implementing operations strategy through Lean processes within health care: The example of NHS in the UK. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. ,36 , pp. 1435-1457.





MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

None – over and above the core text: £35.


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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