Operations Management Module - Online MBA

Introduction and module objectives

The Operations Management module provides a general introduction to Operations and Process Management and explains how the Operations function fits within the organisation overall. The module also explores how actors outside the core Operations function have a role in, and engage in the management of processes.

The module will show students the wide organisational scope of Operations Management activity and will establish an understanding of the core concepts underlying the discipline. The module is introductory in nature, and while focussed primarily on large organisations, also looks at small organisations and even the management of  individual “human” processes. The module is intended as an introduction to operations management in both service and manufacturing organisations. Its intention is to provide the building blocks of those basic principles which are broadly applicable to most organisations. The module will introduce the basic principles of the “lean” operation, and show how managers can adopt lean principles in practice.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • Explain the role of Operations Management, and the Operations function within organisations.
  • Be able to demonstrate the application of the process perspective on organisations and social phenomena more generally.
  • Explain how high-level strategic aspirations of the organisation can be articulated as specific goals for the Operations Management function.
  • Critically evaluate and deconstruct performance in the context of operations.
  • Demonstrate how environmental, and strategic factors inform the design of operations in terms of broad categories of process design, and to explain how the broad categories of operational design response may be further articulated as detailed process and job designs.
  • Explain how operations function within broader operations networks and supply chains.
  • Explain the nature of operations capacity and capacity management; particularly the activity of coping with mismatches between demand and the ability to supply.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the activity of planning and controlling transformed resources as they move through supply networks, operations and processes.
  • Explain the fundamental methods of operations planning and control, including resource planning and control systems.
  • Demonstrate how operations can achieve a “flow” of products and services that always delivers exactly what customers want, in exact quantities, exactly when needed, exactly where required, and at the lowest possible cost. 
  • Demonstrate the ways in which quality is managed in both service and manufacturing operations.
  • Explain the general approaches to operations improvement, and introduce a number of specific improvement tools and techniques.


The module will explore the main critical works in Operations Management, but Operations Management is primarily an applied subject, so the module will also expose students to practical problems via case studies, and analysis of “live” operations.