Operations Strategy

Innovation is a vital process in driving change at every level in society: organisations which fail to innovate may find themselves overtaken by competitors to the detriment of economic development and growth on a regional, national and international scale. Innovation as a process is influenced not only by what happens at the level of the organisation but also by aspects of its external environment which constitute the broader innovation system, some of which may facilitate and others impede the process. Innovation happens in both existing and newly emerging organisations when entrepreneurial thinkers leverage benefits from the external environment and marshal resources and internal capabilities to exploit opportunities, taking into account the risks. This course will draw on theories of innovation and entrepreneurship to explore how effective organisations engage in these two strongly integrated processes, exploring, in particular, product, service and process innovation and demonstrating the role of innovation as a driver of organisational growth and development. Recent cases drawn from a range of sectors will be used to illustrate practical aspects associated with implementing innovation strategies and the impact of innovative and entrepreneurial behaviour on economic development.
The course will be taught as ten two-hour sessions, using a mix of summary of key concepts, cases studies, group exercises and plenary discussions. Each session will address a key theme as outlined below. Students will also attend weekly tutorials which will be based around the discussion of activities and exercises linked to the previous week’s lecture theme.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge & Understanding

On completion of the course students should:
a) be able to describe the operations strategy of an organisation;
b) be able to assess the processes used to formulate and implement operations strategies;
c) be familiar with the concepts of lean operations, agile operations, business process outsourcing and partnering;be able to discuss critically the practical use of the techniques covered, taking into account organisational context;
d) be able to explain the relationship between the management of operations and other management disciplines in the general context of the strategic goals and objectives of the organisation.

Cognitive Skills

On completion of the course students should:
a) demonstrate that they can analyse the operations strategy of real world organizations.

Key Skills

a) completion of the assessed course project students should:
demonstrate their ability to plan and complete a study of an organisation, including selecting a relevant organization, collecting data, writing their study as a concise report and presenting their findings to the class.