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WM905-15 Operations Strategy for Industry

Department
WMG
Level
Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Philip Cullen
Credit value
15
Assessment
Multiple
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The existence of a properly formulated and explicit strategy is essential to ensure the development and success of the business. In industrial companies, the operations strategy is a key element. Every company is in a unique and dynamic situation offering products and services with different order winning criteria. Consequently the philosophy of this module is to present a variety of frameworks, methods and examples of how operations strategy can be formulated and implemented in manufacturing and related industries.

Module aims

The existence of a properly formulated and explicit strategy is essential to ensure the development and success of the business. In industrial companies, the operations strategy is a key element. Every company is in a unique and dynamic situation offering products and services with different order winning criteria. Consequently the philosophy of this module is to present a variety of frameworks, methods and examples of how operations strategy can be formulated and implemented in manufacturing and related industries.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  • Evolution of manufacturing and the journey to World Class.
  • Integration of operations strategy with business strategy.
  • Operations strategy formulation processes.
  • Tools & techniques for operations strategy decisions.
  • Outsourcing strategy.
  • International manufacturing/operations.
  • Designing business processes.
  • Performance measurement in an operations environment.
  • Implementation issues.
  • Practical examples of strategy formulation.
  • Academic and company case studies.
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Define Operations Strategy and its importance in an industrial business.
  • Explain how Operations Strategy integrates, aligns and interacts with other company strategies.
  • Describe the impact of Operations Strategy at different levels within the organisation.
  • Recognise the need to measure the performance of the operations strategy and identify suitable areas for measurement.
  • Discuss and give examples of how Operations Strategy can be formulated.
  • Appraise and question different companies’ operations strategies and draw conclusions from the information.
  • Select appropriate practices for implementing Operations Strategy in different environments.
  • Apply some of the tools and techniques learnt to case study material.
Indicative reading list

“Operations Strategy”, Slack N & Lewis M; Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2002
“Manufacturing Strategy; Text & Cases”, Hill, T, Palgrave, Second Edition 2000
“Manufacturing Strategy: How to Formulate and Implement a Winning Plan”, John Miltenburg,
Productivity Press, Second Edition, 2005
Kaplan, R.S. and Norton, D P. (1996) “The Balanced Scorecard”, Harvard Business School Press,
1996.
“Operations, Strategy & Technology; Pursuing the Competitive Edge”, Hayes R, Pisano G, Upton D
& Wheelwright S, Wiley, 2005
“New Wave Manufacturing Strategies”, J Storey (Editor), Paul Chapman Publishing, 1994 “Competitive Manufacturing: A Practical Approach to the Development of a Manufacturing Strategy”, DTI, IFS, Bedford, 1988.
“Operations Management”, Slack N, Chambers C & Johnson R; Financial Times/Prentice Hall, Third Edition 2001.
“Manufacturing: the Formidable Competitive Weapon”, Skinner W, Wiley, 1985. The Machine that Changed the World", Womack J P, Jones ,D T, Roos D, Rawson Associates, 1990
“Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management”, Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand, Joseph Lampel, Financial Times Publishing, 2001

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

Knowledge of operations strategy and key strategic decision areas; formulation of operations strategy and organisation capabilities; practical application of operations strategy; practical application of operations strategy formulation tools and techniques

Transferable skills

The transferable skills are: critical thinking, problem-solving, self-awareness, verbal and written communication, information/terminology literacy, presentation and organisational awareness

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 29 sessions of 1 hour (39%)
Practical classes 8 sessions of 1 hour (11%)
Other activity 38 hours (51%)
Total 75 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.

Other activity description

30 hours maintaining a self-reflective log-book
8 hours pre-reading

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Assessed work as specified by department 100% 75 hours

A coursework of approximately 6,000 words.

Assessment group R
Weighting Study time
Assessed work as specified by department 100%

100% Assignment

Feedback on assessment

Immediate oral feedback will be provided after case studies / practical workshops, which will be
focussed upon the learning targets of each session. Feedback will also be provided to any
questions which arise from students with the lecture session.

Written feedback of approximately 150-250 words will be provided for the Post-Module
Assignment within a four week period after the date of submission. This feedback will be focussed
upon the strengths and weaknesses of the work with regard to the module learning objectives
and the post-module assignment marking guidelines. Suggestions for improvement will also be
provided.

Courses

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of TESS-N1PX Postgraduate Award in Business Leadership
  • Year 1 of TESS-H1P1 Postgraduate Taught Engineering Business Management