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The Nature and Importance of Operations & Quality.

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. The Nature and Importance of Operations & Quality --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.1 Introduction This module will stimulate participants' awareness of the management of operations and their quality assurance within a wider business context. The relationships between design, control, strategic, human and other considerations will be stressed, the emphasis being that participants are aware of the "total" approach necessary in the design and management of "appropriate" operations systems. Particular importance will be attributed to the management of quality. The module will examine not only the traditional approaches to quality control, but also the contemporary philosophy of total quality management and the various programmes and techniques of quality improvement and assurance including quality circles and kaizen, quality accreditation, certification and awards, and business process reengineering. The practice of operations and quality management is accepted as a necessary function within any organization. When one talks of a theory or discipline of operations management, however, it has only been relatively recently that this has become accepted as a suitable subject for academic study. The reason is perhaps explained by the range of competencies normally required by an effective operations manager: human resource skills, technical knowledge, problem solving abilities, logic, quantitative methods and strategic insight are all areas in which the manager should be conversant. As a result the emergence of one line of theory within the discipline has not occurred and operations management has developed using the theories from a range of other disciplines, as well as being routed in its own tradition of factory management. This section attempts to convey an understanding of the subject. It does this by setting operations management within its historical context. In so doing, the influences upon the development of the subject will be highlighted through time. Finally, the role of the operations manager will be explored and the scope of operations management principles and techniques examined. The section contains a detailed history of operations management, supplemented by a discussion of current practice, theory and scope from the recommended course book. ...read more.


Knowledge of psychological and sociological features started to influence job design, strategies for worker motivation and management control policies. The organizational forms of production and service companies have been influenced by a number of "behaviouralist" theories and practical approaches: The Hawthorne Studies and "Behavioural Science School" A series of experiments conducted by researchers from the Harvard Business School at Western Electric Company which illustrated the importance of human aspects in determining output and productivity (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1939). The Motivation Theorists A number of theories have been forwarded on the motivation of people at work, including Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" (Maslow, 1943), McGregor's "Theory X and Theory Y" (McGregor, 1960), Likert's Theory (Likert, 1961), and Herzberg's "Satisfiers and Dissatisfiers" (Herzberg, 1966). Wilfred Brown, Glacier Metal Company of London and "Daywork" Drew into question the effectiveness of direct piecework incentives and presented hourly pay in the form of daywork as a less problematic alternative means of remuneration (Brown, 1962). Socio-Technical Systems and "Group Working" On the evidence of development of work design in the British Coal Mining industry, the teamwork approach to flowline assembly at Philips, Eindhoven, and the experiences of Volvo in Sweden with autonomous group working, theorists (most predominantly from the Tavistock Institute) stressed the need for the parallel development of social and technical systems for the success of manufacturing operations (see, for example, Gyllenhammar, 1977). Flexible Labour Recently the need for flexible labour to cope with changes in the market and environment has been identified. Atkinson's model of the "Flexible Firm" was developed as an explanation of flexible organization (Atkinson, 1984). "Post-Fordism" has developed whose supporters argue that the era of mass production is now over with more flexible and less rigid work structures now developing (Murray, 1989). The argument for "Flexible Specialisation" has been forwarded which sees a revival of craft-forms of production and the need for multi-skilling in the workforce (Piore and Sabel, 1984). ...read more.


By considering the organizational scope of operations management: "Operations Management" should not be confused with the term "operational management". The management of operations permeates all levels of organizational decision making and is not merely confined to less important, low level and short term decisions. The operations manager should, in turn, enter more widespread strategic debates in addition to maintaining contact with day-to-day operations. Thus the scope for operations management in decision making covers operational management right through to strategic management. For the purposes of this module a distinction has been drawn between "design" and "operations planning and control". Design, covered in Chapters 3 and 4 of this package, involves the organization and arrangement of physical facilities and labour resources to enable the conversion of inputs (materials, orders, labour, etc.) into outputs (goods and services). Chapters 5 and 6 then explore the design and management of service operations and issues pertaining to project management respectively. Planning and control, contained within Chapters 7 to 9, concerns the organizing and monitoring of systems once in operation, together with the feedback of variances from plan for process adjustment where necessary. The principles of quality management and process improvement, which encompasses strategy, design and operational management, is covered extensively in Chapters 10 and 11. 1.5 Summary Operations Management is, essentially, a multidisciplinary subject which draws upon a wide range of perspectives and schools of management thought, as described above. The remainder of this package will explore the subject in depth. Now read Slack et al, Chapter 1. 1"Adam Smith," Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. 2"Eli Whitney," Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. 3"Early Industrial Plant," Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. 4"Division of Labour in Industry," Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. ?? 1. The Nature and Importance of Operations & Quality ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. The Nature and Importance of Operations & Quality ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 4 MBA Operations Management ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MBA Operations Management Page 3 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MBA Operations Management Page 1 ...read more.

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