Operation Management

|Chapter 21: The operations challenge                                                                                                   |
|Study guide                                                                                                                           |

This is one of the most exciting times to be an operations manager. Markets are clearly more competitive than once they were. The role of public ownership of many state-run and formerly state-run operations, such as health care operations, is being questioned. The wider ownership of commercial businesses in many developed countries raises questions of stakeholder responsibility. Global barriers and alliances are shifting. Some technologies (such as internet-based technologies) have moved considerably further than our ability to understand their implications. Knowledge is seen as (arguably) the most important commodity in business. Perhaps most importantly, our responsibility to the environment in which we live can no longer be ignored. This last chapter deals with just some of the implications of these developments. The topics included in the chapter are not intended to be in any way an exhaustive list of the challenges facing operations managers. But they are a collection of some of the more interesting ones. Nor is this chapter the same as the others in its learning objectives. There is established theory around layout, supply chains, job design, planning and control and so on. What is presented in this chapter is not established theory. It is usually speculation concerning the impact of various challenges which have been identified. Approach it therefore not as a set of prescriptions but rather as a set of challenges for which there are no obvious answers.
Your learning objectives
This is what you should be able to do after reading Chapter 21 and working through this study guide.
    • Look on operations management as a subject which has important connections with many of the important...