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Mba Operations Management Essay

2923 words - 12 pages

Operations Management


Operations Function
Within a Facilities Services Company

William Peden

Registration No. 200965241


University of Strathclyde

July 2009 Word Count 2750


Contents: 1

Section 1: Introduction 2

Section 2: Literature Review 2

Section 3: ...view middle of the document...

2. Literature Review

The origins of Operations Management can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution and to Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) who introduced his theory of Scientific Management. He could be considered as one of the first Managerial Consultants. His theory comprised of four principals.

1. ‘Replace rule of thumb work methods with methods based on scientific study of the tasks.
2. Scientifically select, train and develop each employee rather than passively allowing to train themselves.
3. Provide, ‘Detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in the performance of that workers discreet task’(Montgomery, 2007, p. 250)
4. Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the task and the workers actually perform the tasks’.
(Wikipedia, Internet, 2009)

As referred to in (McMillan,Mullan,Paton, 2008, p. 10), a series of studies was carried out at General Electric’s plant at Hawthorne by Professor Elton Mayo. He was interested in the link between working conditions and productivity. The study found that the workplace is a social system within which, recognition, security and a sense of belonging is more important in determining workers morale and productivity than the physical conditions in which he works.

Henry Ford (1863-1947) had the ‘idea’ to create a constant moving assembly line, ‘Ideas are of themselves extraordinarily valuable, but an idea is just an idea. Almost anyone can think of an idea. The thing that counts is developing it into a practical
product’. (My Life and Work, Henry Ford, 1922). Ford applied this idea to his car assembly plant, which mass produced automobiles at a price the general public could afford. His method of production was sometimes referred to as ‘Fordism’. The
emphasis with Ford’s idea was to give each person on the assembly line a specific repetitive task to complete within a specific time frame.
In principle Ford had put in place an Operations Functions system which is still followed today. There was an input of materials at the start, these were transformed on the assembly line and an outcome, the car, was produced at the out put.

Over the years, theories on Operations Management have changed in order to keep pace with the advancement of technology. Present day Operations Management is described as, ‘The activities, decisions and responsibilities of managing the production and delivery of products and services’ (Slack, Chambers, Johnston, 2007, p. 4). The diagrams below illustrate the challenges facing today’s Operations Manager. (Diagrams taken from MBA Course Handout Material, 2009)


Fig 1.


Fig 2

The Operations function is central to all organisations and has a basic concept. Namely, that inputs are transformed or converted to outputs and are done so with a measurement of performance against a set quality standard. The quality standard is set by...

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