- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 1 Understanding operations management
- 2 2 Operations, operations management and operations managers
- 3 3 The transformation model
- 4 4 The boundary of the operations system
- 5 5 Summary
- 6 Next steps
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Understanding operations management
Operations management is one of the central functions of all organisations whether...
Operations management is one of the central functions of all organisations whether producing goods or services, or in the private, public or voluntary sectors. This unit will provide you with a basic framework for understanding this function and discusses the role of operations managers, in particular the importance of focusing on suppliers and customers.
After studying this Unit you should be able to:
- define ‘operations’ and ‘operations management’
- identify the roles and responsibilities of operations managers in different organisational contexts
- identify the operations management aspects of your own work
- apply the ‘transformation model’ to identify the inputs, transformation processes and outputs of an organisation
- identify the operational and administrative processes in your own organisation
- describe the boundaries of an operations system, and recognise its interfaces with other functional areas within the organisation and with its external environment.
Understanding operations management
This Unit is designed to provide you with a basic framework for understanding operations management and its organisational and managerial context. It begins with a brief history of the changing nature of operations in a manufacturing context, but emphasises that the operations function is significant in all types of organisation, whether they produce goods or provide services, and whether they are in the private, public or voluntary sectors.
This Unit presents a process model of operations that describes inputs being transformed into outputs within the boundary of an operations system. It also discusses the role of operations managers, in particular the importance of focusing on suppliers and customers who are outside this boundary, as well as on other aspects of the operations system's external environment.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Managing performance and change (B700) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
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This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Leadership and Management course units or view the range of currently available OU Leadership and Management courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 17th October 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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