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Amrita School of Business

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore

Term VI (08 Jan – 31 Mar 2018)

Course Title: Operations Strategy

Course Code: OM511E

Credits: 3

Specialization: Operations

Course Instructor: Dr. Hemamala. K

Contact Information:,

Office: F-7

Office hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays between 2:00 & 4:00 pm

Course description

Operations strategy refers to a set of operations decisions that a firm makes to achieve a
long-term competitive advantage. A firm’s operations encompass all the activities that are
performed in order to produce and deliver a product or a service. Cost minimization is not
the only driving objective of managing a firm’s operations any more. Market requirements
are getting translated into many other performance objectives, like quality, speed,
dependability and flexibility, which could sometimes be contradicting with each other.
Operations, therefore, have to be managed in the broader context of the firm’s business
strategy making it critical for the operations decisions to be consistent with the overall
strategy. These decisions need also to be consistent with each other and must take into
account the external competitive environment and the internal resources of the firm.
Strategic choices about facilities, capacity, process technology, sourcing, control and
information systems and other areas significantly affect what the business brings to the

The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of why, what and how
operational decisions are integral to a firm’s success. The course builds on concepts from
the core courses from previous terms, Production and Operations Management and
Strategic Management. Special emphasis is placed on identifying and understanding the
issues in strategy implementation.

Course Objectives

On completion of this course, students will be able to

1. Synthesize the practice of operations management with organizational strategy

2. Critique and analyze the operations strategy of organizations for identifying

improvement opportunities

3. Evaluate and resolve the issues in strategy implementation

4. Design operations strategy for organizations in alignment with their competitive


A Note on Assurance of Learning (AoL)

AoL is a systematic service quality control process in education. It involves defining the
learning goals, aligning the courses and other teaching elements with the goals, measuring
the student performance and improving the program based on the results. Derived from its
mission, ASB has adopted a set of five learning goals - the management-specific attributes,
knowledge and skills that its graduates are expected to possess when they complete the
programme. These attributes are systematically introduced and reinforced in the
appropriate courses throughout the programme. Students’ performance on these goals is
assessed through direct observation and evaluation of their work or performance. These
results are analyzed, disseminated, and utilized by the faculty for the purpose of curriculum
planning and the improvement of teaching and learning. In line with this philosophy, the
outcomes of this course are mapped to a few learning goals, the details of which are given in
the table below.
Alignment of Course Objectives (CO) with Learning Goals (LG)

LG Critical & Effective Societal & Ethical Leadership Discipline

Integrative Written & Oral Environmental Reasoning Skills Competency
CO Thinking Communication Awareness
CO 1
Reinforce Reinforce Reinforcement

CO 2 X X X
Reinforce Reinforce Introduce

CO 3 X X X
Reinforce Reinforce Introduce

Reinforce Reinforce Introduce

Unit-wise scope for outcomes and Bloom’s taxonomy

Operations Strategy, synthesizes two streams of knowledge- core courses in operations and
Strategy, bringing a fresh perspective on how operations could be leveraged for firm’s
business strategy and is therefore designed as ‘higher order thinking’ course, focusing on
the Bloom’s learning levels of analyzing, evaluating and creating. Bloom’s Taxonomy
categorizes skills that students are expected to learn as a result of instruction. Originally
published in 1956, the tool is named after Benjamin Bloom, who was the Associate Director
of the Board of Examinations at the University of Chicago (Source: Wikipedia). Now a classic
arrangement of intellectual skills, the taxonomy and its revisions were used to develop the
learning objectives and the outcomes of this course.

CO Relative Bloom’s
CO 1 CO 2 CO 3 CO 4 frequency Weights Taxonomy
Bloom’s of scope Index
Levels of Learning
X X X 3/4 6 Bloom’s
Evaluating X X X 3/4 5 Index =
Analyzing X X X 3/4 4

Applying X 1/4 3

Understanding 0 2 Higher Order

Remembering 0 1 course

The classes will majorly be discussion- based with lectures to reinforce learning. The course
builds on the core concepts of Operations learnt in POM I & II. Problem solving assignments
and discussion questions will be assigned as homework to practice critical thinking. Every
module will closely follow the assigned chapters in the prescribed textbook, which the
students are expected read for every class as preparation and after every class for
reinforcement. The students shall work in groups to summarize the assigned chapter with a
learning scheme and concept bank. This exercise gives the students an opportunity to
practice synthesis skills and creative presentation skills. A field assignment will be
undertaken to study process management practices, and to identify, map, analyze and
improve the processes in the chosen area of the business.

Course Requirements

This course can deliver the expected outcomes only when the students approach the
learning with interest and determination to work. With a sober, mediocre and passive
attitude it is almost certain that it will only be a waste of time and money. Students are
therefore expected to demonstrate highest levels of involvement and commitment, in terms
of efforts, quality of work, and conduct. The potential of making learning interesting and
effective lies primarily in the hands of the students and are expected to use the same for this
course throughout the term. The course demands study efforts of 6 hours/week outside
classroom (3 hours for every one session of class). Preparation is mandatory for
attending the classes. Students shall come prepared to all the classes, participate in all the
classes and contribute to the overall learning in the classes. This being the last term of the
programme, students are encouraged to be proactive, involved and energetic which are the
required qualities for success in their job.


S. Assessment
Description Weight
no exercises

1 Attendance, Punctuality, Enthusiasm and Cheer 10%

Case preparation, Reading, preparing, analysis and participating

2 25%
analysis & discussion in/contributing to class discussions

Submission of case A comprehensive notes on case analysis mapped with

3 25%
analysis the concepts in the relevant chapters of the textbook

End-term A closed book comprehensive exam with emphasis on

4 40%
examination analyzing, evaluating and creating levels of learning

Course Text

Operations Strategy, Nigel Slack and Michael Lewis, 2nd edition, Pearson
Session Plan

Topic Chapter Activity / Reading
1 Introduction to the course & sharing expectations

2 Operations Strategy :
1 Case 1: Hagen Style
3 Introduction

4 Operations Performance
2 Case 2: Dresding Medical
Capacity Strategy 3 Case 3: Freeman Biotest

Supply Network Strategy 4 Case 4: Aztec Component Supply

Process Technology Strategy 5 Case 5: Bonkers Chocolate Factory
Improvement Strategy 6 Case 6: Customer Service at Kaston Pyral
14 Product/ Service
7 Case 7: Project Orlando at Dreddo Dan’s
15 Development & Organization

16 Process of Operations
Strategy- Sustainable 8 Case 8: The Focused Bank
17 Alignment
18 Process of Operations
Strategy: Substitutes for 9 Case 9: Geneva Constructions and Risk
19 strategy?
Strategy Implementation 10 Case 10: Saunders Industrial Service
Course Overview

Note: The number of sessions may exceed by 10% to allow time for overruns in case discussions.

Contribution to Placements

The major deliverable of the course is the ‘case analysis and learning report’ the students
submit individually, giving them an opportunity to practice synthesizing of the discussions,
readings and thoughts into a formal report. The course is primarily discussion based, making
students to bring meaningful and appropriate content to discussions and presenting the same
effectively. This would help the students practice their content synthesis and presentation skills
useful in their first jobs.