Module code: MANM403

Module Overview

Operations management relates to the scoping, planning, directing and controlling of the facilities, processes and people required to transform resources into products and services. It has increasingly become the basis of competitive advantage in many sectors of industry and commerce as well as the public sector. A number of generic operations strategies have emerged over the last twenty year, such as lean manufacturing, mass customisation, low cost competition, servitisation and agile manufacturing. Future managers need to be able to understand the key elements of each operations strategy, in particular how they can be developed to service the new digital economy.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N200

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative Content:
• Introduction to Operations Strategy
• Winning Customers and Competing Effectively
• Competing on Cost
• Mass Customisation
• Servitisation Strategies
• Lean Enterprises
• Agile Strategies
• Innovation Strategies
Business Models for the New Digital Economy and Business Transformation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Group Assignment (3300 words maximum) 70
Coursework Individual reflective essay (1200 words) 30

Alternative Assessment

In cases when it is not possible to re-assess the group assignment then an individual alternative assessment will be applied which is aligned with the objectives of the module.

Assessment Strategy

The summative assessment for this module consists of a group assignment, to compare, contrast and present information about the operations strategy of a company. This seeks to allow students to research and critically evaluate information before presenting it to the rest of the class. It is designed to ensure that students demonstrate knowledge of relevant theories of operations strategy, a practical understanding of how these theories are used in a variety of business contexts and the ability to critically identify how these are used to create competitive advantage. The individual reflective essay seeks to allow students to demonstrate the extent to which they were engaged with the research and presentation of the group activity and to discuss their understanding of operations strategies as applied to the new digital era.

Formative assessment and feedback
Students will be given formative feedback in lectures via class discussion. There will also be opportunities to ask questions in SurreyLearn throughout the module. Students will receive specific verbal and written formative feedback following their group presentations before they submit their final written group report.

Module aims

  • The aim of this module is to provide students with both a theoretical and practical understanding of how operations can be managed strategically in the light of external and internal conditions and new digital requirements. The module will systematically develop a framework for understanding operations strategy within the context of a firm’s business strategy, specifically focussing on the delivery of digital operations.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Recognise the contribution that operations strategy plays as part of the management of businesses in all sectors.
002 Critically review the key issues facing operations managers in the new digital economy.
003 Think both strategically and practically about operations.
004 Recognise the importance of managing organisational resources, particularly human resources and digital resources
005 Differentiate between operations management and strategic operations management
006 Apply group working and presentation skills
007 Explore future issues affecting strategy and operations
008 Learn how to evaluate operations strategies

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 33

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to encourage a deep approach to learning with an emphasis on collaborative learning through the use of real world operations management examples and in-class problem solving. The module will specifically exploit the evolution of a number of specific operations strategies with a particular reference to the new digital economy.

The teaching and learning methods include traditional lectures supported by case study exercises and video case studies in class. The teaching and learning format is designed to give students the opportunity to understand different operations strategies through the integration of theory and practical application. Lectures will involve the explanation of theoretical concepts of different operations strategies and SurreyLearn support will allow students to test and apply their understanding in a variety of contexts.

The module is delivered through a series of weekly lectures including operations strategy video and case study examples and independent learning via SurreyLearn.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for OPERATIONS STRATEGY AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/manm403

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Operations and Supply Chain in the Digital Era MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.