Module ASB-2416:
Operations Strategy

Module Facts

Run by Bangor Business School

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Kostas Nikolopoulos

Overall aims and purpose

Operations Strategy is the highest level of Operations Management that deals with plans and decisions that shape the long-term capabilities of any organisation in the course of designing, producing and distributing products and services.

This module aims to: 1. Critically evaluate the impact and role of Operations Strategy 2. Define the key dimensions of Competitiveness and how Operations Strategy can contribute Using case studies to equip students to evaluate, perform analysis of, and make proposals for the enhancement of overall Organisational Strategies and more specific for the Operations Strategy.

Course content

Operations Strategy is the highest level of Operations Management that deals with plans and decisions that shape the long-term capabilities of an organization in the course of designing, producing and distributing products and services. The themes that will be explored in the module include predominantly strategy within the firm for improving operations. Initially, we will cover an introduction to operations management and focus on competitiveness and the five respective factors that make you survive and thrive: cost, quality, speed, dependability, and flexibility. Tools like the 4V diagram and the generic model of OM/OS in a company will be extensively discussed and used. there will be an emphasis on linking operations strategy to competitiveness. Further, we will discuss innovation, design & technology strategy. We will conclude with critically reflecting on lean, logistics & location strategies and the overall Supply Chain Strategy.

Assessment Criteria


Threshold: D- to D+ • Knowledge of key areas/principles only; • Weaknesses in understanding of main areas; • Limited evidence of background study; • Answer only poorly focussed on question and with some irrelevant material and poor structure; • Arguments presented but lack coherence; • Several factual/computational errors; • No original interpretation; • Only major links between topics are described; • Limited problem solving; • Many weaknesses in presentation and accuracy;


Good: B- to B+ • Understands most but not all; • Evidence of background study; • Focussed answer with good structure; • Arguments presented coherently; • Mostly free of factual/computational errors; • Some limited original interpretation; • Well known links between topics are described; • Problems addressed by existing methods/approaches; • Good presentation with accurate communication;


Excellent: A- to A* • Comprehensive knowledge; • Detailed understanding; • Extensive background study; • Highly focussed answer and well structured; • Logically presented and defended arguments; • No factual/computational errors; • Original interpretation; • New links between topics are developed; • New approach to a problem; • Excellent presentation with very accurate communication;

C- to C+

Another level: C- to C+ Good pass • Understands some topics; • Evidence of study; • Focussed answer with average structure; • Arguments presented vaguely; • Presence of some factual/computational errors;

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain the contributions that operations strategy makes to, and the impacts it has on, organisations.

  2. Analyse supply chains in different business sectors.

  3. Discuss and debate issues associated with inventory control, material requirements planning, and scheduling especially at the strategic level.

  4. Undertake case study analysis .

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Typically is about examining and discussing long term operation strategy in real major organisations like Airbus, Tesco etc

EXAM Examination S1 2hrs

Typically tree questions - one revolving around theory (40% weight), one on an extensive real and contemporary case study (40%) for example Amazon Lockers, and one on critical thinking (20%) that is the toughest part.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops

2 x 2h practical session scheduled n weeks 3 and 8 of a standard 10-week delivery block Drop-in sessions to support case study analysis and the development of skills in business analysis


Lectures (suggested 2 hours per week for a fixed block of 10 weeks) covering all the main theoretical developments in Operations Strategy and mini-case studies of 30 min max to discuss

Private study

Students have to do their own self-study following the 2h lectures every week - 6h hours of self-study to read the respective material in the book and do research on the internet of respective similar events in the industry. That time should also be enough in order to do their 50% assignment. An extra 16 h of study goes after the two practical drop-in sessions, 8h for each session in order to find relative material to the topic discussed in the drop in and read and digest articles provided


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Analysis, deduction and induction. Economic reasoning is highly deductive, and logical analysis is applied to assumption-based models. However, inductive reasoning is also important. The development of such analytical skills enhances students' problem-solving and decision-making ability.
  • People management: to include communications, team building, leadership and motivating others.
  • Problem solving and critical analysis: analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting appropriate solutions.
  • Research: the ability to analyse and evaluate a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies, which includes the need for strong digital literacy, and to use that research for evidence-based decision-making.
  • Commercial acumen: based on an awareness of the key drivers for business success, causes of failure and the importance of providing customer satisfaction and building customer loyalty.
  • Innovation, creativity and enterprise: the ability to act entrepreneurially to generate, develop and communicate ideas, manage and exploit intellectual property, gain support, and deliver successful outcomes.
  • Numeracy: the use of quantitative skills to manipulate data, evaluate, estimate and model business problems, functions and phenomena.
  • Networking: an awareness of the interpersonal skills of effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation and their use in generating business contacts.
  • Ability to work collaboratively both internally and with external customers and an awareness of mutual interdependence.
  • Ability to work with people from a range of cultures.
  • Articulating and effectively explaining information.
  • Building and maintaining relationships.
  • Communication and listening including the ability to produce clear, structured business communications in a variety of media.
  • Conceptual and critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
  • Self-management: a readiness to accept responsibility and flexibility, to be resilient, self-starting and appropriately assertive, to plan, organise and manage time.
  • Self reflection: self-analysis and an awareness/sensitivity to diversity in terms of people and cultures. This includes a continuing appetite for development.


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: