What is an Operations Management MBA specialization? | TopMBA.com

What is an Operations Management MBA specialization?

By QS Contributor

Updated November 20, 2018 Updated November 20, 2018

Professor Miguel Angel Heras of ESADE Business School has explained to TopMBA.com what an Operations Management MBA specialization entails.

What does Operations mean?

The term Operations is generally used as an umbrella term to refer to the corporate area responsible for actually producing goods and services.

This includes all the activities required to create and deliver a product or service, from selecting suppliers and/or raw materials to supply chain management and distribution.

The organization of these different activities within the company implies a vision of the business as different processes. Of all the corporate divisions, operations tends to require the greatest number of employees and assets.

Generally in charge of product and service quality, operations is also the key basis on which the company’s long-term performance rests.

For this reason, operations is increasingly seen as a source of competitive advantage because correctly managing this area is fundamental to ensuring the company’s carefully crafted strategy becomes reality; without operations, corporate strategy would run the risk of remaining a merely theoretical exercise.

Operations management

Operations management is the corporate area in charge of designing, managing and tracking different processes.

These processes are made up of interrelated, sequential activities through which the components and actors required (raw materials, labor, capital, information, the client, and such) are transformed into products.

The key is the value added through the process as perceived by the customer, i.e. the end product has a greater value than the elements pre-process.

These products are the goods and services people buy and use every day, from skis to washing machines, and medical assistance to tourism services. To create the vast array of end products the processes involved are extremely varied.

For example, in a factory setting these may include assembly, control and packing, where in the airline business they are more likely to be passenger check-in, flying the passengers from A to B and getting their bags back to them. In consultancy processes, the end products will be gathering data, drafting proposals and project implementation.

Beyond this, the pressure is on operations management to make improvements in sustainability, not least in environmental areas.

Operations departments are expected to incorporate eco-efficiency and eco-effectiveness principles into their processes. Further innovation is the key to competitive advantage, reduced costs and technological development, vital for the long term sustainability of the firm.

How is Operations Management taught at the MBA level?

At ESADE, the department of operations management and innovation applies a global focus to operations. Its aim is to stay a step ahead of companies’ current needs, giving MBA students the knowledge, skills and perspectives they need to create value for their firms in the future.

The study of performance measurement systems and business process models is at the core of the knowledge students gain.

ESADE treats operations not solely as an academic discipline, serving to optimize process implementation, but also fundamental support for company management to turn corporate strategy into reality.

This is achieved by implementing a process-based focus and applying measurement systems across all areas that form the basis for the subsequent use of Lean Operations, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma.

These techniques deliver enhanced flexibility, service levels and quality whilst lowering costs and reducing the variability of process outputs.

Other key areas addressed in MBA core courses and electives include: Supply Chain Management, Service Operations, Innovation and Environmental issues.

Supply Chain Management analyzes corporate purchasing, production and distribution processes. It has been recognized as a core competency for most firms today. The objective of Supply Chain Management is to systematically and strategically manage the flow of information and material among the various operations which make up the different strands or ‘chains’ of a supply network.

Service Operations studies the best Operations practices in different service industries and includes the modern concept of ‘servitization’ which represents the introduction of service components in manufacturing processes.

Innovation is explored from a perspective of creative thinking, breaking away from existing paradigms and design, and giving value to new processes, products and services.

Lastly, the focus on the Environment examines the strategic adaptation of operations to meet new environmental demands and requirements.

Professor Miguel Angel Heras is director of ESADE’s department of operations management and innovation.

This article was originally published in November 2018 .

Want more content like this Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

Want to leave a comment?

Please login or register to post

comment above our articles.

Related Articles Last year

Most Shared Last year

Most Read Last year

USA Rankings

Find top ranked universities in USA!