Integrated approach to the teaching of operations management in a business
the past few years, the undergraduate business curriculum includes management,
finance, marketing and operations as the basic four functional areas. Students
are able to enroll in these courses, frequently and in any order. The
professors of one functional area are not familiar with the others, thus
raising an argument to build an integrated curriculum that is based on
integrated decision making and which would achieve both the business objectives
and outlay for all the above mentioned four functional areas.
areas make a decision which optimizes their own objectives but would not meet
the company objectives, and this was the motivation for the school of business
to come up with a plan to achieve an integrated curriculum. To achieve this, a curriculum
subcommittee consisting of senior professors from each functional area was
formed to identify the contents of the four functions and consisted of an
in-house developed case on Microsoft’s relaunch of the Surface Tablet was used
as a major instrument.
make it more relevant to students, several processes have been published to
deal with the modification of the contents of the operations management, while
some have analyzed the integration of both operations management and
integrated business curriculum of the school was motivated by the programs
practiced at Idaho and James Madison. The integrated semester consisted of four
functional courses, where 20% of each course material deals with integrated
issues and to make this integration possible, a business case on Microsoft’s
Surface were prepared.
purpose of the integrated semester where students take all four core courses is
to underline a basic fact of business life as big decisions have more
consequences all over the functional boundaries. Finance decisions reducing
working capital levels limiting the manufacturing leading to constraints on
production planning or marketing decisions such as pricing and promotions which
impacts profitably (finance) and production planning (operations).
these four core courses are taught without integration then the students must
understand that in real life, each and every decision is felt throughout the
organization. So with this in mind, the integration of the four core courses
imitates real life as business have functional divisions that are responsible
for functional decisions, and these decisions have affects on other functions.
And these have to be understood and managed at the same time in order to
achieve the successful outcome of the company.
webbed model of integration was selected to integrate the four core courses as
the school believed that it fitted better to their requirements in the terms of
compatibility and the themes which are easily identifiable to learn and combine
the objectives of operations, finance, management and marketing. A webbed model
is a model which helps students to understand the concepts as they are related
to business and a Delphi-type decision process, which is a structured
communication method (nwlink.com), was used by the course designers and faculty
to select criteria, selection process and the actual scoring of the core
operations core course was the main course highlighting the links with the
other disciplines as discipline specific concepts were discussed and the main
components followed are, Base case which was used for student s to get familiar
with Microsoft and its industry, operations case which was focused on major
operations, teaching notes which identified appropriate approach and points
links with other disciplines, projects/presentations where a group effort is needed
to identify an integrated solution to the problems found in specific cases and
setting of learning goals assessments.
put the plan in to action, all instructors used the same textbook and most of
all covered the same chapters nearly in the same sequence, where the
Microsoft’s cases were discussed and used in teaching notes and 20% of the
grades were allocated to integration related assignments. The Microsoft’s case
were mixed with the classes for 14 weeks with homework assignments which got
the students to read the case and connect those different ideas. And the
instructors were able to consult each other and fine tune their integration
was achieved with integration in multiple ways where the key components were
grade accordingly which was shared with students, a final exam was presented
that tested them on basic concepts of integration, and survey was carried out
with the students on how much they learned through the approach.
results of the integration project showed that most groups were able to grasp
the concepts of integration with a median grade of 18-20 and on the assessment
of learning in their final exam showed an average score of 8.5 to 10. In the
survey that was conducted within the students, it was found out that most
students did not like the Microsoft Case, as they felt that it was outdated and
there were some complaints from working students as they had trouble in
scheduling their classes and to arrange group meetings for the four courses.
on the feedback the school decided to go forward with the integration effort
with changes such as another company would be studied in-depth from a
operational perspective and each student writing a term paper on integrating
the roles of the four functions of the chosen company and speakers from the
company would be brought in to give the students an insight into operational
speakers would be beneficial to both the instructors and students because they
would be giving an insight to the operations integration in the company which
would help the students to understand and get a clear picture of the
integration and the instructors would be able to highlight and identify the key
points of integration which they could apply in the next semester, thus making
it beneficial to both instructors and tutors. And in the future they could try
to arrange a company for each new academic year which would help the faculty
and instructors to build and bring in to light a well organized curriculum of
integrated teaching to operations management.
Schools study on the integrated model of the teaching operations management has
how they have prepared, implemented, methods used and the results of the
with results they got from the survey they conducted with students have helped
them to identify the opportunities to improve for the next year.
in the design and execution of MBA programs
authors of this article have described a theoretical framework which is based
on key operations management methods which could assist to enhance MBA programs
on operational efficiency, quality and curriculum enhancements.
initial study was conducted to find out to which extent does the business
schools currently apply the OM methods in their programs and have discussed the
future roles of OM in MBA programs and the opportunities to expand the
framework to incorporate other practical business areas.
the essay the author has clearly identified how graduate business schools are
ranked annually, which comprises of faculty credentials, admission selectivity,
and student engagement and recruiter ratings. And has in light with reference
he has stated that how the effective uses of operations management has helped
to facilitate both low cost and distinction of the program.
a pilot assessment, a special questionnaire with items relating to each
objective framework was developed and sent to Graduate Management Admission
Council (GMAC) member schools addressed to the dean or assistant or associate
dean. The survey results with each objective were discussed to see how much the
operations management was being used in grading the MBA programs in the
development success depends upon input of the faculty from all functional
areas, as most companies are using cross functional teams for developing
completed goods and services. The strengths of cross functional design are
known to improve communication, reduce errors and speed up the design process
and most of all reducing the time to market. Therefore outstanding MBA programs
should have a curriculum that is valued in the market along with error free
instructions in delivery.
major benefit of using cross functional design in a faculty is that
representatives would be easily able to point out and identify the strengths
and weakness by their instructional capability in their particular departments
and their involvement in the curriculum would show results which are both
feasible and acceptable to the faculty. Most of all, the completion of this
process would make the faculty aware of any weakness in between important
learning objectives and resources, and would help them to keep the students
needs on a consistent level with the capabilities of the faculty’s operational
most important factor to make the program successful is to incorporate the
needs of employees who are serving the program, as their expertise would be of
great help in valuable input in to the program structure such as scheduling,
location and balance of online vs. face to face class timings.
survey results sent to GMAC member schools were as followed. Each respondent
identified an administrator, and that in most programs management, finance,
marketing and accounting participate in the MBA curriculum design. And from
some schools, other disciplines such as economics, information systems and
international businesses also participated. And it is startling to find out
that only about half of the programs use the knowledge and expertise of
employers or executive boards while designing the program. And student
involvement is limited in the pretty much limited.
of the programs that joined in the survey have at least one backup for their
MBA courses, but only a few schools have been prepared contingency plans for
all the MBA courses they are providing, thus proving the remainder have a high
risk of course delivery as they have a limited backups. Furthermore, the
comments section indicated that inadequate resources and scheduling instructors
for different sections are one of the most challenging phases of operating a
MBA program in a faculty.
Cohort-based program is a “group of people banded together or treated as a
group” (ccu.edu). It acts as an added advantage of building teamwork and
involvement of other students. However the findings in the results showed that
less than 50% of respondents were using cohort system for all MBA programs and
another 22% does not have any thing planned for the success of course and as
the same time a mixture of employees and students taking core courses in
MBA programs, the flow of the students through each academic year is the most important
design for cost effectiveness. As explained above, a cohort style MBA program
assists in effectiveness of making sure that the students are on the right path
for graduation, required facilities for the faculty are identified before hand,
classes being arranged to the availability of instructors and can be filled
closer to their capacities.
next one discussed is about preparing a common core in every MBA program, which
helps the faculty to assign an instructor to deliver a core course who is
usually prepared to adapt that core course to the other programs of the MBA.
And secondly the core classes can be arranged specifically where students who
are doing different MBA programs taking the core classes together. And this
allows the faculty to offer a variety of MBA programs which are feasible in
terms of operational expenditure.
articles research has found out that integration or adoption of operational management
in the MBA programs are still limited, which strongly states that there are
opportunities to use the OM methods with high employee participation and
formation of cohort style programs. And the author has directed to shed
additional light on how the business schools could adopt OM in the MBA programs
they teach in the future surveys.
The Relationship between Homework and Performance in an
Introductory Operations Management Course
schools related to business offer undergraduate courses as relating operations
and production functions and related management. The general approach for
operation management usually involves mathematical tools or models to
demonstrate operations management concept for analyzing various decisions which
are required for designing, operating and controlling the operation functions.
authors have tested hypothesis regarding the effect of required graded homework
on the exam performance of 330 students which indicated that required graded
homework had a negative effect on the exam performance.
A widely used approach to motivate students is
assignment of problems to be completed outside the class, where the students
spend time and effort working the assigned problems and preparing the work
which is handed over to the instructor for grading. And this grade is carried
forward with the marks of the final assignment.
this study involved multiple sections, instructors and semesters, a higher
degree of balance was maintained to minimize the impact on study results, and
was focused on five main points which are overview of the course, course
schedules, syllabus, teaching approach and exams.
the overview of the course the authors studied an operation management course
which covered a number of topics where the course is required for all junior
level student s and a few non business students. They have studied regular
semesters 5 to 7 sections which lasted from 150 minutes 520 minutes per week.
And they found out that the syllabus were not identical for faculty instructors
but the consistency of contents were good and all classes were taught similarly
with computers, projectors and just a slight different in the way of presentation.
And the students are able to access, download and print those lessons.
the instructors develops the questions for exams together on a similar basis
with multiple choice with five choices, nonquantitative and quantitative
questions and during the classes four non comprehensive exams were given.
main objective of the research was to find out whether grading homework
improves the performance of the students. To undertake this study a total of
330 students in 13 classes were studied. The children were split into to two
groups and one group was told that homework grades would carry upto15% of the
total marks and the rest of 85% was in the exams. And the second group was told
that their final marks solely depended on the exams.
students in both groups were aware that the given end of the chapter questions
was linked with the quantitative questions that would be given on the exam.
hypothesis was split into three parts which the first was as there will no
difference in the study results of both groups, the second was set as that both
group of students results will not differ in the exams quantitative questions
and the third part as both of groups will not differ in the non quantitative
questions. Two more additional hypotheses were created for each group in
regarding the factor of student attendance and performance.
tests were used to test the first three hypotheses and the first one was
omitted as group one’s overall mean marks were lower than group two. And it
proved in the second study which both groups showed that grading homework does
not affect exams as both groups studied the end of chapter questions.
Furthermore it has proved that in the third study that the students who did not
undergo graded homework’s been much better at non quantitative questions than
the students who underwent graded homework studies at the end of the chapters.
the two more additional hypotheses proved that treating students in two groups
did not affect the attendance and the author believes that the group one’s
students have already allocated that time to study outside of the class as
their homework’s are graded.
article has proved that even though students are graded in two different ways, one
which is by with a final exam and the other with a grading homework, the level of
studies in between the students remains unaffected. The result was excepted as nearly
all of the questions on exams were mostly from the presentations used in the classes,
which the students are able to download and print. And it has proved that students
are more motivated with reward motivation than essential motivation.
this article we have found out that even though when students are grouped and given
different treatments, the level of studying for the exams does not differ by much.
It has proven that students are more motivated by reward motivation than by intrinsic
most of all the study has proven that instructors can discover imminent findings
that they can use to improve the effectiveness and efficiency if their efforts in
the classrooms through systematic and structured efforts.