AnIntegrated approach to the teaching of operations management in a businessschool IntroductionOverthe past few years, the undergraduate business curriculum includes management,finance, marketing and operations as the basic four functional areas.
Studentsare able to enroll in these courses, frequently and in any order. Theprofessors of one functional area are not familiar with the others, thusraising an argument to build an integrated curriculum that is based onintegrated decision making and which would achieve both the business objectivesand outlay for all the above mentioned four functional areas. Functionalareas make a decision which optimizes their own objectives but would not meetthe company objectives, and this was the motivation for the school of businessto come up with a plan to achieve an integrated curriculum. To achieve this, a curriculumsubcommittee consisting of senior professors from each functional area wasformed to identify the contents of the four functions and consisted of anin-house developed case on Microsoft’s relaunch of the Surface Tablet was usedas a major instrument. MethodologyTomake it more relevant to students, several processes have been published todeal with the modification of the contents of the operations management, whilesome have analyzed the integration of both operations management andinformation technology.Theintegrated business curriculum of the school was motivated by the programspracticed at Idaho and James Madison.
The integrated semester consisted of fourfunctional courses, where 20% of each course material deals with integratedissues and to make this integration possible, a business case on Microsoft’sSurface were prepared.Thepurpose of the integrated semester where students take all four core courses isto underline a basic fact of business life as big decisions have moreconsequences all over the functional boundaries. Finance decisions reducingworking capital levels limiting the manufacturing leading to constraints onproduction planning or marketing decisions such as pricing and promotions whichimpacts profitably (finance) and production planning (operations).Ifthese four core courses are taught without integration then the students mustunderstand that in real life, each and every decision is felt throughout theorganization. So with this in mind, the integration of the four core coursesimitates real life as business have functional divisions that are responsiblefor functional decisions, and these decisions have affects on other functions.And these have to be understood and managed at the same time in order toachieve the successful outcome of the company.Thewebbed model of integration was selected to integrate the four core courses asthe school believed that it fitted better to their requirements in the terms ofcompatibility and the themes which are easily identifiable to learn and combinethe objectives of operations, finance, management and marketing. A webbed modelis a model which helps students to understand the concepts as they are relatedto business and a Delphi-type decision process, which is a structuredcommunication method (nwlink.
com), was used by the course designers and facultyto select criteria, selection process and the actual scoring of the corecourses.Theoperations core course was the main course highlighting the links with theother disciplines as discipline specific concepts were discussed and the maincomponents followed are, Base case which was used for student s to get familiarwith Microsoft and its industry, operations case which was focused on majoroperations, teaching notes which identified appropriate approach and pointslinks with other disciplines, projects/presentations where a group effort is neededto identify an integrated solution to the problems found in specific cases andsetting of learning goals assessments.Toput the plan in to action, all instructors used the same textbook and most ofall covered the same chapters nearly in the same sequence, where theMicrosoft’s cases were discussed and used in teaching notes and 20% of thegrades were allocated to integration related assignments.
The Microsoft’s casewere mixed with the classes for 14 weeks with homework assignments which gotthe students to read the case and connect those different ideas. And theinstructors were able to consult each other and fine tune their integrationefforts. ResultsSuccesswas achieved with integration in multiple ways where the key components weregrade accordingly which was shared with students, a final exam was presentedthat tested them on basic concepts of integration, and survey was carried outwith the students on how much they learned through the approach. Theresults of the integration project showed that most groups were able to graspthe concepts of integration with a median grade of 18-20 and on the assessmentof learning in their final exam showed an average score of 8.5 to 10. In thesurvey that was conducted within the students, it was found out that moststudents did not like the Microsoft Case, as they felt that it was outdated andthere were some complaints from working students as they had trouble inscheduling their classes and to arrange group meetings for the four courses. DiscussionsBasedon the feedback the school decided to go forward with the integration effortwith changes such as another company would be studied in-depth from aoperational perspective and each student writing a term paper on integratingthe roles of the four functions of the chosen company and speakers from thecompany would be brought in to give the students an insight into operationalissues.Bringingspeakers would be beneficial to both the instructors and students because theywould be giving an insight to the operations integration in the company whichwould help the students to understand and get a clear picture of theintegration and the instructors would be able to highlight and identify the keypoints of integration which they could apply in the next semester, thus makingit beneficial to both instructors and tutors.
And in the future they could tryto arrange a company for each new academic year which would help the facultyand instructors to build and bring in to light a well organized curriculum ofintegrated teaching to operations management. ConclusionTheSchools study on the integrated model of the teaching operations management hashow they have prepared, implemented, methods used and the results of theintegration module. Andwith results they got from the survey they conducted with students have helpedthem to identify the opportunities to improve for the next year. Operations managementin the design and execution of MBA programs IntroductionTheauthors of this article have described a theoretical framework which is basedon key operations management methods which could assist to enhance MBA programson operational efficiency, quality and curriculum enhancements.
Aninitial study was conducted to find out to which extent does the businessschools currently apply the OM methods in their programs and have discussed thefuture roles of OM in MBA programs and the opportunities to expand theframework to incorporate other practical business areas. MethodologyInthe essay the author has clearly identified how graduate business schools areranked annually, which comprises of faculty credentials, admission selectivity,and student engagement and recruiter ratings. And has in light with referencehe has stated that how the effective uses of operations management has helpedto facilitate both low cost and distinction of the program.Fora pilot assessment, a special questionnaire with items relating to eachobjective framework was developed and sent to Graduate Management AdmissionCouncil (GMAC) member schools addressed to the dean or assistant or associatedean. The survey results with each objective were discussed to see how much theoperations management was being used in grading the MBA programs in theschools. Programdevelopment success depends upon input of the faculty from all functionalareas, as most companies are using cross functional teams for developingcompleted goods and services. The strengths of cross functional design areknown to improve communication, reduce errors and speed up the design processand most of all reducing the time to market.
Therefore outstanding MBA programsshould have a curriculum that is valued in the market along with error freeinstructions in delivery.Amajor benefit of using cross functional design in a faculty is thatrepresentatives would be easily able to point out and identify the strengthsand weakness by their instructional capability in their particular departmentsand their involvement in the curriculum would show results which are bothfeasible and acceptable to the faculty. Most of all, the completion of thisprocess would make the faculty aware of any weakness in between importantlearning objectives and resources, and would help them to keep the studentsneeds on a consistent level with the capabilities of the faculty’s operationallevel.Themost important factor to make the program successful is to incorporate theneeds of employees who are serving the program, as their expertise would be ofgreat help in valuable input in to the program structure such as scheduling,location and balance of online vs.
face to face class timings. ResultsThesurvey results sent to GMAC member schools were as followed. Each respondentidentified an administrator, and that in most programs management, finance,marketing and accounting participate in the MBA curriculum design. And fromsome schools, other disciplines such as economics, information systems andinternational businesses also participated. And it is startling to find outthat only about half of the programs use the knowledge and expertise ofemployers or executive boards while designing the program. And studentinvolvement is limited in the pretty much limited.Majorityof the programs that joined in the survey have at least one backup for theirMBA courses, but only a few schools have been prepared contingency plans forall the MBA courses they are providing, thus proving the remainder have a highrisk of course delivery as they have a limited backups.
Furthermore, thecomments section indicated that inadequate resources and scheduling instructorsfor different sections are one of the most challenging phases of operating aMBA program in a faculty.ACohort-based program is a “group of people banded together or treated as agroup” (ccu.edu). It acts as an added advantage of building teamwork andinvolvement of other students. However the findings in the results showed thatless than 50% of respondents were using cohort system for all MBA programs andanother 22% does not have any thing planned for the success of course and asthe same time a mixture of employees and students taking core courses ingroups. DiscussionsForMBA programs, the flow of the students through each academic year is the most importantdesign for cost effectiveness. As explained above, a cohort style MBA programassists in effectiveness of making sure that the students are on the right pathfor graduation, required facilities for the faculty are identified before hand,classes being arranged to the availability of instructors and can be filledcloser to their capacities. Thenext one discussed is about preparing a common core in every MBA program, whichhelps the faculty to assign an instructor to deliver a core course who isusually prepared to adapt that core course to the other programs of the MBA.
And secondly the core classes can be arranged specifically where students whoare doing different MBA programs taking the core classes together. And thisallows the faculty to offer a variety of MBA programs which are feasible interms of operational expenditure. ConclusionThisarticles research has found out that integration or adoption of operational managementin the MBA programs are still limited, which strongly states that there areopportunities to use the OM methods with high employee participation andformation of cohort style programs. And the author has directed to shedadditional light on how the business schools could adopt OM in the MBA programsthey teach in the future surveys. The Relationship between Homework and Performance in anIntroductory Operations Management Course IntroductionMostschools related to business offer undergraduate courses as relating operationsand production functions and related management. The general approach foroperation management usually involves mathematical tools or models todemonstrate operations management concept for analyzing various decisions whichare required for designing, operating and controlling the operation functions.
Theauthors have tested hypothesis regarding the effect of required graded homeworkon the exam performance of 330 students which indicated that required gradedhomework had a negative effect on the exam performance.A widely used approach to motivate students isassignment of problems to be completed outside the class, where the studentsspend time and effort working the assigned problems and preparing the workwhich is handed over to the instructor for grading. And this grade is carriedforward with the marks of the final assignment. MethodologyAsthis study involved multiple sections, instructors and semesters, a higherdegree of balance was maintained to minimize the impact on study results, andwas focused on five main points which are overview of the course, courseschedules, syllabus, teaching approach and exams.Inthe overview of the course the authors studied an operation management coursewhich covered a number of topics where the course is required for all juniorlevel student s and a few non business students. They have studied regularsemesters 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 instructorsbut the consistency of contents were good and all classes were taught similarlywith computers, projectors and just a slight different in the way of presentation.And the students are able to access, download and print those lessons.
Furthermore,the instructors develops the questions for exams together on a similar basiswith multiple choice with five choices, nonquantitative and quantitativequestions and during the classes four non comprehensive exams were given.Themain objective of the research was to find out whether grading homeworkimproves the performance of the students. To undertake this study a total of330 students in 13 classes were studied. The children were split into to twogroups and one group was told that homework grades would carry upto15% of thetotal marks and the rest of 85% was in the exams. And the second group was toldthat their final marks solely depended on the exams.Thestudents in both groups were aware that the given end of the chapter questionswas linked with the quantitative questions that would be given on the exam.
Thehypothesis was split into three parts which the first was as there will nodifference in the study results of both groups, the second was set as that bothgroup of students results will not differ in the exams quantitative questionsand the third part as both of groups will not differ in the non quantitativequestions. Two more additional hypotheses were created for each group inregarding the factor of student attendance and performance. ResultsTtests were used to test the first three hypotheses and the first one wasomitted as group one’s overall mean marks were lower than group two. And itproved in the second study which both groups showed that grading homework doesnot 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 notundergo graded homework’s been much better at non quantitative questions thanthe students who underwent graded homework studies at the end of the chapters.Furthermorethe two more additional hypotheses proved that treating students in two groupsdid not affect the attendance and the author believes that the group one’sstudents have already allocated that time to study outside of the class astheir homework’s are graded. DiscussionsThisarticle has proved that even though students are graded in two different ways, onewhich is by with a final exam and the other with a grading homework, the level ofstudies in between the students remains unaffected.
The result was excepted as nearlyall 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 studentsare more motivated with reward motivation than essential motivation. ConclusionThroughthis article we have found out that even though when students are grouped and givendifferent 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 intrinsicmotivation.Andmost of all the study has proven that instructors can discover imminent findingsthat they can use to improve the effectiveness and efficiency if their efforts inthe classrooms through systematic and structured efforts.