State-of-the-art Literature Review and Individual Company Analysis: Operations Management Context

PART A: STATE-OF-THE-ART REVIEW (1000 words, 40% weighting)
In Part A, provide a state-of-the-art review of a major operations management topic (examples listed below) specifically discussing the existing body of knowledge, trends, opportunities and challenges in this field using up-to-date academic journal articles (preferably) and other resources.
A state-of-the-art review should consider the current research in the given area or concerning the given topic, but also reflect on the relevant historical development. It often summarises current and emerging educational trends, research priorities and standardisations in a particular field of interest. The review must aim to provide a critical survey of the extensive literature produced in the past decade, a synthesis of current thinking in the field. It may offer new perspectives on an issue or point out an area in need of further research. The review must report on the key findings and insights generated by extant research in the area
For the review, select only one of the major operations management fields. Some examples are given below:
• Performance improvement techniques (in relation to specific performance dimensions)
• Innovative design of operations processes (in manufacturing, service, logistics, etc.)
• Supply network design: outsourcing versus insourcing
• Disrupting technologies for operations
• Inventory planning and control
• Supplier and procurement management
• Operations that support corporate social responsibility
• Reverse Logistics
• Sustainable operations
• Innovations in service operations management (e.g., in healthcare, hospitality, etc.)
• Internet of things and operations management
• Service quality management
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the topic of your choice is not among the options above, you should confirm it by contacting the module leader.
To conduct the analysis and review, search and use journal articles/papers published in high ranked academic journals. Examples include:
• Journal of Operations Management
• Production and Operations Management
• Management Science
• Manufacturing and Service Operations Management
• International Journal of Production Economics
• International Journal of Operations and Production Management
• Supply Chain Management: An International Journal
• International Journal of Production Research
• Production Planning and Control
• Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management
NOTE: The academic journal ranking lists published by Chartered Association of Business Schools (ABS) give a good reference for determining the rankings of academic business/management journals.
Finally, present your state-of-the-art review in 1000 words in the chosen operations management field. Pay attention to referencing style and consistency.
PART B: COMPANY ANALYSIS (1500 words, 60% weighting)
In Part B, you are expected to critically analyse the operations and management processes of one of the companies operating in logistics sector (transportation, warehousing, delivery, etc.), from an operations management perspective. You are required to assess the competitive business environment by using the concepts, tools and techniques studied in this module.
Once you have selected the retailer you would like to examine, prepare a short report of 1500 words encompassing the operations management principles covered in module. Please make sure you include the following operations management concepts in your analysis:
• A brief background of the chosen company and an overview of its operations.
• A critical analysis of the operations transformation processes for the product / service of the company. If the company has more than one product / service, you may focus on one of them. This should also include the hierarchy of operations up to a reasonable level of detail.
• A trade-off analysis among the operations performance objectives, namely: cost, quality, speed, dependability and flexibility.
• An evaluation of the company’s operations in terms of two specific operations management themes discussed in lectures.
• An application of appropriate tools and techniques to analyse the complex operational issues of the company and (where appropriate) development of viable courses of action.
• An analysis of current operational challenges facing the company and recommendation for potential improvements.
Part A and B Overall Requirements:
• References: A “References” section is required to be included at the end of the coursework. This section will include the details of all the references used for both Part A and B in the coursework (minimum five journal articles and other articles of your choice) as per Brunel University Library’s referencing style.
• Appendix: Additionally, you may include an “Appendix” section after the “References” section. This section will not be considered for calculating the number of words.
Total Word Count: The assignment should be completed in report format of no more than 2500 words in total not including references, title page and appendices.

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