BUU22560 Introduction to Operations Management

(5 ECTS)


Katrin Dreyer-Gibney

Email: dreyergk@tcd.ie 
Office Hours: By appointment, same day as lectures


BUU11510 - Fundamentals of Management & Organisation

Module Description:

Operations management relates to transformations of materials, people and information for the production of goods and the delivery of services.  The working of an operation has always been an enigma.  On the one hand, the operation is a visible part of the organisation where people or equipment can be seen to be working away and where something happens.  On the other hand, the operation will neither come right nor stay right of its own accord and, even if challenged, answers to the following questions are not obvious:

  • What makes it work as it does?
  • Could it work better in its current form?
  • What different forms could it take and still get the same result?
  • What market, internal or environmental change would cause most disruption to the working of the operation, and with what knock-on effects?
  • Can Operations be improved?
  • And if so, how?

This course introduces Operations Management as the act of combining people and technology in an organisation so as to produce goods and to deliver services now and in the future with a focus on “Getting Things Done”. It presents the challenges of climate change and its impact on businesses and what operations can do to address these challenges.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Make effective use of the basic vocabulary of operations management 
  2. Explain what is meant by the contribution of operations management to the competitiveness of the firm 
  3. Critically appraise the role of operations management in driving growth, performance, and ethical and socially responsible business practices in organisations 
  4. Define and explain the choices in structuring and running the operation 
  5. Critically evaluate operations performance, defined in terms of quality, dependability, flexibility, speed and cost, as well as sustainability 
  6. Apply operations management models and frameworks to business situations

Learning and Teaching Approach:

The course is delivered as a series of lectures, supported by videos and written materials. Students are engaged in class to discuss and develop understanding and are asked to participate in a number of simulations and case studies to better understand the applicability and use of the theoretical constructs delivered by the lecturer. Participation is enhanced by engaging in polls and quizzes. Students are expected to read the base course materials.

Textbooks and Required Resources:

Required core course textbook: 

  • Slack, N.& Brandon-Jones, A., (2019). Operations Management


Assessment for this module will be based as follows:

  • Continuous Assessment – 35%
  • Final Assessment – 65%

Reassessment: Students who do not obtain an overall pass mark for this module, will have the opportunity to be reassessed by a supplemental assessment (weighted at 100%).