Operations management is different and demanding, yet is an exciting and evolving area of business in which to work.  It requires creative minds that can think out of the box to develop new or revamp old ways of product and process designs.  It requires people who can understand the complex interrelationships between suppliers and producers, employees and managers, and people and technology.  When corporations go global, add to this mix cultural differences and different ways of viewing and organizing the working environment.  Operations management is a complex, creative field and provides challenges daily for the most proficient, experienced operations managers.

Operations management is also a key strategic element for business success and competitive strength.  In services, manufacturing, profit or non-profit organizations, operations determines the quality of the good or service, its cost, whether or not it is delivered on time, and its ability to meet customer expectations.  This course introduces various operations approaches that exist, will lead you to participate in discussions about operations, and will give you the practical knowledge you need to apply the  appropriate operations approach in your organization.

In the past, operations was a staid subject.  There was one approach, known as scientific management, and it was regurgitated in most operations courses. An operations manager’s job was to follow the accepted rules – not everybody’s notion of a challenging career, or one where you would be noticed for promotion. Today it’s different: operations is increasingly recognized as having a key role in company competitiveness.  Achieving that competitiveness requires that strategic choices be made from a variety of approaches.

We expect you to open your minds both creatively and culturally, and to challenge your assumptions and biases as you study operations management with your fellow students and coaches.



For students who want to build their expertise around this subject area, the following courses are available:


Topic Related Journals in Athabasca University LIbrary

Athabasca University LIbrary »

  • Administrative Sciences Quarterly
  • Sloan Management Review
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Interfaces (from INFORMS)
  • OR/MS Today (from INFORMS) – magazine partly available online
  • McKinsey Quarterly
  • International Journal of Operations & Production Management
  • Operations Research (INFORMS)
  • Management Science (INFORMS)