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Students will identify their OM approach by studying the history of OM. Chapter 1 discusses the impacts of the Industrial Revolution and the development of scientific management on modern OM. Students will also consider other OM developments such as the human relations movement, the decision model, and management science. Another major force of change that has affected OM came from the rapid development of information management (IM) systems to support business operations. These IM systems have evolved to advanced levels in today’s workplace and their technologies continue to change at a rapid pace.
Globalization is another factor that has had an enormous impact in the commercial world today and the diffusion of globalization continues. Globalization matters to most new business initiatives as several questions must be asked. First is the question, “What global competitive forces and factors are present that will impact my own business initiative?” There may be global companies ready to launch their own initiative in a domestic market and they must understand how their product/service and pricing structure hold up against the competition. Another key question is whether a company can immediately launch a new business initiative overseas as part of its deployment strategy. There can be considerable advantage in a simultaneous deployment as overhead costs could be disbursed over a wider spectrum of sales. There are unique risks in doing business overseas, but the potential benefits involved make it worthwhile to investigate early in the design and development phases of a business initiative.
Another key development in the last 50 years has been the issue of ethical conduct in the business community. In the past, this was a nice to havecommodity, but today, the ethical ramifications of management’s decisions must be considered up front in all major company decisions. In fact, ethical practices closely align to the legal legitimacy of a firm.
As an aid to understand change and its forces, a technique known as force field analysis is often used. This tool helps organize and evaluate the elements of change so a firm can see the effects of changes in OM when developing new markets and new lines. A firm can use force field analysis to help with migrating actions. The tool can aid decision makers in comprehending the level of effort required during transformations.
Using professional, personal, or academic experience, describe the operations management (OM) framework or environment in which you work or are most familiar with. Briefly discuss those key factors that drove change in the OM environment in which you work. Note the general nature of these factors, such as technology, economic, political, or other.