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Operations Management Business Report

Analysis of Operations

You must prepare and submit an original business report addressing the tasks identified later in this section, but summarised below.Your report must analyse and evaluate the operations management of an organisation, or of a specific business unit/division, and draw conclusions over the extent to which its operational capability supports its corporate strategy and 
provides competitive advantage.

The Organisation You must select one focal organisation as the subject of your assignment. Where the organisation has different divisions or a disparate product/service offer, you may have to select one specific area of the organisation for study (i.e., you will need to define the scope to be covered in your report). You may also find it appropriate to select by geographical region, or if the organisation has disparate operations, one of these.

The organisation selected should meet the following criteria:

1. It should be a well-known business – you will find more data/information on large well-known businesses;
2. It must have a website that is available in English and produce annual reports in English;
3. It is recommended that your selected company be publicly listed/publicly traded on 
4. the stock market – you will find more data/information available on such organisations.

The Content of the Assignment
You are required to demonstrate your learning from the course material by analysing and evaluating the operations management of your chosen organisation (or business unit/division) in a report containing the following sections.

1. A brief introduction to the organisation, including an overview of the environment in which it operates and the pressures that its sector faces. This will give the reader sufficient context to make sense of the report (maximum 500 words).

2. An analysis of the operations of the selected organisation – you must apply the transformation process model and the 4Vs model (and consider the

implications) to your selected organization and their operations. In addition to this you should select two further topics/concepts covered in the module or from your wider reading (relating to operations management) this might be (as 
appropriate to the organisation) – performance objectives and current performance, the types of operating process, the service concept (what the operations systems are designed to deliver), location and layout, capacity management, the scheduling and control of resources, supply chain management, quality assurance or the application of TQM principles, the application of ‘lean’ 
principles.This section is likely to represent the largest part of the Report and it is for you to decide which concepts/theorie/models you include in this section.

Strengths and Weaknesses

3. The identification of the major strengths and weaknesses of the operation –achieved performance against required performance. From your analysis, you should also consider the extent to which the operations functions support the broader business strategy of the organisation, and the extent to which the organisation’s operations capability is used to create competitive advantage.

a. Since each organisation is different, we cannot tell you the relative weight that you should put on each of the elements or the specific operations management concepts and models that you should use. Please remember that this is an Operations Management assignment – although it may be necessary to relate your analysis to marketing or other business functions, your focus should remain on how business operations are used to create competitive advantage (or not).

b. A certain amount of data collection will be required. You should only use secondary material (i.e., that available in the public domain) in your report. You must not attempt to carry out any primary research on the organisation.

c. For each part of the task, try to provide real evidence – this will allow you to be specific on the challenges facing the organisation.You should make appropriate reference to the theoretical concepts and techniques covered in the Module to support your evaluation. Try to maintain a balance.

d. between theory and practice. You must include a reference list of sources used. Charts, diagrams and other supporting material might well be given as appendices .to the report. These should be properly referenced in the text.

e. The assignment must be structured and presented as a formal business report.Do not make excessive use of abbreviations or acronyms. Although they may be understood within an organisation, they are not acceptable when work is prepared 
for general wider readership.

f. Reports must be presented in the formats specified in the Programme Regulations.The length of the assignments must not exceed 2,500 words. The word count should be shown on the front cover. The front cover, contents page, tables, 
diagrams, appendices, and reference list are not included in this word count. You do not need to include an Executive Summary.
The report must contain a reference list. All sources cited must be referenced in the report. The Harvard referencing system must be used. You must use at least 10 academic sources other than the set texts.

g. We expect reports to be professionally presented. You should ask yourselves whether you would be happy to present your report to the directors of the organisation.


The assignment will be assessed using the assessment criteria shown on the MSc Generic Assessment Criteria Grid (available on Moodle):Does the assignment report answer the question (i.e., meets the task requirements shown above)? (50%)

Is the knowledge up to date, from sources from a wide range of literature, and wellintegrated? (10%)Are the student’s arguments clear and well supported, and illustrated with theory and/or practice (i.e., suitable examples from the selected organisation)? (20%)
Does the work show evidence of critical analysis and synthesis with good practice?

Is the work well presented and structured, with appropriate acknowledgement of sources? (5%)The mark sheet given at the end of this section illustrates these assessment criteria.Each element has equal weighting, and your final mark will reflect yourperformance against them.

Your assignment must be presented in the following format:
1. It must be word-processed in 11 point Arial font and double-spaced
2. All pages must be numbered
3. Margins must be as follows: Top: 1 inch, Bottom: 1 inch (2.5 cm), Left: 1.25 inches, Right: 1.25 inches (3.2 cm)
4. It should not contain your name(s)

Assignment length: The length of an assignment is limited by a set number of words to contribute towards the development of writing skills and to ensure all work is assessed equitably. We therefore require you to complete your assignments within the number of words specified in the assignment brief.

You will need to think carefully about how best to explain your case within the permitted number of words or pages, using, for example, an appropriate mix of text, drawings, diagrams and tables, supplemented by information contained in appendices.
Please also remember that a report can be enhanced or damaged through layout; for example, placing all tables and drawings in appendices can hamper the flow of discussion. Decisions therefore need to be made about the most appropriate place to 
use tables etc to support your case.

The specified count refers to the main body of the report and does not include front cover, title page, contents page, diagrams, tables reference list, bibliography.

Appendices themselves will not be marked. However, inappropriate use of appendices will be taken into consideration when awarding the final mark. Any words in excess of the specified wordcount will not be marked. If in doubt, you should discuss this with the Module Leader before submission.Hand-in: You are required to submit your assignment report in electronic form through 
the Turnitin drop box available on the Moodle site for the Module.

Where can I find out more?

Feedback: Feedback on your work will be given to you via the Feedback Studio in Turnitin. Please note that all marks are provisional until approved by the MSc Examination Committee

Minimum mark rule: For a pass, 50% must be obtained for your assignment report

Resits and retakes: All students who do not pass, at the first attempt, will be entitled to a resit. Resits are capped at 50%. Students who are awarded a resit will receive a resit brief via email and/or Moodle, this will contain all required instructions. 
Please also see Programme Handbook for details of the Resit and Retake Policy within Oxford Brookes University and links to the University Regulations. Guidance on the University policy on Resits and Retakes can be found here:

Assessment Criteria 

Assessment Criteria 

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