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Operations Management and Ethics

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Operations Management and Ethics

Edrick N. McKnight

Operations management focuses on carefully managing the processes to produce and distribute products and services. Major, overall activities often include product creation, development, production and distribution. However product management is usually in regard to one or more closely related products -- that is, a product line. Operations management is in regard to all operations within the organization. Related activities include managing purchases, inventory control, quality control, storage, logistics and evaluations. A great deal of focus is on efficiency and effectiveness of processes. Therefore, operations management often includes substantial measurement and analysis of internal processes. Ultimately, the nature of how operations management is carried out in an organization depends very much on the nature of products or services in the organization, for example, retail, manufacturing, wholesale, etc.

Excellence in the management of operations and technology provides a competitive advantage that organizations need to excel in today's fast-paced business environment. Faced with pressures from domestic and international competitors, leading organizations have recognized that success must be built upon the synergy generated between technically trained personnel, farsighted management practices, and leading cutting-edge knowledge.

Operations Management obtains its definition and scope from its vision of an organization as a system. The effectiveness of the system is determined by the success with which various subsystems and components interact with each other and with the environment in which the organization operates. At the heart of successful operations management is the ability to draw upon the resources of many disciplines and integrate relevant principles and background information in order to define and analyze a problem. Once defined, the manager must identify alternative possible solutions, evaluate these in terms of the broader goals and values of the organization, implement the apparently dominant solution, and, finally, assess the actual consequences of the solution for the effectiveness of the organization.

The use of operations management equips businesses with the tools required to link engineering and scientific capabilities with business management disciplines to address planning, development, and implementation capabilities. Operations management also deals with the fields of project management, supply chain management and technology management (Martin et. al. 2005).

Project Management. Rapid changes in technology and market characteristics are forcing organizations to respond more rapidly to competitive pressures. Effective project management can enhance the speed, efficiency and effectiveness with which an organization is able to manage internal changes, develop and introduce new products and services, and find solutions to problems facing the organization. Successful project management depends on a manager's ability to identify and organize tasks and activities in the most effective way. This area of management focuses on the understanding of the tools, techniques and processes required to manage projects (Martin et. al. 2005).

Supply Chain Management. Supply chain system activities - communication, inventory management and warehousing, transportation of raw materials and finished goods, and facility location - have been performed since the dawn of commercial activity. Yet



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