MG465      Half Unit
Operations and Managerial Economics

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ricardo Alonso


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management (1 Year Programme). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course will explore the fundamental foundations of management theory and practice, with a focus on Operations and Managerial Economics.

The first part of the course, Managerial Economics, will teach a rigorous way of thinking about problems, issues and decisions that managers face in each of the functional areas of the organisation, as well as enabling a better understanding of the external business environment in which an organisation operates.  This part of the course develops tools that are the foundation of courses in Marketing, Business Strategy, and Finance, which students will take in core courses throughout the rest of the year.

The second part of the course, Operations, will first cover how Operations developed out of Scientific Management, and then focus on productivity and quality. Productivity is concerned with the relationship between inputs and outputs, and how to develop strategies for increasing productivity.  Specific topics will include the Seven Sources of Waste, the Financial Value of Productivity, Key Performance Indicators and KPI Trees.  Quality covers the common reasons for defects, and implementation techniques for addressing problems of quality and ensuring reliability and standards.


30 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 4 problem sets in the MT.

Indicative reading

T van Zandt; Firms, Price and Markets, available online (2006); S. Estrin et al, Microeconomics, Prentice Hall (2008).

D M Kreps, Microeconomics for Managers, W. W. Norton (2004); B. Douglas Bernheim and Michael D. Whiston, Microeconomics, McGraw Hill (2008).

Case: ‘Mass Production and the Beginnings of Scientific Management’, Harvard Business Publishing, 9-391-255.


Exam (85%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Class participation (15%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2017/18: 79

Average class size 2017/18: 79

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness