MG401      Half Unit
Operations Management for Management Consultancy

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Richard Steinberg MAR 4.13


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Management (1 Year Programme) and MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 45.  Students on the waiting list will be selected based on their academic background. 


There is a pre-assignment that is due in early January. The specification of the pre-assignment will be posted to Moodle on the last day of Autumn term 2023. Note that the pre-assignment is compulsory and cannot be accepted late.

Course content

Operations Management (OM) is concerned with the processes by which organisations produce goods and services.  This course is designed for students having an interest in operations management who may be considering a career in management consultancy.  It is not a course in management consultancy.

The course covers nine topics: (1) Process Flow Analysis, (2) Bottleneck Analysis, (3) The Toyota Production System, (4) Inventory Management, (5) Assembly Line Balancing, (6) Critical Path Method, (7) Quality Management for Services—with an emphasis on Quality Management in Healthcare,  (8) Forecasting, and (9) Scheduling.  The course is structured in three parts. Part I is called 'Cases', and is based around a set of 5 readings: three Harvard Business School cases and two articles. Part II is called 'Techniques'. Part III is called 'The Goal', which takes place during the final 2-hour session, and consists of an in-depth discussion of the book, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, by E.M. Goldratt and J. Cox.


16 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the WT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

In addition to the pre-assignment students will have six assignments throughout the term covering the material in the course, and will be expected to work as a group on each assignment. The problems comprising each assignment will be discussed in the seminar classes, and each student will be individually responsible for answering all the problems for each assignment.

Indicative reading

(1) Case: 'National cranberry cooperative (abridged)'

(2) Case: 'Toshiba: Ome works'

(3) Case: 'Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc.'

(4) Article: 'Controlling variation in health care: a consultation from Walter Shewhart'

(5) Article: -‘Distinguishing between common cause variation and special cause variation in a manufacturing system’

(6) Book: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, E.M. Goldratt and J. Cox.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the spring exam period.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2022/23: 24

Average class size 2022/23: 9

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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