Operation Management for Competitive Advantage

Topics: Management, Strategic management, Manufacturing Pages: 15 (5655 words) Published: January 17, 2011

Many writers wrote that the word strategy came from the Greek word “strategos” with the word itself bean derived from the words “army” and “lead”. This, in ancient time a strategy was used as a plan to lead an army to a battle felid but now a days a strategy have a lot of uses and this paper trays to explain some. The purpose of this term paper is to elaborate on the meaning of strategy and to further understand what a service operation strategy and a manufacturing strategy constitute. In order to achieve this purpose, the paper attempts to address some basic questions in regards strategy in general and service operations and manufacturing strategies in particular. These questions include looking into the definition of strategy and the processes involved in formulating strategy. Further, the paper looks into the underlying theoretical approaches that shape the understanding of strategy and its practical applications in the service and manufacturing sectors.  Accordingly, the paper is organized into four parts; the first part covers the introduction and the methodology, the second part deals with what a strategy is, the basic definition and continues in the explanation of what operation strategy mean and the way of formulating a strategy. The third and fourth part of this paper tray to see the differences between a service giving firm and a manufacturing firm and there approaches, theories and practical works accordingly.


 In preparing the term paper, secondary sources of data such as books, journals, studies and different papers extensively reviewed. Besides, key guiding questions were prepared and discussed with those knowledgeable individuals in the field.


It is common to her the word “strategy” from different directions. The military man, industrialists, traders, footballers, politicians etc are seen using the word so often. Depending on the type of activity /discipline/or purpose, a strategy can be defined in many ways, for instance Mintzberg, (1980--) defines strategy for m different angels • In military strategy is concerned with the plan of war, shaping the individual campaigns and with in this deciding on the individual engagements. • In game theory strategy is a complete plane. A plane which specifies what choices the player will make in every possible situation. • In management strategy is a unified, comprehensive, and integrated plan. Designed to insure that the basic objectives of the enterprise are achieved. • And in the dictionary strategy is a plan, method or serious of maneuvers of obtaining a specific goal or result. Mintzberg further stated that a strategy is a consciously intended course of action, a guideline or sets of guidelines to deal with a particular situation[1]. As such strategies have two common defining characteristics. First it is made in advance and second it is developed consciously and purposefully.[2] Coming to a more technical definition, strategy is a unified, comprehensive and integrated plan designed to ensure that the basic objectives of the enterprise are achieved.[3] Strategy signifies the operation that is connected to the other business strategies and other functional areas of strategy's leading to a competitive advantage of a firm. The reference to operation here relates to the process that combines and transforms various resources used in a production into standard valuable outputs to the end user. It is quite important to have a strategy. This is because it determines the manner in which a firm is to function in order to achieve its goals or objectives. It also has an impact on the future competitiveness of a firm. As such, the design and the development of a strategy in a firm is a very important part of work. With this general definition, the focus of this paper will be on the operation strategy of a service giving firm and a manufacturing firm.

4 Operation strategy

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