Business Students Should Learn Operations Management
Freshly minted graduate students have new knowledge and youthful energy but don't always have a great concept of how all of this fits together in an actual operation. The information is disconnected in their minds and a wider framework is difficult to find. An article in the Journal of Operations Management helps us understand what might be learned in a course that teaches practical operations management (Ellington, et. al.. 2014).
Operations management requires a broad base of knowledge and covers concepts such as distribution, marketing, human resources, packaging, manufacturing processes, operation flows and a whole host of other issues. Student regularly learn these concepts one at a time throughout their MBA courses but don't take them all together.
Offering an operations management course will help students put together all of the major concepts together into a single operation example. The student will be able to see how the things they learned create a flow of products and information that results in a final product. Without this framework each business component seems to work independently.
An operational management course doesn't need to be a one size fits all approach. It can be customized based upon which program a student is attending. For example, a student in marketing may need more emphasis on how marketing impacts operations while someone in human resources may need to know how employment policies influence production.
Students without this course are more likely to see the trees but fail to see how they all come together to create a forest. A course in operations management offers the opportunity to see the forest and how their part influences and is connected to the rest. Learning the entire process from start to finish helps students know their part in it all. Without this course the learning curve will take additional time.
Ellington, B. et. al. (2014). How operations management topics support U.S. students' career goals. Journal of Operations Management, 13 (3).