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2014/2015  BA-BHAAV6018U  Competitiveness and operations performance

English Title
Competitiveness and operations performance

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Course period First Quarter, Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Kim Sundtoft Hald - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Financial and management accounting
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
  • Economics, macro economics and managerial economics
Last updated on 19-05-2014
Learning objectives
  • Apply the theories and models presented in the course to define and discuss how firm competitiveness can be conceptualised and assessed.
  • Discuss and assess how operations performance may contribute to firm overall competitiveness.
  • Explain how quality, speed, dependability, flexibility, risk and cost of operations may be assessed.
  • Apply the theories and models presented in the cause to measure quality, speed, dependability, flexibility, risk and cost in concrete case situations.
  • Identify and discuss potential dilemmas involved, when designing measures and measurement systems to assess operations performance.
Skriftlig eksamen:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period October
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Limited aids, see the list below and the exam plan/guidelines for further information:
  • Books and compendia brought by the examinee
  • Notes brought by the examinee
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Course content and structure

 A key question of strategic importance to every organization is how it can assess whether, where and how it performs in its operations when producing its products and/or services, and how this performance contributes to its overall competitiveness. These are the themes of this course, and the central overall questions addressed in this course are thus:

  • How can operations performance be defined and measured?
  • How can the link between operations performance and firm strategy and competitiveness be understood?

The course will present various perspectives on, and aspects of performance and performance management in operations, and its structure may be described in three modules.
One module will discuss and establish definitions of firm competitiveness and how this may be seen in different contexts as being linked to the operations of the firm and to firm strategy.
Another module will present this multifaceted understanding of operations performance. Performance dimensions such as quality, speed, dependability, flexibility, risk and cost will be discussed in turn using different theories and models. How can each of these dimensions individually be measured? How can a collective assessment be performed? How can “inherent” tradeoffs between performance dimensions be identified and understood?
A third theme will discuss aspects of performance management and operations strategy implementation. How can an operations strategy be formulated, implemented and monitored? What are the dilemmas involved, when designing measures and measurement systems? What are the effects of measures?

Teaching methods
Extensive preparation before class by students, lectures, student presentations, and in depth case-discussions/​workshops. The use of a discussion oriented teaching style and extensive use of exercises and cases will assure a high level of student involvement in the learning process.
Further Information
Changes in course schedule may occur.
Tuesday 11.40 - 14.15, week 37-41, 43.
Thursday 11.40 - 14.15, week 37-41, 43.
Expected literature
Indicative literature:

Slack, N., & Lewis, M. (2011), “Operations Strategy”, Third edition, ISBN: 978-0-273-74044-5 Chapter 1, 2, 7, 9 and 10).

Christensen, C.M. (2001), The Past and Future of Competitive Advantage, MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 42 Issue 2, p105-109

Cousins, P.D. (2005), The alignment of appropriate firm and supply strategies for competitive advantage, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 25 Issue 5, p403-428

Dietl et al. (2009), Value Creation Architectures and Competitive Advantage: LESSONS FROM THE EUROPEAN AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY, California Management Review, Vol. 51 Issue 3, p24-48.

Dixon, J.R., Nanni, A.J. and Vollmann, T.E. (1990), New Performance Challenge: Measuring Operations for World-Class Competition, Irwin/Apics Series in Production Management

Johnston, R., Pongatichat, P. (2008), "Managing the tension between performance measurement and strategy: coping strategies", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 28 Iss: 10, pp.941 - 967

Stalk, J.G. (1988), Time--The Next Source of Competitive Advantage, Harvard Business Review. Jul/Aug1988, Vol. 66 Issue 4, p41-51.
Last updated on 19-05-2014