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The Open University

Understanding operations management

The Open University via OpenLearn


Operations management is one of the central functions of all organisations. This free course, Understanding operations management, will provide you with a basic framework for understanding this function, whether producing goods or services or in the private, public or voluntary sectors. In addition, this OpenLearn course discusses the role of operations managers and the importance of focusing on suppliers and customers.


  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Understanding operations management
  • 1 Understanding operations management
  • 2 Operations, operations management and operations managers
  • 2 Operations, operations management and operations managers
  • 2.1 Operations, operations management and operations managers
  • 2.2 The historical development of operations management
  • 2.2.1 Craft manufacturing
  • 2.2.2 Mass production
  • 2.2.3 The modern period
  • 2.3 The role of the operations manager
  • 3 The transformation model
  • 3 The transformation model
  • 3.1 The transformation model
  • 3.2 Inputs
  • 3.3 Outputs
  • 3.4 Transformation processes
  • 3.5 Feedback
  • 4 The boundary of the operations system
  • 4 The boundary of the operations system
  • 4.1 The boundary of the operations system
  • 4.2 A process perspective on organisations
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Acknowledgements


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.4 rating at OpenLearn based on 37 ratings

Start your review of Understanding operations management

  • I recently completed the course, and I must say it was an excellent experience. The content was engaging, well-structured, and delivered in an easy-to-understand manner. The instructors were knowledgeable and supportive throughout. I particularly appreciated the practical examples and real-world applications.

    Overall, I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in the subject matter.

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