Servitization Operations Management

Implications of Servitization in Operations Management

The concept of servitization in operations management has become more pronounced in the last one decade. The term sensitization is defined as where the manufacturer offers services that are in line with the traditional products offerings. The service industry is growing globally and dominating the world’s economies and much of the strategic thinking of business. Businesses have in the recent bundled together products and services with the aim of increasing value of their companies. This paper aims to increase the understanding of the concept of servitization in operations management. The paper is based on a systematic review of journals of servitization in manufacturing. Through critical literature review, the paper seeks to understand the extent of servitization across the global, the motivation behind servitization in operations management and the implication of servitization in operations management.

Literature Review

Servitization is happening across all the industry and all the countries across the globe. According to Vandermerwe and Rada (1998), it is the forces of globalization, fierce competitive pressure and forces of deregulation that have pushed both firms in the services industry and the manufacturing sector to dramatic move into services. Manufacturing firms have been offering services but not to the extent they are offering today. The manufacturers have specialized more in providing the services that are in line with the products they produce and have set up special units and companies to provide specialized services.

The process of servitization of business occurs in a multi-stage process;

Stage 1: Goods or Services

Initially, companies and firms were either providing goods or offering services. The firms either fit in one of the two companies, with little or no overlap. This was viewed as generating a low level of profits and hence limited revenue to sustain the company in the current competitive market environment. As a result, there was a need for a more advanced source of income which could assist in generating a better income for the day-to-day running of business activities. This led to the next stage in the process of servitization which is more advanced as discussed below.

Stage 2: Goods and Services

With the development of technology and converging trends, it becomes clear that companies needed both goods and services. Therefore, the firms started offering services that were in line with their products. For example, the computer companies demonstrated the inseparable ability of goods and services once and for all.

This stage enabled companies to secure a better profit than the initial stage of dealing with either a good or a service. Apart from the profitability and high generation through producing goods and services at the same time, this stage gave firms and companies superiority over the small firms dealing only with one line of product. Furthermore, it led to strong customer sovereignty and loyalty which increased firm profits and revenue to enable them to cope with the existing tough competition in the global market. Firms saw that this was not enough and they sought to a more advanced stage which could incorporate more commodities.

Stage 3: Goods, services, Support, knowledge, and self-service

The firms have now developed to an advanced stage. This is where the firms consisting of focused bundles that are customers oriented and composed of goods, services, support, self-service, and knowledge. By engaging in this type of business practice, it enabled the firms to acquire more capital goods for producing final products for customers spread across the globe.

The performance was seen as being high together with quality; profitability increased revenue at the same rate. These coupled with government subsidy and provision of incentives contributed to the robust growth in the firm’s sizes and hence development. The bundles are in some cases high standardized and in other cases customized.

Servitization Operations Management
Servitization Operations Management

Implications of servitization in operations management

Servitization among the manufactures and other firms across the world has been as a result of increased competitive pressure, forces of globalization as well as the development of technology. Therefore, the manufacturers move to providing services that are in line with their traditional products to increase their competitiveness in the market. The motivation for servitization can be discussed in particular forms of service offerings. In this respect, there is customer based motivation aim at improving the quality of the services that are offered to customers, product-related services which are aimed at providing support services to the products, competitive motivation which is aimed at improving the functioning of the products as well as services aimed at supporting clients. Other motivations include economic motivations which are aimed at increasing the revenues of the firm (Raddats et al., 2016).

Servitization works through some ways to increase the competitiveness of the firms. Some of these ways include setting barriers to possible competitors. Servitization creates barriers for customers to be wooed by competitors. If the customers are in a position to get all their need from the firm, that is both goods and support services, then they are more likely to be glued to the company and remain loyal to the firm. The main idea is to block potential competitors by making the entry into the market too expensive or complex.

Servitization also creates barriers to their customers. The customer who is used to getting all the services from any particular firm will be less likely to leave the firm for a competitor. Offering services to customers together with the products makes it unnecessary for them to look for other firms. Servitization also creates dependency on the side of the customers. Through servitization, the customers will depend so much on the products of the firm, and therefore the firm can keep the customers.

Spring and Araujo (2013) discuss the role of servitization in product differentiation. For this case, firms take the advantage of servitization by offering product-services combinations that are unique to any other firms’ products. Servitization increases the complexity of the firm’s products and services and therefore hard for the competitors to match the design of the products and the services. This makes the firm’s products face little competition in the market, and therefore the income from sales is kept at optimum point hence maximum profits made. Building customer loyalty in the market comes as a result of barriers to entry by other potential competitors since servitization offsets this through product-service combination which makes it different from products of other firms.

Servitization and Profitability

Visnjic and Van look (2012) argues that the relationship between servitization and profitability is complex. The approach that is adopted by any particular firm is the determinant of the level of profitability of servitization. Profitability is related primarily to the level of service culture, that is, to the firm qualities and that of the employees since they participate directly in the company’s activities. The provider’s employees must be autonomous, competent and able to communicate well with customers and be able to gather useful information for the firm. The customer interface is very important. These aids in the high levels of sales and hence boosting the profitability level. Therefore, service culture becomes a key element in the performance of every firm.

Services are globally more profitable. The main reason behind this is the fact that services have a lower price sensitivity. As a whole, results confirm the assumption that the operational service system must be adapted to the service strategy to attain expected financial benefits (Baines et al., 2017). While managers of manufacturing firms are skeptical, that service could generate potential revenue and real value.

It has been observed that in industries with a high-installed product base (e.g., aerospace, automotive industries), higher revenue potential often exists as service revenues can be one or two orders of magnitude greater than new product sales (Meely, 2008). Moreover, as services seem to be a steadier source of revenue (Smith, Maull and Ng, 2014), increasing service revenues can serve as compensation for declining revenues in equipment sales, and because services are more resistant to economic cycles, they can support steadier cash flows in periods of economic crisis. Furthermore, service offerings tend to be less sensitive to price competition and tend to promote customer loyalty.

Motivation for Servitization

Demand-based/customer demand motivation

Due to high demand for certain services in the local/global markets by the customers, the company may be forced to venture into servitization process and offer the service in high demand. This motive is strongly held by the fact that there is a ready market for the service to accompany to initial products produced by the firm. The final result is the high-profit yield accompanied by high level of income generation (Vinsnjic and Van look, 2012).

Development purposes

A firm is said to be developed when it produces a wide range of products to be sold in the market. Since every company aspires to increase its profitability and the desire for continued growth, it thus starts servitization due to the high and first service revenues (Vinsnjic and Van look, 2012). Therefore, the firm will experience growth with the product- service provision and hence developing at either constant or increasing rate depending on the technology and labor applied.

Conclusion

Servitization has become an emerging issue in the global business for the past one decade due to the benefits accruing from its practice. From the above description in evolution section, it is a fact that companies advanced progressively from a lower stage of producing single, that’s dealing with a line of product to a better stage of adopting two line products of producing goods and service provision and then finally to the final advanced and technical stage of incorporating goods, services, support, knowledge, and self-service. Furthermore, we looked at the implications of servitization in operations management and finally the critical motivations for practicing servitization as discussed in the above context.

Bibliography

Baines, T., Baines, T., Ziaee Bigdeli, A., Ziaee Bigdeli, A., Bustinza, O.F., Bustinza, O.F., Shi, V.G., Shi, V.G., Baldwin, J., Baldwin, J. and Ridgway, K., 2017. Servitization: revisiting the state-of-the-art and research priorities. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(2), pp.256-278.

Neely, A., 2008. Exploring the financial consequences of the servitization of manufacturing Operations Management Research, 1(2), pp.103-118.

Raddatz, C., Baines, T., Burton, J., Story, V.M. and Zolkiewski, J., 2016. Motivations for servitization: the impact of product complexity. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 36(5), pp.572-591.

Spring, M., and Araujo, L., 2013. Beyond the service factory: Service innovation in manufacturing supply networks. Industrial marketing management, 42(1), pp.59-70.

Smith, L., Maull, R., and CL Ng, I., 2014. Servitization and operations management: a service dominant-logic approach. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 34(2), pp.242-269.

Vandermerwe, S. and Rada, J., 1988. Servitization of business: adding value by adding services. European management journal, 6(4), pp.314-324.

Visnjic, I. and Van Looy, B., 2012. Servitization: Disentangling the impact of service business model innovation on the performance of manufacturing firms.

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MBA Operations Management Degree

MBA Operations Management

MBA Operations Management students will learn that in business there are always individuals that are responsible for the managerial and supervisory activities. For a business to operate in the most efficient and conducive manner, the mode of operation needs to be advanced and even overseen by someone else. The research described these individuals as managers. The core objective of all the business or organizations is always to maximize profit. For these to take places, all the operations of the firm need to be correctly managed. Each business is managed through various business functions in which each function is responsible for managing a certain aspect of the business and as I had said earlier the core objective of all businesses is to provide the correct and appropriate requirement to the customers by offering goods and services (Stevenson & Hojati, 2007). The president or the CEO of a company is faced with a daily marketing, operational, financial and information tasks. Marketing is a sector responsible for the generation of customer demand, sales and understanding customer’s wants and needs. Finance is responsible for the management of capital investments, the flow of cash and current assets. The information sector, on the other hand, is in charge of the constant stream of information in and out of business. The operating divisions are responsible for the management of the goods and services (Chase, Aquilano & Jacobs, 1998).

Importance of MBA Operations Management

Therefore it is imperative for the manager to equally distribute the available resources in the business so has to ensure all the sectors are covered. Some of the cited sources will agree with my line of thought if I argue out that all the areas of management are to be treated evenly since they depend on each other. However, in this essay, we are going to discuss a lot about operational control answering all the questions in short subtopics. The essay will begin with the introduction to the body and finally to the conclusion.

Describe the Role of Operations Management in the Firm and How This Role Can Lead To Competitive Advantage and Profitability

Operating management by definition refers to act of administering business practices to establish a high level of efficiency in business (Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimmons & Bordoloi, 2008). The method involves the conversion of labor and other factors of production into goods and services that are efficient enough to raise a maximum profit. An MBA Operations Management team has the duty to identify which of the factors of production best suits the company. They also work under a close surveillance and ensures that the cost of production is achieved once the products have been sold. Modern researchers refer to the task of being an operating manager as one of the hardest and the primary duty of an organization. Despite having other sectors, operation management forms the main reason why a business was created. It involves a lot of functions such as planning, coordination of activities, organizing and planning all the resources as they are channeled to goods and services as the end product.

A few scholars also argue that being that operating management has a management function; it, therefore, means that it can also be involved in managing equipment’s, people and technologies that are needed in the production process (Chase, Aquilano & Jacobs, 1998). Operation management includes two very core aspects or rather two terms that need to be wee understood before engaging into being an enterprise manager. The two terms are the supply chain management and the logistics both of which will be covered in the MBA Operations Management module.

MBA Operations Management student will learn that the two terms act as the foundation for the business management and to out compete other competitors; one is expected to understand what exactly is meant by the terms. Take for example following the trends of supply and chain management globally; this will enable the team to strategies accordingly thus meeting the customers demand. While in logistics, it is critical to understand the use of resources in a cost effective way since there has been a trend where the resources are scarce, and the demand of the customers is skyrocketed (Cases & Case, 2004).

Often writers and employers confuse the skill required for efficient operation management and those that are needed in the logistics and supply chain management (Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimmons & Bordoloi, 2008). One of the abilities that would be much appreciated is the consummate organizational skills. The completed organizational skills enhance efficiency and drive the productivity to another level as well. One must be able to understand the operations and coordination of activities in the firm to show effectiveness. However, operational management is a broad spectrum sector in a business and when well managed can lead to a lot of advantages to the firm. The scopes of executive management include decision making. Decision making involves making decisions on what type and kind of goods to be produced and with quick decision-making process the entire production process will be efficient and fast thus creating a lot of profits (Stevenson & Hojati, 2007).

Adding on the objective of the operation system, a complete operational objective must aim at a competitive advantage (Krajewski, Ritzman & Malhotra, 1999). A business or an organization is considered to have a competitive edge when its profitability is greater than the average profitability of the other competing companies of the same set of customers – This will be explained in the MBA Operations Management module. This can be achieved by emphasizing on specific areas of operation with the intent of meeting the client’s request. A good operating management should be able to perform the following; adaptability advantage, reliability advantage, and service delivery advantage. Through these, the company can make significant profits and become more efficient as expected.

Discuss Systems To Take Advantage Of Capital, Location, And Labor Differences So That Profits Are Maximized. MBA Operations Management

MBA Operations Management students will appreciate that the core objective of every organization is to make a profit and to minimize the cost of production. However, in the market as per the general information, we get that some specific companies often perform better than others (Stevenson & Hojati, 2007). This happens due to the difference in various points of concentration, especially during the production process. Companies differ in labor, capital, and their locations and this can lead to an advantage of a particular company against another. This variance in the factors of production is the reason why we have a best-performing company and another one that performs poorly. Therefore, every company has invested in specific systems that will fully exploit the potential of these factors of production thus favoring them. Operation management also plays a very general role of logistics during the system establishment (Chase, Aquilano & Jacobs, 1998).

Research covered in the MBA Operations Management module indicates that many successful companies apply the system of specialization of labor to help to maximize their profits (Cases & Case, 2004). Employees often have strengths and weaknesses, and those that are encouraged to yours their strengths are more loyal and engaged. Remember specialization does not only apply in the case of employees, but it also uses to material resources.

MBA Operations Management
MBA Operations Management

The best thing about specialization is that the workers get to choose what they love to do according to their ability and natural aptitude and this gives them the opportunity to perfect those skills thus saving a lot of production time. This prevents the delays that are created by the continuous shifting of workers from one point to another. Through this specialization, a company can make good use of his laborers thus increasing the profit levels. Labor specialization system works hand in hand with the division of labor in a company (Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimmons & Bordoloi, 2008). This will ensure that the duties are only performed according to the line of interest. Material specialization will mean that a particular material will be developed and adapted for a specific use.

On a regional basis, each region will produce the products that they are best suited. This can be applied to both locational and capital systems – This will become apparent on the MBA Operations Management module. A combination of material specialization and human specialization can lead to a maximized efficiency (Stevenson & Hojati, 2007). Capital systems can also be used to ensure that there is adequate and abundant production in the firm.

Through the use of capital goods, it will enable the producers to produce more efficiently and surplus output. The company’s capital should be invested in short term avenues that can translate excess profits within the shortest time, in this way we will be able to out compete effectively in the market. Priority is also another factor that needs to be considered especially when distributing capital in the business. Activities that have a real history on profit maximization are to be considered the first. On location of the company and its effects to profit maximization is also important as well. Location of the company should be based on specialization and distribution of raw materials (Chase, Aquilano & Jacobs, 1998). The movement of raw materials to the company should be profitable, and the same applies to consumer’s accessibility to the firm. In other words, the location of the company should be close to the market as well as the raw materials thus reducing unnecessary cost.

Outline how planning the operations system takes place and how international considerations are integrated into planning

As discovered in the MBA Operations Management module, planning can be defined as the process of analyzing, researching, anticipating and influencing change in society (Wacker, 1998). Various pieces of literature indicate that before an action is executed, it is important to draw a plan to avoid things falling apart as it was not planned. Therefore it is very healthy to plan for activities in a business environment before their execution. Planning is a role that is left for the managers and the executives to perform in a healthy business climate. Moreover, many other activities are incorporated in planning. A strategic planning of the operation can communicate what the institution is striving to become and it also maps the necessary step that is needed to get to the target. In the past, the operational plans of a company used to take an entire ten years but today companies even plan year by year (Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimmons & Bordoloi, 2008).

MBA Operations Management graduates state that planning is a procedures activity that involves gradual processes for the plans to be approved and exhibited appropriately. First, the vision of the organization needs to be stated and used as guidance during planning (Krajewski, Ritzman & Malhotra, 1999). The vision statement is approximately two to three sentences that spell out the intentions of the company; it shows how far the organization is willing to strive and reach. It is important to understand the organization right before the vision is created. At this point is important to create the image within the international standards that doesn’t violate any business law of operation. The next step in planning is to write the mission statement – This has been covered in the MBA Operations Management module through the year. Mission statement unlike the vision statement, explains what the organization exists and the path it will take to achieve its vision. Business wise, the mission statement is usually shorter than the mission statement.

A similar process is used in the construction of the mission statement. However, in the mission statement is where many people display false information. This is common with the organizations that deal with illegal products. The third process in planning is to perform a gap analysis. Gap analysis involves the comparison between the current operational situation and the vision of the company. This stage requires a lot of innovativeness and future oriented individuals. This is because there is need to compare the current situation and what the business hopes to be (Cases & Case, 2004). This process is much involving as it requires a collection of data and information outside the firm. The gaps that need to be examined include financial differences, customer relation, market share and internal systems.

Formulation of goals is the fourth step in the planning process. The goal can either be short term or long term. In many occasions, they are always referred to as SMART goal (Chase, Aquilano & Jacobs, 1998). The goals need to be implemented right from the managerial level to the employee level. Lastly, monitoring the progress of the plans. The goals should be followed in every quarter of the business year. This is usually done by inquiring from those who are responsible in such areas. The above processes are inclusive of other minor steps that are also of importance in the process of planning. The international laws are always considered when an organization is planning. Ethical consideration at an international level, morals, and other core values are also applicable (Stevenson & Hojati, 2007). During the operational planning, another important thing is the consideration of the international laws that govern all the business activities in the globe.

Describe some of the quantitative tools and techniques of Operations Management and how these are applied to formulate solutions to business problems.

In an organization, managers and the CEO always rely on their experiences in making decisions. However, in some situations, they would like to know what exactly the number saying is (Schmenner & Swink, 1998). In such circumstances, there is need to use quantitative methods especially when it involves an era of big data. The method, therefore, has been used by several operational analyzed to provide evidence that can guide in managerial, distribution, marketing, and personal decisions. The method also helps the executive team to predict what is expected to happen in future. This does not mean that the qualitative methods are point blanks, but they are also preferred in an individual situation. The manager is supposed to convert the inputs that are inclusive of the factors of productions into outputs (Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimmons & Bordoloi, 2008). The quantitative techniques and tool include regression analysis, linear programming, factor analysis, data mining and descriptive data analysis.

Descriptive Data Analysis

This process involves the use of pie charts, maps, graphs, frequency tables, histograms, control charts, run charts and Ishikawa diagrams. They are used to analyze mainly the descriptive data in the production process. Research indicates that this can be achieved by entering the data into software like EXEL, STATA, SPSS and other software used for the analysis (Cases & Case, 2004). This method can be used to identify the problems realized in the business and attended to accordingly.

Regression Analysis

This is a traditional method that is mainly used by economists and the operational analysis; regression involves the use of complex statistical equations that help to predict the future output and maybe find out the cause of the past problem. This can significantly benefit the business. The products of the regression equation are known as the predictors or the dependent variables. Research indicates that economists and businesses have used the regression formula to estimate effects of advertisement expenses in companies (Chase, Aquilano & Jacobs, 1998). Though the utilization of this method, we can determine the correlation between two products in the business.

Linear Programming

All organizations and companies are faced with the problem of scarce resources. This usually calls for a selective allocation of resources, and this often gives the manager a little bit of challenge. Linear programming, a conventional technique of management analysis and operational research (Schmenner & Swink, 1998). This is a mathematical program that helps us determine how to achieve optimum outcomes. It is also indicated that it can help in manufacturing and transport analysis.

Factors Analysis

This method is used to survey data and group statistical data accordingly. It explores all the avenues to find out the correlations and relationships (Krajewski, Ritzman & Malhotra, 1999). For example, the method can be used by market researchers to analyzed data on consumer’s consumption habits. This will then help the organization with the product knowledge as they will be able to determine what quantity they should produce.

Data Mining

Research indicates that this method has grown over the years. It is used to analyze a large amount of data. This has been used by big business like the Amazon to monitor consumer’s behavior.

Discuss business situations for which tools of Operations Management can be applied.

According to recent scholars, operation management involves directing and managing the physical and technical functions of an organization (Cases & Case, 2004). The skills and tools are used in the development, manufacturing, and production processed in the operation sector. The tools are used in the below-explained processes and will be covered off in the MBA Operations Management module:

Project Management

Project management is a common factor in both large and small companies, and it often takes a lot of time to plan. From the accessing the supplies and delegating the employees to all the shipment cost and all the activities involved in the manufacturing of the products. The project management tools can be used in an organization to strategically plan creates a budget, salaries, overhead costs and every detailed information about the business. The spreadsheet can be used to manage all the activities and track areas not covered (Stevenson & Hojati, 2007).

Quality Control and Inspection

Assessment of the products is a significant activity in the manufacturing process. Assessment is important because it will enable the business to track whether it has met its goals or not. Additionally, assessment should form part of the regular management process to ensure the project is completed (Wacker, 1998). Literature shows that it is always healthy to criticize the outcome and even establishes other realistic expectations.

Equipment Maintenance Policy

Depreciation is expected in any business and therefore maintained is expected as well. The equipment should, therefore, be regularly checked to ensure they are still in a position to function effectively. For example in a vehicle company, the cars are expected to be continuously serviced when the time arrives (Chase, Aquilano & Jacobs, 1998). Computers and hardware needed to be checked for virus and cleaned to ensure a stable functionality. The maintenance calendars can be created by the operation tools and equipment.

Product Scheduling

This is also another instance in which the tools can be effectively applied. Manufacturing companies complete their product arrangements to get them from the product establishment to the respective point of sales to the consumers. This can be done using plan long range projects. The process is usually effective especially when the company is dealing with a significant number of customers (Cases & Case, 2004).

Explain how control of operations must respond to changes in the international economy.

Today’s economy is far much different from the economy of the olden days (Krajewski, Ritzman & Malhotra, 1999). The globally economy changes gradually day by day and these calls for a relatively positive response from every organization that is associated with the international trade. In a business environment, it is the duty of the managing director responsible for the operation to ensure that the company adapts to the changing global economy. From the financial perspective, organizations are intentioned at making high profits, and therefore it should vary its price with the world’s market price. Through this method, it will be able to secure a large section of the consumers (Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimmons & Bordoloi, 2008). In other words, the operation must respond effectively to the change in prices of goods and services.

Control of process must also meet the consumer’s demand on an international scale. The quantity and quality of good should meet the customer’s demand. The service team must ensure that they manipulate the consumers into buying their products without going into loss. This can be done by forming business merges and also ensuring that a lot of awareness is created (Stevenson & Hojati, 2007). The company should also be in a position of responding to the technological changes in the international market. Recruiting young and innovative minds to handle the technological shifts in the organization. This can also be advanced through training the worker on how to cope up with the constant changes in the body.

Conclusion

MBA Operations Management students will learn and appreciate that operation management forms the center of many organizations has it is characterized by several functions including planning, staffing, and production. Through the correct exhibition of duties, it can lead to the creation of a lot of profits. Through specialization, excellent location and use of capital goods, an organization can make a lot of benefits depending on the available resources. However, for this to occur appropriate operational tools such as linear programming should be used to predict the future outcomes in the organization. Such tools are always essential in project management and even in quality assessment.

References

Cases, T., & Case, F. (2004). MBA Operations Management.

Chase, R. B., Aquilano, N. J., & Jacobs, F. R. (1998). Production and operations management. Irwin/McGraw-Hill,

Fitzsimmons, J. A., Fitzsimmons, M. J., & Bordoloi, S. (2008). Service management: Operations, strategy, and information technology (p. 4). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Krajewski, L. J., Ritzman, L. P., & Malhotra, M. K. (1999). MBA Operations management. Singapore: Addison-Wesley.

Schmenner, R. W., & Swink, M. L. (1998). On theory in operations management. Journal of operations management17(1), 97-113.

Stevenson, W. J., & Hojati, M. (2007). MBA Operations Management (Vol. 8). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Wacker, J. G. (1998). A definition of theory: research guidelines for different theory-building research methods in operations management. Journal of operations management16(4), 361-385.

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Recommended Reading For MBA Operations Management Students

  • Operations Management for MBAs by Jack R Meredith and Scott M Shafer
  • Handbook of Decision Analysis (Wiley Handbooks in Operations Research and Management Science) by Gregory S. Parnell PhD and Terry Bresnick MBA
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management for MBAs by Jack R. Meredith and Scott M. Shafer
  • Operations Management by Prof Nigel Slack and Prof Alistair Brandon-Jones

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on MBA Operations Management. There are many other titles available in the business management and MBA dissertation collection that should be of interest to MBA students and academic professionals. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of business such as strategy, leadership, international business, mergers and acquisitions to name a few. It took a lot of effort to write this post and I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.

MBA Dissertation PDF Examples University

MBA Dissertation PDF Examples

MBA Dissertation PDF examples provides students with decision-relevant information to pursue the strategic objectives of their organization. In this course, students will learn a broad repertoire of techniques, which facilitates strategic decision-making, organizational planning, performance measurement, and control. The covered techniques include among others product costing, activity-based management, cost-volume-profit analysis, financial planning and analysis, responsibility center accounting, balanced scorecard, transfer pricing, and capital budgeting. By the end of this course, students are equipped to put strategy into action by using management accounting techniques. They will have fostered their business problem solving and decision-making skills, which will enhance their management and leadership capacity.

Learning Outcomes Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and apply the appropriate management accounting techniques within the canvas composed of economic, political, social, environmental, technological, personal values and ethical issues
  • Identify, analyze, and adopt effective and efficient strategies of the firm’s mission, goals, and objectives. Thus, adopt a sustainable strategy
  • Make appropriate business decisions, e.g., selling price, sales mix, sales volume, downsizing, expanding, cost control, or quality
  • Design appropriate incentive compensation plans that will enhance the achievement of the firm’s goals

Undertaking a MBA dissertation PDF should be regarded as one of the most rewarding academic ventures you will engage in during your MBA degree. It is unlike any other course you have so far taken. It should be seen as the culmination of an academic and intellectual journey that you have been on since arriving in university, allowing you to draw on the full range of subject material covered over the previous two years of study. Past students are quick to reflect that defining, researching and writing a MBA dissertation PDF was one of the most satisfying and interesting experiences of their postgraduate days.

What makes the dissertation different is that it offers you the opportunity to develop intellectual independence while specializing in depth in a topic of interest. The emphasis is on constructing an independent, inquiry-based study. This involves seeking out a research problem, deciding on a relevant literature [and a related set of primary and secondary sources where appropriate], employing an appropriate methodology and drawing your subsequent research together to offer a sustained and analytically reflective argument. By, defining, researching and writing a dissertation you will develop a valuable set of transferable skills: time management, meeting a deadline, initiative in deciding upon and locating relevant academic and empirical sources, problem-solving, developing a capacity for independent research, communicating effectively in writing, and working with academic and empirical

MBA Dissertation PDF examples will help students who writes a politics dissertation will:

  • Develop deep knowledge about his/her chosen topic
  • Develop intellectual independence
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  • Learn to decide upon appropriate academic and empirical sources
  • Deploy the scholarly apparatus of Bibliography and footnotes effectively
  • Learn to employ an appropriate methodology
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The benefits of MBA Dissertation PDF Examples

Although researching and writing a dissertation is hard work, that experience can also be immensely satisfying and rewarding. When you begin, the dissertation will seem daunting. However, despite the inevitable anxiety, students who put in the work usually find that the dissertation is the most satisfying, interesting, and even enjoyable part of their postgraduate experience. The dissertation develops many transferable skills that are highly valued by employers: effective time management, capacity for independent work, using your initiative in finding sources, and problem solving. Together with a good dissertation mark, the development of these skills enables your tutor to write a better reference for you. At the same time, employers will often inquiry about it and how you as a student went about doing your dissertation. It is seen as a contribution that enhances an individual’s CV.

MBA Dissertation PDF Examples
MBA Dissertation PDF Examples

Part of the object of writing a dissertation is to enable students to learn how to define a research problem. Students should consult with their supervisors who will help them develop a topic for their dissertation and to narrow it to a research question. A student will choose a potential topic early in the first semester of a MBA degree in order and then decide upon a final topic by the end of the third week. By then, you will have needed to have read some of the literature about the chosen topic in order to develop or formulate a research question or problem. This is where MBA dissertation PDF examples become very useful.

In addition, in consultation with your supervisor, a student needs to ensure that the chosen topic can be done within the constraints of a MBA dissertation including ethic approval and that they will have access to the required materials, data, and academic literature. On the dissertation questionnaires, students have commented favorably upon Politics’ flexibility with regard to the range of dissertation topics. This flexibility reflects our desire that students define their own topics and pursue their intellectual interest. However, this flexibility also reflects a student’s responsibility for choosing a topic and developing a research problem.

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Problem Solving Decision Making Supply Demand

Problem Solving and Decision Making – Establishing a price for a new product using the law of supply and demand

Scientific methods are very important and help in problem solving and decision making process. Having good problem solving skills is essential and takes an organization to another level. Scientific methods assist in decision making process and are widely used in many businesses to increase productivity. The success of any business depends on effective decision-making and problem solving techniques. Businesses are faced with several problems and challenges including reduction in supply and demand. It is crucial for organizations to make appropriate decision without compromising the terms and condition of the business. The law of supply and demands plays a significant role in micro-economics and businesses. The law of supply states that quantity of a product supplied increases with decrease in prices (Gale, 2015). The cost of a products falls with an increase in supply or high demand.  Contrary, the law of demand argues that the quantity of a product decreases as the prices increases. Businesses are limited by the law of supply and demand making forcing them to establish equilibrium.  Market-clearing price helps firms to find a long-lasting equilibrium that balances both supply and demand. Proper problem solving and decision-making process using scientific evidence has a significant impact on businesses when establishing new prices utilizing the law of supply and demand.

Problem solving and decision making using the scientific method

It is fundamental for companies and businesses to have good decision-making skills and problem solving techniques. Businesses are required to make the appropriate decision when faced with complex issues. It is also important to establish a good approach that can solve a problem (Doctor, 2011). For instance, the law of supply and demand affects most businesses. The determination of prices should be done using scientific models. Appropriate problem solving and decision-making techniques need the application of critical thinking (“Systematic problem solving and decision-making”, 2016). Whenever a business is faced with numerous issues such as reduction in sales, it is crucial to make an appropriate decision. The law of supply and demand may cause the decline in sales. Solving a problem requires some pragmatics and logical reasoning.  Problem –solving has been defined as a cognitive and behavioral process that individuals and organizations use to identify, discover and invent effective means of coping with the problem faced.

Problem Solving and Decision Making
Problem Solving and Decision Making

There are four main steps used to identify a problem namely: problem definition, generating alternatives, evaluation, and selection of alternatives and implementation of the solutions. Defining a problem is the first step in problem solving (Gale, 2015). The business should start by identifying the issue causing the sales to reduce. It is important to diagnose the actual situation facing the company by analyzing and defining the causes. Generation of alternatives to solve the problem is the next stage. It is necessary to propose several alternatives that will increase the sales. Brainstorming the alternative helps to evaluate the alternatives (Doctor, 2011). Multiple alternatives enhance the value of the final decision. It is advised to generate the alternatives before making a final decision including evaluation and selection of the best alternative. Selection of best alternative is critical in the decision-making process. The best alternative should have minimal impacts compared to the rest. The last step in problem solving is the implementation of the best alternative.

Stabling the price of a new product depends on many factors including the law of supply and demand. The cost of production and demand should be used to determine the prices. The company should decide on the prices based on the demand curve and production cost. The cost of production should be minimal to ensure high returns (Doctor, 2011). It is essential to establish a suitable price that is affordable to customers. The product should meet the needs of the customers. If the demand is higher than production, the cost of the product should be elevated to sustain the supply chain. The company should make a decision using the best model.

Making appropriate decision on the prices of a new product is done systematically. The first step is identifying the problem facing the company. The process involve gathering of information, evaluating alternatives and implementing the final decision. Identification of a decision is the first step in the process. It is important to clearly define the decision and state it down. Gathering relevant information is vital and should be done before identifying alternatives (“Systematic problem solving and decision-making”, 2016). The information can be gathered through research and development. The company should involve customers by asking them what they think in relation to the new product prices. Both internal and external information is needed to improve the sales. Identification of alternatives is necessary. There is need to have many costs and choose one with minimal impacts. Weighing the evidences is also crucial. The alternatives should be considered using scientific evidence and methods.  The profit margin and production cost is determined using scientific evidence. Choosing the best alternative is important and is done after weighing the evidence (Doctor, 2011). Taking action and making the best decision is the last stage. The prices of the new product should be determined by taking into consideration the law of supply and demand. Reviewing the decision and identifying its impacts on the sales is necessary.

Conclusion

The law of supply and demand is important to all businesses. It limits the companies from exploiting customers. The decision on prices of a new product must be made using the scientific method. The company should identify the problem and use best techniques to solve. The demand for the product directly affects the prices. Prices increase with an increase in demand thereby affecting the supply chain.  It is vital for the businesses to establish the best prices after reviewing all the alternatives. The decision should have minimal impact on the business with equilibrium consideration between customer satisfaction and profit margin.

References

Doctor, R. (2011). Problem Solving and the Decision-Making Process. Physical Therapy, 51(7), 816-818.

Gale, D. (2015). The law of supply and demand. Mathematica Scandinavica, 3, 155

Systematic problem solving and decision-making. (2016). Long Range Planning, 23(6), 129

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International Trade Government Involvement

Impact of Government Involvement in International Trade

International trade can be described as the exchange of services and goods between countries, which gives rise to a world economy where prices are affected by global occurrences (Ajami & Goddard, 2013).  As indicated by (Wild & Wild, 2013, p. 123), international trade has the benefit of offering people in different countries a more expansive selection of goods and services at competitive prices.

Given that the idea of international trade has dominated business scholarship for some time, differing opinions exist on whether the international trade should adopt a free trade approach or opt for a protectionist approach. Free trade, in this regard, implies the application of a laissez-faire style of commerce, without market restrictions. The central concept in the international free trade is that demand and supply factors, applied on a global level, ensure efficient production, requiring nothing to be done to either promote or protect business growth. In contrast, the philosophy of protectionism insists on the importance regulating trade to ensure proper functioning of markets. Proponents of protectionism hold that certain market inefficiencies can impede the benefits of international trade, thereby requiring the application of mechanisms to guide the market accordingly. This paper explores the primary motives of government interventions and critically analyzes the consequences of the methods of intervention.

Government intervention in international trade has had a significant impact on trade patterns. Unfair government intervention practices thus have had lasting negative lasing impacts on global economics. This paper looks at the global political economy, reasons for governments to intervene in international trade, consequences of government involvement and ways to prompt the global economy despite the political influence.

The Motives for Government Trade Intervention

Though free trade implies the pattern of exports and imports without any barriers, most governments impose controls on trade for cultural, economic and political reasons. While political motivations include protection of jobs, preservation of national security, response to apparently unfair trade practices of other nations and the quest for influence over other countries, the economic motives include the protection of infant industries and pursuance of strategic trade policy.

Political Motivation: One category of reasons offered for government intervention is political. Most of the political motivations for government interventions are connected to the need for the government to remain popular among its citizens. As indicated by Ajami and Goddard (2013), the political motivations may have little or nothing to do with the economic performance of the country (p. 21).

One such political motive is to protect jobs and, therefore, prevent an increase in unemployment levels. The idea informs the motive for restricting trade to protect jobs that international trade lowers the number of jobs available locally for the citizens of a country (Wild & Wild, 2013, p. 132). Though this may be true for certain industries, studies have established that trade does not necessarily reduce jobs, since business offers consumers a chance to purchase products at competitive prices, which, subsequently enables them to buy more goods and services. Given that most of the products are locally produced, the enhanced purchasing power of the consumer is likely to stimulate the creation of jobs internationally and locally. Moreover, the protection of certain jobs may not be entirely beneficial, and has been shown to lower economic efficiency. According to Silva, Afonso and Africano (2010), an economy can function at maximum efficiency only when its labor force is mobile, and people are willing to alternate jobs need arises (p. 369). Governments must acknowledge that the nature of the economy and, consequently, jobs are constantly metamorphosing, meaning that even their labor force must be flexible and ready to change.

Another political reason often offered for government restriction of trade is national security interests. According to Ajami and Goddard (2013), the argument of national security is often a legitimate argument, especially when it concerns the production of weapons and printing of domestic currency (p. 34).  Consequently, industries that are pivotal to national security are offered protection by governments for both imports and exports.

Governments can, for instance, place restrictions on imports to guarantee domestic supply which preserves national security. It is important to note that national security as it is used here is not exclusive to issues of war and armed security. Rather, the concept of national security implies those goods and services that are critical for the wellbeing of the citizens of the country, including currency, agricultural products, oil, and weaponry. For instance, many countries actively protect their agricultural sectors since countries that depend on agricultural imports to feed their citizens risk starvation in the event of war. Governments also place restrictions on the export of defense-related goods, especially if such exports pose threats to international security.

The government can also restrict trade in response to apparent unfair trade practices by other nations. In situations where there is a feeling that their governments give certain industries an unfair advantage through subsidies or reduced restrictions, unilateral reduction in restrictions can be applied. For instance, Fertö and Hubbard (2003) show that, compared to industrialized countries, developing countries have significantly relaxed environmental laws, reducing the costs of operation (p. 245). Governments are often inclined to introduce trade restrictions especially in the face of restrictions by other countries.

Government Involvement in International Trade
Government Involvement in International Trade

States can also use trade restrictions to gain influence over other nations, especially the economically less developed. For instance, the China Uses trade interventions to increase its influence in Africa. The idea here is for an economically stronger country to use its position to influence less developed countries, which ultimately offer a market for its products.

Economic Motives: Besides the political reasons for governments’ intervention in trade, arguments are often fronted on the economic foundations for intervention. Some of the arguments from the economic perspective include the protection of infant industries and pursuance of strategic trade policy. The case for the protection of infant industries is often made so that young industries are protected by the government until they become self-sustaining (Silva, Afonso & Africano, 2010, p. 369).

However, it is not only infant industries that seek protection. According to Melitz (2003), some mature industries insist that they are protected to enable them to adapt to new business environments and conditions (p.1696). Nevertheless, the idea of protecting companies seems to go against the spirit of healthy competition that allows only the most successful businesses to be sustained. This presents problems to the government seeking to intervene on trade based on the argument of the infant industry. The first challenge would concern how to pick winners and reject losers. The idea also leaves room for people within the echelons of power to use that power to initiate protection for their companies. Besides, protection has the potential of encouraging complacency by domestic companies towards innovation and can limit company competitiveness.

Regarding the pursuance of strategic trade policy, government intervention can enable a company to enjoy the first-mover advantages and the subsequent economies of scale. The concept of first-mover advantage can be described as a type of competitive advantage that accompany attains by being the first entrant into an industry or a market (Fertö & Hubbard, 2003, p. 251). The understanding here is that, by being the first competitor in a new market, the firm can gain an advantage over its actual and future rivals. This idea applies whether a company is seeking to develop new demographic markets or sections of existent markets, or whether it is looking to introduce new products into its already existent market segments.

When a business is the first to enter a market, it can form a defensible ground, allowing it to capture the large sections of the market share quickly without being concerns about rivals competing for the same market. Also, by the time the competitors arrive, the first-mover is likely to have advantages in the competition because its products will have gained familiarity, besides other factors like brand loyalty established distribution systems. For instance, being a first-mover in soda production, Coca-Cola was able to develop its brand and build a reputable force in the beverage industry. The biggest problem with the strategic trade policy is that government support is often subject to political manipulation, and certain interest groups can usurp gains with no benefit to the consumer.

Cultural Motives: Cultures are created and modified through interactions. Consequently, the exposure of citizens of a country to other people and products from other nations can gradually alter the culture of a country. In this line of thought, the undesirable cultural influence caused by interaction with certain products can cause the government to block imports. The United State, for instance, is often perceived as a threat to national cultures due to its influential entertainment, consumer goods, and media.

Methods of Promoting Trade

Other than specialization and increased business potential, international trade has been linked to greater efficiency and greater opportunity for foreign direct investment. As described by Wang et al. (2012), foreign direct investment implies the amount of money invested by individuals and corporations in business as well as in research and development (p. 627). By attracting foreign direct investment, economies can grow in their level of competitiveness and production efficiency. For the receiving government, foreign direct investment is a way through which expertise and foreign exchange can enter the country, further stimulating economic growth. Given the importance of international trade to governments as well as consumers, various states adopt steps such as subsidies, export financing, foreign trade zones, and individual government agencies to encourage international trade.

Subsidies: For our purposes, a grant can be defined as financial assistance to domestic companies in the form of low-interest loans, cash payments, product price supports, or tax breaks. The primary intention of applying subsidies is to increase the advantage of the local companies and compete favorably with international firms. According to the World Trade Report (2006), export subsidies generate incentives for producers to supply products for export rather than for domestic use within a country (p. 56). This can be a drawback since the withdrawal of supply from the local market can lead to increases in the local price of the products. Simultaneously, due to increase in supply to the world market world prices of the product is likely to fall. If the re-importation of products from the world market into the domestic market is prevented, the result is a wedge between the world price and the local price. All the same, the impact of export subsidies on the domestic country is contrary, with local consumers having to pay higher for a product that they are prevented from sourcing from the world market as a lower price.

Export Financing: In export financing governments promote exports by assisting companies to finance their trade activities through loans as well as loan guarantees. Since funding is crucial, especially for entrants into the export business, the philosophy informing export financing is that by offering loans that would have otherwise been accessible of loans at reduced rates, the government can encourage export business, and enhance the competitive edge of the company. In the United States, for instance, export financing is offered by Export-Import Bank.

Foreign Trade Zones: A foreign trade zone is an area where goods can be landed, handled, reconfigured or manufactured, and even re-exported without going through customs authorities. The goods only become subject to the prevailing customs duties when they are moved to consumers in the country within which the zone is located. Organized in areas with various geographical advantages for international trade such as Singapore, Stockholm, Hong Kong, and Gdańsk, the primary purpose of the foreign trade zone is to eliminate seaport, border, and airport barriers to trade, often associated with complex customs regulations and high tariffs. Lowering customs facilitates international trade since customs duties elevate the cost of production as well as the time it takes for the products to reach the market. In the United States, for instance, the lowered customs duties are balanced by the created jobs.

Special Government Agencies: As a way of encouraging international trade, various governments create agencies charged with the promotion of exports. The agencies organize trips for business persons and trade officials to visit other nations and institute trade offices in other countries. These organizations, such as the Japan External Trade Organization not only promote exports but also occasionally encourage imports.

Trade Unions: Trade unions today play a critical part in moulding the lives of workers, though their influence has considerably diminished over the recent past. The union is often mandated to negotiate conditions and contracts with employers on behalf of the employee. Though the roles of trade unions are numerous, some being more prominent than others, the trade unions core functions can be summarized as social, militant, regulative, and fraternal. In this regards, the militant function implies the struggle that is likely to occur as the union tries to get employers to increase worker remuneration or to address the grievances presented by employees. The main issue addressed here is whether the perceptible incompatibility between industrial relations and employees can be resolved. Resolution of the conflict between trade unions and employers is only possible given the assumption that both parties share the objectives of employee development, fairness, and equity.

Unions need to acknowledge that collective bargaining may require some redesigning to include a lesser component increasing pay than in the past, and should push for involvement in skill-based and flexible elements of pay. Industrial relations remain the principal way of maintaining industrial order and should focus on approaches to avoiding and resolving disputes and conflicts.

Methods of Restricting Trade

Most governments restrict international trade to protect domestic companies from external competition, mostly from multinationals. One such method of restriction is through tariffs. Tariffs are taxes levied on imported products as they enter or leave the country. Tariffs can be categorized as import, transit and export. Import duties are further subcategorized into ad valorem, specific, and compound. An ad valorem tax is levied as a percentage of the cost of the imported good while specific tariff is levied according to each unit (by weight or number). On the other hand, the compound tax is levied as a percentage of the stated price of the imported product, and partly as a specific fee for each unit. According to Wild and Wild (2013), besides protecting local producers and employees from foreign competition, tariffs perform the function of raising revenue for the government (p. 232). Though domestic producers gain from import duties as they are shielded from foreign competition, this protection comes at a cost to the consumer. The consumers often have to pay more for some imported goods. Also, though the producers benefit from the lowered foreign competition, the lack of competitiveness may lead to laxity and reduced overall efficiency.

Quotas and Voluntary Export Restraints (VER): Quotas and Voluntary Export Restraints (VER) are restrictions directed towards the quantity of certain goods that can be imported into a country (Wild & Wild, 2013, p. 143). The quota limitation is usually imposed by allotting import licenses to a group of firms or individuals. The reason for issuance of allowances is to protect domestic producers by limiting the entry of certain goods into the country. This limitation enables local producers to maintain a considerable market share in to offer decent prices for their products within the country. Like in tariffs, the gain by producers comes at a cost to consumers, who have to contend with high prices caused by impeded competition. A VER, on the other hand, is a unique type of quota imposed by the exporting country upon the request of the government of the importing country. If the domestic producers do not limit production, consumers gain because of lowered prices from the increased supply. Other measures that can be applied by governments to restrict trade include embargoes, content requirements, administrative delays and even currency controls. Ultimately, the reasoning behind restrictions is to protect local companies from foreign competition and to ensure that the economic interests of the country are not ignored during the international trade.

Conclusion

Despite the theoretical benefits associated with international trade, governments are not always eager to openly welcome free trade at the expense of domestic businesses. This paper examined the reasons behind the government interventions to protect some of their local industries and the methods they use to offer such protection. Though it is evident from the analysis that many of the strategies like tariffs, the quota system, and subsidies appear to support domestic producers, this support often comes at a cost to the consumer, who often has to pay more for goods. Measures must be put in place to ensure that even in protecting the domestic companies, healthy competition that is important for production efficiency and reasonable pricing of products is not compromised.

References

Chaney, T. (2008). Distorted gravity: the intensive and extensive margins of international trade. American Economic Review, 98(4), 1707-21

Girma, S., Görg, H., & Wagner, J. (2009). Subsidies and exports in Germany, evidence from enterprise panel data. Applied Economics Quarterly, 55 (3), 175-195

Martincus, C. & Carballo, J., (2008). Is export promotion effective in developing countries? Firm-level evidence on the intensive and the extensive margins of exports. Journal of International Economics, 76, 89-106

Wang, C., Hong, J., Kafouros, M., & Wright, M. (2012). Exploring the role of government involvement in outward FDI from emerging economies. Journal of International Business Studies, 43(2012), 655-676

Wild, J., & Wild, K. (2013). International business: The challenges of globalization. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Limited

World Trade Report. (2006). Exploring the links between subsidies, trade and the WTO. World Trade Organization

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