Operations Strategy in Action

Operations Strategy in Action

A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Implementation

Kim Hua Tan and Rupert L. Matthews

This fresh and enlightening book offers a rounded overview of operations strategy with a particular focus on implementation. The premise of the book is that developing an effective operations strategy without its subsequent implementation will render the strategising process a waste of time and resources. The authors explain the pros and cons of existing approaches to implementation, as well as offering a systematic framework for turning strategic intent into actions. The study will be of great interest to academics and will also give practitioners confidence in effectively formulating and efficiently implementing strategies that reflect the needs of the today’s business.

Chapter 5: Seeing the Big Picture

Kim Hua Tan and Rupert L. Matthews

Subjects: business and management, operations management, strategic management


INTRODUCTION As outlined in the previous chapter, it is extremely important for beginning to develop strategic objectives for an organisation to free oneself of the self-imposed constraints of creativity. As already stated, without a suitable array of alternatives, those responsible for selecting between options are unable to use their ability and judgement, leaving the outcome restrained within the confines of those charged with solution generation (Drucker 1967). However, from this point, it is then the ability to generate and identify appropriate action plans from the initial ideas that represents an important part of managerial problem solving and decision making. Professor David Garvin of Harvard Business School identified problems associated with both these elements, where many managers do not spend sufficient resources on developing enough alternatives. This results in the ‘best choice’ never even being considered, and not considering all the alternative actions that are available can have devastating consequences. This chapter introduces an approach for the progression from the initial ideas stage of strategic activities to the development of a variety of action plans to allow the most appropriate to be selected. Where the requirements of a suitable idea generation process are to remove one’s own internal blocks to creativity, as outlined in Chapter 3, the process for implementation can also be a very complex activity. However, due to the need to introduce the ideas into an existing organisation, the relevance of a particular plan will have many constraints as to whether or not it is appropriate for the organisation....

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