363-0448-00L  Global Operations Strategy

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersT. Netland
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractThis course provides students who aim to work in globally operating companies a theoretical fundament and practical skills for strategic configuration and coordination of global production networks.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to analyze, plan, and design factory networks.
1. Students can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s global factory network.
2. Students can conduct a basic factory localization analysis and elaborate on the risks involved and the limitations of the chosen method.
3. Students are familiar with key issues in managing global operations.
4. Students can analyze a global productivity improvement program.
5. Additional skills: Students acquire experience in teamwork, report writing and presentation.
ContentThe course „Global Operations Strategy” equip students with tools and knowledge that will help them successfully manage the global activities of multinational companies in their future careers. The world of business is changing at a rapid pace, and so is the international environment in which it is conducted, leading to a set of complex challenges which this course engages with. Where should factories be located in order deliver high quality products quickly to customers at reasonable cost? Which products should a company make itself, and which should be outsourced? How can the productivity in a plant network be increased with the help of global improvement programs? Questions like these will be discussed in class from an academic perspective and shed light on by a number of leading industry practitioners. To reinforce students’ learning, two management case studies will be conducted on the basis of which students’ performance will be assessed.

The course design consists of two integrated parts. The first part considers the “configuration” of companies’ global activities – that is, the strategic dispersion of operations. In particular, we will focus on questions relating to factory location, off- and reshoring as well as the make- or buy decision. In the second part of the course we will focus on how to manage the dispersed operations of a company, in other words the “coordination” of global operations. Special attention will be paid to the management of global improvement programs and global production management in times of disruption.

In each of the two blocks, students are invited to solve one comprehensive case study in self-selected teams. The course design features academic lectures followed by industry perspectives, so that students can reflect on the presented academic concepts and synthesize them with the insights and experiences of industry leaders. In terms of teaching style, students can expect a blend of approaches, including lectures on key concepts, vivid class discussions, guest contributions by managers, as well as case study presentations by peers. Additionally, Q&A sessions will be provided to clarify potential questions concerning case study content, and individual feedback sessions for case study groups will be arranged.
Lecture notesSee Moodle
LiteratureSee Moodle
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements: Preferably the course 363-0445-00L Production and Operations Management