Discussion Point One:
- In examining the benefits of “innovativeness” for operations, the text book lays out a number of strategies including innovation to provide new products for the “early adapters”, “imitation”, and outright purchasing of the innovation, primarily through M&A. It would seem that these strategies are blending together, and as such, would have palpable implications for operations. For example, Samsung has traditionally assumed an “imitator” role; however, with the latest development of the “smart watch” it is now innovating in addition to its traditional role, as well as purchasing innovation through M&A. How do we understand operational decisions from a multi-faceted operational strategy?
- In the “Strategy and Competitiveness” section, the textbook advises that competition can be measured in a number of ways over the short and long-term; those metrics include profitability and market share over the short-term. I wonder if even below these surface metrics there is a more fundamental one that measures the competiveness of a firm across the short- and long-term: economic value added. That is, the ability of the firm to add value above the market rate of capital returns. Do you think this is a better measure that spans across the time continuum?
- How do we understand the notion of “core capabilities” in an era where firms must constantly capture values in different areas, some outside of their putative “core competency?
- The text book talks about the phenomenon of “outsourcing” and talks of the efficiencies related to (greater specialization and efficiency) along with the negative qualities (the firm loses the ability to do the work). As business moves towards increased innovation, isn’t it more important to keep those functions in-house, particularly as studies have found that there are advantages to development for firms that have robust in-house capabilities?
- What are the implications for operations as business increasingly becomes global?
Meredith, Jack, and Shafer, Scott. Operations Management for MBAs: Fourth Edition. Boston: Wiley, 2010.