68840 - Production Management

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Alessandra Vecchi
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: SECS-P/08
  • Language: English
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Management and Marketing (cod. 8406)

    Also valid for First cycle degree programme (L) in Business Administration (cod. 8871)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to understand: dynamics of production strategy; key performance measures of production (i.e. productivity, quality and response time); work flow systems (‘pull’ and ‘push’ systems, MRP, MRP-II, JIT); key principles and logics of material flow control (Raw Materials and WIP inventory control, JIT purchasing); role and functioning of Quality Assurance and Control (Statistical process control, Process capability improvement, Sampling inspection, Total Quality Control, Quality Circle, Kaizen and other small group activities). Moreover, students should be able to explore issues of managing both internal and inter-firm relationships, and explain how a supply chain functions in meeting enterprise and inter-company goals.

Course contents

The unit endorses the contingency approach by which an effort is required to determine which managerial practices and techniques are appropriate in specific situations. This approach to management also acknowledges that there is no one single best way to manage people or work in every situation. On the contrary, in real-life management, the success of any given technique is dictated by the situation. Given the nature of this management approach, caution should therefore be exercised in implementing the so-called best practices which should be contingent upon the circumstances and projected outcomes of each unique organization.

Manufacturing processes require a knowledge of many disciplines, including design, process planning, costing, marketing, sales, customer relations, purchasing, bookkeeping, inventory control, material handling, shipping and many others. More than 110 different methods have been proposed to improve the manufacturing cycle. Each of the proposed methods improves a given aspect or several ones of the manufacturing cycle. Some methods are of a technological nature, while others are organizational and architectural, and yet others focus on information technology. Some are aimed at lead-time reduction, while others aim at inventory reduction, and yet others focus on customer satisfaction or organizational and architectural features. In some methods environmental issues are becoming dominating, while others focus on respect for the workers; many of these proposed methods are based on team work. Such a variety of methods and objectives makes it difficult for a manager to decide which method best suits his/her business. The aim of this unit is to present an overview of the main production management methods, their objectives, the means to achieve the objectives, and to assist the students who are the “managers-to-be” to be knowledgeable about the alternatives available in order to make an informed decision.



Students attending the course

Students will be directed in class towards the relevant readings.

Students not attending the course

Stevenson, W.J (2015). Operations Management,12th edition, McGraw-Hill + supplemental readings that will be made available through AMS Campus.

General Supplemental Readings

There are many additional readings students may benefit from – some may be identified in class, others can be identified by the students themselves independently or in consultation with the module lecturer.

Teaching methods

This course involves a variety of teaching and learning methods including traditional lecture style presentation, case analysis and discussion and teamwork. Given the class diversity and the tremendous context knowledge embodied in that diversity, an important element of the learning process in this topic will stem from peer learning.

You are expected to come to class with the assigned readings completed and any class preparation ready.

Students are expected to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in other courses and put it into practice. They will be also challenged to extensively engage in independent research and critical thinking.


Assessment methods

For those students not attending the course there is a final written individual exam, worth 100% of the final mark.

For those students attending the course there is a final written individual exam (40%) plus assessment of the teamwork (group assessment, 60%).

Office hours

See the website of Alessandra Vecchi


Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.