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Management Concepts and Consumption Trends Term Paper

Discuss the concept of straying from the diagonal relative to the volume variety continuum and the implication for operations.

The diagonal relative operation is customer satisfaction oriented compared to the volume variety continuum, which is profit-oriented. In diagonal relative operations, the product aims at meeting the specified customer needs. The process requires a high level of specialty, professionalism, and inclination to high-quality production. Since products are tailored to suit customer tastes, there is a low level of redundancy, because each unit ordered is unique. On the other hand, the customer may place orders in batches where each batch is unique and highly differentiated. Thus, diagonal; relative operation is primarily based on the customer intent to purchase, rather than the producers push to sell.

Conversely, the volume variety continuum is dependent on the producer’s ability to produce in bulk and searching for potential buyers. This method is machine-oriented where production is repetitive. Most producers prefer to produce in bulk to earn economies of scale.

Describe how the characteristics of service operations (presence of the customer, simultaneity, perishability, intangibility, heterogeneity) can be related to BMIbaby Budget Airline.

Service operations are unique and feature unique qualities compared to goods. BMIbaby Budget Airline is a European airliner that offers competitive flight charges compared to world Boeing and Airbus. For the BMIbaby to record any revenue, the customer must be present, pay, and occupy his seat for the transaction to be complete for the two parties to be satisfied. Since services are unique, the simultaneity of needs is a prerequisite. The customer must be willing to utilize what is offered at the existing price. The other notable feature is perishability. Once a customer is delivered to his /her destination, his/her contract expires. The Airbus waits for other passengers to make another trip. Intangibility is the other element that reveals the inability of the airline to control the consumption trends of their clients. Finally, heterogeneity shows the diverse interests held by each party, the stakeholders, airline operators, and passengers.

The elimination of waste is a core philosophy of Just in Time/ Lean technology. What is meant by ‘waste’ in this context?

Just in time/ lean technology is an efficient production process that aims at optimizing the available resources. The phrase ‘elimination of waste’ is widely used to describe the persistence of the producer to direct resources on what is necessary. The producer focuses on what matters and avoids less significant activities. Determination of what matters is antonymous to acceptable practices or existing ideas. Instead of employing unproven production concepts, lean technology aspires to test all concepts, pick the valuable ones, and discard the rest. Eventually, the producer is left with a shorter, yet effective production process. Once the producers eliminate wastes, the value produced is enhanced. The Toyota Company has successfully implemented lean technology to simulate market leadership.

Discuss some of the options available to operations managers when it comes to introducing job design opportunities – relating these to a work situation.

Operation managers must choose the best job design as a means to achieve the desired results. There are four job design options: Job enlargement, job rotation, job enrichment, and job design.

Job enlargement: This option aims at including difficult tasks. It also strives to increase employees’ attractiveness or passion for his/her work. However, this option may or may not increase employee responsibility.

Job rotation: job design moves employees from one task to the other. This design is best suited to group operations where each employee has the opportunity to handle different tasks. Many operation managers use job rotation to increase accountability.

Job enrichment: the design aims at increasing staffs’ responsibility, accountability, and autonomy. A subordinate employee maybe gives a promotion to learn new things and inspire his/her participation. Job enrichment is embraced in organizations using a matrix organization structure.

Work design/job engineering: This technique is used in an extremely industrialized organization. Work design helps employees to understand the interaction between one activity to other and the existing relationship between machines and employees (Lingham, 2011).

“A major responsibility for all managers is the support of a company based systems designed to ensure the quality of products or services”. Briefly, discuss why quality has become such a live issue today

Modern producers are shifting their attention to the production of quality products at the expense of mass production. The producer’s attempt to satisfy customers’ needs has triggered more emphasis on quality. To meet customer expectations, producers’ are obliged to produce high-quality products and services. On the other hand, the prevalence of fierce competition has posed a threat to low-quality producers (Slack et al, 2009). Hence, producers have no choice but to produce superior quality to match that of their competitors.

The advancement in technology has paved way for improvement in quantity produced. As the living style changes, consumers expect products and services in the market to follow suit. Therefore, producers of goods and services need to match with the global changes or risk losing their market share to their competitors. Finally, quality production makes proprietary advantage, by assuming proprietary leadership; the company manages more consumers without spending highly on the advertisement. In other words, superior products market freely.

Major challenges for operations are seen to be Corporate Social Responsibility, Globalisation, and Environmental responsibility. Outline how 2 of these factors impact the operations function?

Although the main aim of corporations is to earn profits, they have a subsidiary responsibility to acknowledge their neighborhood. The best way that organizations pay back to the community is through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR is a voluntary duty undertaken by the corporate to sponsor a particular project within its operation area. For many corporations, CSR is a strategy incorporated in the organization’s operation matrix.

It helps to cement customer loyalty as well as enable the firm to penetrate a new market. CSR may include activities like sponsoring Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), offering free entrepreneurial training, and engaging in other community development activities.

Conversely, most manufacturing firms engage in caring for the environment as a gift to the community. As we all know, manufacturing firms are heavy pollutants to the environment. Taking up the initiative to care for the environment does not only show their concern for the environment, but it also illustrates their willingness to mitigate the loss incurred. Pollution affects other industries, for instance, industrial wastes released into the river affect the fishing industry downstream. Thus, caring for the environment shows the firm is concerned for others’ welfare.

What are the implications of moving tasks between the front office and back office areas of a service operation? Use relevant organizational situations of your choice to relate to your responses.

The front office is the visible part of the organization. It is the physical contact between a customer and the organization. The front office takes the customer as both input and output of its operation. The back office comprises the invisible part of the organization that processes the needs of the front office. The customer does not have any contact with the back-office operations (Greasely 2008, p.11).

Organizations switched focus from the front office to the back office to gain a competitive advantage. For example, customer-oriented manufacturing may opt to shift focus to the back office to engage in mass production. Whereas, another firm may recognize it may earn a higher competitive advantage by focusing on front office operations. Since the front office increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, engaging in strengthening the ties offers a competitive advantage. Conversely, an airline may decide to reduce its front office operations and focus on actual transportation.


Greasely, A. 2008. Operation Management. Sage Publication Ltd: London.

Lingham, L. 2011. Management Consulting/Organization design. Web.

Slack, N., Chambers, S., and Johnston, R. 2009. Operations and Processes Management: Principles and Practice for Strategic Impact, Prentice Hall/Financial Times, New Jersey.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Management Concepts and Consumption Trends." February 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/management-concepts-and-consumption-trends/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Management Concepts and Consumption Trends'. 16 February.

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