Unit 4 Management and Operations

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The aim of this unit is to help students understand the difference between the function of a manager and the role of a leader. Students will consider the characteristics, behaviours and traits which support effective management and leadership. In addition, this unit will introduce the concept of operations as both a function and a process which all organisations must adopt to conduct business. Students will be introduced to contemporary and historical theories and concepts which will support their learning for this unit.On successful completion of this unit students will have developed sufficient knowledge and understanding of how management and operations make a positive, efficient and effective contribution to an organisation at a junior level. This could be in the role of a team leader or managing a specific aspect of an operation function and/or process.Underpinning all aspects of the content for this unit.

Learning outcomes

LO1 Differentiate between the role of a leader and the function of a manager

Management theory:

  • Contemporary and seminal theories of management such as management by objectives, classical management theories, behavioural theory and contingency theory.

Leadership vs management:

  • The definitions and differences of both a leader and a manager.
  • Management functions such as planning, organising, controlling and directing.
  • Theories of leadership traits, style and contingency.
  • Transformational and Transactional Leadership.
  • Action Centred Leadership.
  • ‘Hard’ management skills and ‘soft’ leadership skills.

LO2 Apply the role of a leader and the function of a manager in given contexts

How situations affect the role of a leader and function of a manager:

  • Situational leadership, systems leadership, task or relationship-orientated approaches.
  • The application of chaos theory and management by objectives.

LO3 Demonstrate an appreciation of the role leaders and managers play in the operations function of an organization.

Theories of operations and operations management:

  • Six sigma, lean production and queuing theory.

Different operations management approaches:The use of different management approaches

  • Principles of Total Quality Management (TQM), Just-in-Time Inventory and the concept of continuous improvement (Kaizen)

Operational functions:

  • Control and Distribution Systems.
  • Transformation of raw material into finished goods/services.
  • Process design.
  • Capacity management.
  • Logistics and inventory management.
  • Scheduling.

LO4 Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between leadership and management in a contemporary business environment

Different dimensions of contemporary business environment:

  • The relationship that leadership and management have in the context of corporate social responsibility; culture, values, ethics and sustainability.
  • The relationship with stakeholders and meeting stakeholder expectations in the context of encouraging, developing and sustaining entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.


  • HILL, A and HILL, T. (2011) Essential Operations Management. London: Palgrave.
  • PETTINGER, R. (2007) Introduction to Management. 4th Ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • SCHEDLITZKI, D. and EDWARDS, G. (2014) Studying Leadership: Traditional and Critical Approaches. London: SAGE.

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