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Operations Management Assignment On Research Paper Analysis


Task: Critically review one academic journal article from a list of carefully selected four papers on the Moodle site. Each article focuses on different Operations Management perspectives. The review, about 1000 words, should cover research questions, methodology, main findings and limitations of the research. You need to demonstrate clear understanding of the chosen paper and its research area.
In the second part of the coursework, also about 1000 words, you need to show application of the reviewed topic area, to an organisation of your own choice. Your application does not have to use the same theory from the reviewed paper. For example, the reviewed paper may propose a new theory in supply chain management, you can apply any related theories in supply chain management, not necessarily the one proposed from the reviewed paper.
It is advisable to avoid very small independent companies, because you may not be able to find enough information on their operations. Annual reports can provide very useful information and insights into an organisation’s operations. Remember to use good quality resources and provide a reference list (in the APA style).


Part A:
Background: The present report on operations management assignment revolves around the fact that in the modern day organizations, it is essential to implement operational efficiency as well as innovation. The leaders of the organizations mostly focus on using different techniques by which the efficiency in the operations management can be enhanced. In this aspect, social media can be an important digital tool which can help the leaders to implement the strategies successfully. In this operations management assignment, a research paper has been selected which discusses about impact that the initiatives of social media can have on the firms which focus on implementing operational efficiency as well as innovation.

Purpose of the study examined in the operations management assignment:
The purpose is to review the chosen paper to prepare this operations management assignment and to analyze how the authors have provided the description about the research topic. Therefore; it will be also important to consider the research questions, methodology and the key findings that have been generated from the research paper. Along with this, the purpose is also to find the limitations of the paper.

Review of the paper:
In the research paper, authors Lam, Yeung & Cheng (2016) analyzed the strategies that some of the companies have used for utilizing social media as the tool for enhancing operational efficiencies in the business. Authors described that in recent years, many organizations such as Starbucks and Caterpillar have made use of the social media tools to engage the target audiences for enhancing the operational activities. Along with this, they have also reflected about how social media initiatives have been helpful for these organizations to improve the mode of communication with the customers. They have mentioned that social media initiatives have helped these organizations to collect feedback from the customers with ease and also to make the customers aware about the new business initiatives. Authors in their article have explained these benefits with the use of some important real life examples. These examples provided in the context of this operations management assignment have thus strengthened the quality of the report and justified the data.

Authors Lan, Yeung & Cheng (2016) have also described that with the help of social media initiatives, it has been possible for the organizations to improve the communication between the employees. In their research, authors have mainly focused on analyzing about the impact of the user’s action through social media on the operational efficiency of the organizations.

Research question for the paper explored in the operations management assignment:
In the paper authors Lan, Yeung & Cheng (2016) have analyzed about how social media initiatives can impact the operational efficiencies and innovative strategies of the organizations.

In the research paper, authors have made use of some samples of data which comprise the information about the companies which have implemented actions on operational efficiency with the help of social media. Further, data have been also collected of the companies to develop this operations management assignment which have only given importance on using the traditional operations management. The data of the two different strategies of operations management have helped the authors to analyze the efficiency of social media initiatives. Authors have made use of the research tool known as Factiva for collecting the data about these initiatives. The data have been both qualitative and quantitative, however; only collected from the secondary resources. Along with this, authors Lam, Yeung & Cheng (2016), have used Stochastic Frontier Estimation methodology for analyzing about the efficiencies of those organizations with the implementation of the social media initiatives. They have also focused on the impact of the strategies on innovativeness in these organizations. They have also created the hypotheses for measuring the efficiencies of the strategies and the actions undertaken by these organizations.

This methodology has been useful for the research paper as it helped the authors to make use of a large volume of data without the requirements of searching from different literatures and other online sources. Moreover; primary data would not have been useful for this research as those would have not helped the authors to have the real and factual information successfully.

What are the findings obtained from the discussion on operations management assignment?
After the analysis of the data, authors have found that the organizations which have made use of the social media initiatives have been able to increase the operational efficiency as well as innovativeness. On the other hand, in those organizations that have not used the social media initiatives, the efficiency has been lower. It has been also identified that in the course of using information technology for the business, social media initiative can be considered as extremely valuable. It has been also seen from the findings obtained in the operations management assignment, that the contemporary businesses make use of social media for organizational activities such as sales and marketing. It has been also seen that in case of implementing innovation in the business, social media has been extremely useful for most of the organizations. Even, the managerial implications can be enhanced with the use of the implementation of social media as the tool. Therefore; the findings show that in case of operational management, social media initiatives have been extremely significant and helped in increasing the quality of the operations successfully.

Limitations of the research paper:
Although the research paper utilized to prepare this operations management assignment has been able to consider a significant volume of data regarding the operational efficiency as well as innovation, however; it has not been able to explore about the benefits of social media for other business activities of the organizations. Moreover; it is a known fact in the process of utilizing social media tools, it is always important to collect some large volumes of data. However; the authors of the research have not analyzed the issues that the SMEs can face while utilizing the social media due to the lower scope of having a significant volume of data. Along with this, authors also have not been able to define the strategies that the managers need to use for utilizing social media in the business. Rather the research paper only focused on the benefits that some of the organizations received with the use of the social media initiatives.

The research paper examined in the operations management assignment thus has been successful on demonstrating the benefits that social media initiatives can provide for enhancing the operational efficiency and innovativeness in the organizations. The research paper also helped in analyzing some real world data which proved the fact that the authors have established and also acted as the proper evidences.

Part B:
Introduction: This report on operations management assignment will be based on analyzing the impact of social media initiatives for enhancing the operations management of Starbucks. Being one of the most successful coffee chains in the world, it is always important for Starbucks to improve its operational efficiencies. Along with this, for maintaining the competitive advantage, it has become important for Starbucks to implement innovations in the operations management ("Starbucks Coffee Company", 2019). In this regard, it will be also important for Starbucks to make use of the modern-day tools such as social media. Therefore; this report on operations management assignment will discuss about how the initiatives of social media can help Starbucks to improve its operation efficiency and for implementing the innovation in the operational management.

Current operations of Starbucks:
Starbucks is known for maintaining its culture and the tradition and for these; the organization has been hugely successful in almost all the countries where it has expanded the business. The organization has been able to maintain the coffee culture of US and the operations management of the company is to maintain the luxurious ambience and for maintaining the quality of coffee in all its stores ("Starbucks Coffee Company", 2019). Despite of the high competition from the other coffee chains around the world, the main success story of Starbucks is its operational efficiency. Starbucks also induced high quality customer service along with maintaining the traditions of providing premium coffees for the customers (Sholihah et al., 2016). However; the organization is also not known for marketing the brand efficiently. Rather it mostly depends on the word of mouth promotion and the brand image that it has created so far. However; other competitors such as McDonald’s and Caribou Coffee have been using innovative strategies for attracting the customers.

Although the threats from these competitors are not significantly high for Starbucks in the current scenario of operations management assignment, however; it will be also important for the company to implement the efficiency in its operations management so that the future threats can be countered effectively. In this aspect, if the organization focuses on using social media as the effective tool for increasing the organizational efficiency, then there will be a scope for the company to become more innovative in the future as well.

Importance of social media initiatives for Starbucks:
As analyzed from the above discussion within this operations management assignment, it will be important for Starbucks to increase its operational efficiency. In this regard, if the organization focuses on developing some social media initiatives and subsequently implement some action plans, then there can be possibility for it to become more efficient in the industry (Hu, Kettinger & Poston, 2015). In case of Starbucks, the operational efficiencies can be increased in the aspect of the innovations in the coffee beverages and ambience of the stores. Moreover; operational efficiencies can be also enhanced in the aspect of customer service and marketing. Therefore; the action plan for social media initiatives can be implemented in the aspect of engaging the customers through social media. The customers can be engaged for generating ideas about the flavours of the coffee beverages. Along with this, through social media, communication with the customers can be made for generating feedbacks on the services that are provided in the chains (Agnihotri, Dingus, Hu & Krush, 2016). These data would help the management of Starbucks to be aware of the gaps that are present in current operational strategies.

Therefore; through social media, polls can be created which can help in taking their feedback. Moreover; through social media, it would be possible for the company to communicate with the customers of different areas where the company aims to expand its business. This would help the management to get the idea about the operational strategies that they would need to implement for attracting the customers of those areas (Felix, Raunschnabel & Hinsch, 2017). The data would also help the management of Starbucks to collect the idea about the cultural differences of the customers in terms of choosing the type of drinks. These data would further help the management of Starbucks to create the strategies regarding changes or improvements in the menu that would be important. Moreover; it would be also possible for the organizations to improve its marketing operations with the help of social media initiatives. This is going to be an important business operation which can further strengthen the brand image of the company among the global customers.

Analysis from the annual report of the company:
The sales revenues of the business are incurred from beverages, food and packaged coffee and tea. Starbucks has currently 29,324 stores around the world and the sales of beverages and food provide the maximum revenues in the business. In this aspect, the annual report of the company for the year 2018 used to prepare this operations management assignment shows that beverages contribute to about 74% of the sales and food items contribute to about 20% of the sales revenues ("Starbucks Corporation - Financial Data - Annual Reports", 2019). Therefore; the operations management needs be enhanced in these two aspects significantly. In this aspect, if the organization is able to engage the customers for generating some ideas about improving the quality of food and beverages, then it would be possible to increase the revenues significantly. The net growth of the new stores of the company has been 7% in the year 2019 ("Starbucks Corporation - Financial Data - Annual Reports", 2019). Therefore; the organization examined in the operations management assignment needs to increase this percentage of growth as well. In this aspect, the growth can become better, if Starbucks will be able to make use of social media for exploring new markets around the world.

The net revenue for the year 2018 has been $24,065.8 and if the organization aims to increase the revenue for the next financial years, it would be important to make use of social media with perfection ("Starbucks Corporation - Financial Data - Annual Reports", 2019). Moreover; the it will be also important for the company to have a strategy on the implementation of innovation in the business. In this aspect, social media initiatives on operations management are going to be important as well.

From the report and from the analysis of the data provided in the operations management assignment from the annual report of Starbucks, it is clear that the organization needs to implement social media initiatives with efficiency for ensuring the operational improvement. Along with this, it will be also important for the company to ensure that the social media initiatives would contribute on the implementation of innovative strategies for the operational management.

Agnihotri, R., Dingus, R., Hu, M. Y., & Krush, M. T. (2016). Social media: Influencing customer satisfaction in B2B sales. Operations management assignment Industrial Marketing Management, 53, 172-180.

Felix, R., Rauschnabel, P. A., &Hinsch, C. (2017). Elements of strategic social media marketing: A holistic framework. Journal of Business Research, 70, 118-126.

Hu, T., Kettinger, W. J., & Poston, R. S. (2015).The effect of online social value on satisfaction and continued use of social media.European Journal of Information Systems, 24(4), 391-410.

Lam, H. K., Yeung, A. C., & Cheng, T. E. (2016). The impact of firms’ social media initiatives on operational efficiency and innovativeness.Journal of Operations Management, 47, 28-43.

Sholihah, P. I., Ali, M., Ahmed, K., &Prabandari, S. P. (2016). The Strategy of Starbucks and it's Effectiveness on its Operations in China, a SWOT Analysis. Asian Journal of Business and Management (ISSN: 2321–2802) Volume.

Starbucks Coffee Company. (2019). Retrieved 10 December 2019, from

Starbucks Corporation - Financial Data - Annual Reports. (2019). Retrieved 10 December 2019, operations management assignment from


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