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Research Proposal Assignment: Operations Management Function for Small Scale Business in Nigeria



Prepare a detailed research proposal assignment on the topic “impact of planning and control as an operations management function on the survival of small scale business in Nigeria”.


Introduction to the theme of research proposal assignment
Every organisation, irrespective of its size cannot survive without a proper managerial function of control and planning. Thus, there remains an immense need for sound and qualified individuals to operate in every business organization who should be capable of managing the financial affairs to ensure a sound system of operation within the enterprise (Gumel, 2019). On the other hand, it is important to note that effective operations are not the exclusive concern of an individual only. It must include every staff member, who exhibits interest to achieve the organisational goal (Gumel, 2017).The project therefore aims to understand the possible impact of control and planning as a managerial function, important to ensure the survival of small scale business organisations towards the achievement of overall business objectives and goals.

The Nigerian scene portrays the situation adequately. Despite the presence of abundant natural resources with a rich environment, the Nigerian economy has not witnessed significant and smooth growth. As influenced by Okpala (2019), management is an important factor for ensuring seamless economic growth is lacking in Nigerian enterprises. The government in several instances has taken up the role of management, with no effective results in the long run. The need for proper and strong management is important to ensure development within the business organisation. Thus, whenever people work together, there remains a constant need for the coordination of efforts to attain expected business objectives within a reasonable time span. As stated by Anyakoha (2019), a manager is often expected to exhibit vast knowledge and possess special skills, different from the non-managers. The proposal aims to understand the possible impact of control and planning as an operations manager function on the survival of small scale industries in Nigeria. Hence, the question of the present research proposal is as follows:

  • What are the existing operation management practices of control and planning and its possible effect in small scale Nigerian business?
  • Which strategies are used for the attainment of objectives and goals set out by business organization?
  • What is the role of operations management to ensure that business runs smoothly

The research is structured on Timruth Nigeria enterprise due to the fact that it becomes difficult to study all small scale businesses in Nigeria. The organisation went into operation with 6 employees and is now working with 85 employees. The main product includes beverages and yoghurt. The proposal aims to understand how smooth operations management functions with proper planning and control can promise better results.

  • To evaluate operation management practices of control and planning and its possible effect in small scale Nigerian business
  • To evaluate the strategies are used for the attainment of objectives and goals set out by business organization
  • To analyse role of operations management to ensure that business runs smoothly

Literature Review
Planning allows business organisations to develop a path for the achievement of goals. The process starts with reviewing the present business operations, while identifying things that need improvement in the future. From that instance, planning with proper control allows the organisation to visualize the goal, required to arrive at the expected results (Babajide et al., 2021). The present section aims to understand the impact of operation management on sustaining small businesses. The literature aims to understand the importance of planning and control as a part of operations management.

Importance of operation management in sustaining small businesses
For powerful, productive and prudent activity in the assembling unit of any business organisation, planning and control framework is imperative. Arranging and creation control follows reception of item plan and finish of the interaction (Garg and Phaahla, 2018). Arranging and control in tasks the executives resolves the key issue of lower efficiency, stock administration and asset usage. Creation and anticipating tasks the board is required for dispatch, booking, quality examination and stock administration. A legitimate arranging and control guarantees that the creation group can accomplish the necessary objective with ideal use of assets (Karagiorgos et al., 2020).

Operations management is the field of management, where the administration involves the best business practices to obtain the maximum level of efficiency using the existing resources within the business organisation (Karagiorgos et al., 2020). When markets in the developing world are moving towards service-based operations, all businesses began to change. The operation aspect remained a strategy by extending the concepts related to inventory management to the coordination and preparation of the system to an extent that allows greater rates of efficiency (Ekpo et al., 2017).

Importance of planning and control within operation management in sustaining small businesses
A proper planning and control helps small businesses to remain aware of the uncertain situations where the managers attempt to envision the possible risks and develop suitable contingency plans to deal with them (Ekpo et al., 2017). The possible pace of change in business is quick and organisations must be able to change their strategies as per the changing business scenarios. Small organisations often face the challenge to work with limited amounts of resources. The process of planning provides information to the management to make effective decisions on how to allocate the resources in a way that allows businesses to achieve their organisational goals. As stated by Denton (2020), productivity is highly maximized and resources are not wasted in presence of proper control and planning. An operations manager is responsible for creating value through tangible and intangible assets (Babajide et al., 2021). Defining objectives that provokes everybody inside the business association to take a stab at better execution is one of the excellent angles in the way of preparation. Objectives should be sensible, yet powerful, to give wanted results. The course of objective setting goes about as a reminder for the tasks director. As expressed by Denton (2020) an extra advantage of objective setting comes when the conjecture result is dissected against the genuine outcomes. Associations break down huge change from the real gauge and make a necessary move where incomes and costs according to the assumptions.

Planning allows a spirit of cooperation and team building. As stated by Ekpo et al., (2017), when a plan is communicated to other members, everyone is aware of their responsibilities and how the work can be done ensuring maximum efficiency. The possible chance of potential conflict is greatly reduced when top management helps the operation manager’s input during the process of goal setting. Planning allows business organizations to obtain a realistic perspective on their weaknesses and strengths relative to major competitors. The operation management perceives the area where the competitors may be vulnerable and develop marketing strategies accordingly. As recommended by Ekpo et al., (2020), observing the actions of the competitors, small businesses can identify the possible scope they may have overlooked in the recent past.

Literature gap
The research rightly evaluates the importance of planning and control in operation management for better rates of productivity. However, the proposal fails to understand the exact extent of impact of planning on operations management. The literature lacks relevant information that can be covered with subsequent research.

Research Process
The research will follow the positivism philosophy that links data with theory, suggesting that planning and control is likely to have a significant impact and help in supporting small businesses (Snyder, 2019). The research approach in the stated proposal is deductive approach. As stated by Zangirolami-Raimundo, Echeimberg and Leone (2018) a deductive approach aims to understand the relationship between the research variables and extent of impact each variable has on another. In the present research, once the researcher has established the importance of planning and control, it will proceed to examine the extent of impact (Ørngreen and Levinsen, 2017). Once the extent of impact is evaluated the research can provide suitable recommendations for proper planning and control. The research will make use of descriptive design that can help in describing the characteristics of the research population (Ørngreen and Levinsen, 2017). The research aims to collect both primary and secondary data for the study. The primary data includes the operation management team of the selected organisation. The primary data is collected through means of survey, including 100 research participants who have experience working with operation management. The collected quantitative data will be analysed with means of statistical analysis and expressed through the means of graphs and charts. The research collects secondary qualitative data that talks about different approaches undertaken by previous researchers to understand the importance of planning and control in sustaining small businesses. The research will use thematic analysis to present the finding. The research will make use of purposive sampling where only people experienced with planning and control or operations management can take part in the survey. The inclusion criteria for secondary study include research journals that specifically discuss planning and control within small businesses, in Nigeria or similar developing countries. The possible challenge the research may face during the course is ethical consideration, failure to acknowledge previous researchers and time constraints (Ørngreen and Levinsen, 2017).

Research plan and timeline
The figure below provides a realistic plan and timeline path to understand how the proposal and final research thesis may progress. The research plan provides a systematic and clear idea about the research pathway outlining every path of the research and the way the research may progress providing fruitful.


Figure 1: Research plan with Gantt chart

(Source: Created by researcher)

Reference list
Anyakoha, C., 2019. Strategic management practice and micro-small enterprises financial performance in Imo, south east Nigeria. ActaOeconomicaUniversitatisSelye, 8(1), pp.41-52.

Babajide, A., Osabuohien, E., Tunji-Olayeni, P., Falola, H., Amodu, L., Olokoyo, F., Adegboye, F. and Ehikioya, B., 2021. Financial literacy, financial capabilities, and sustainable business model practice among small business owners in Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, pp.1-23.

Denton, A., 2020. Why Do Most Small Businesses in Liberia Fail. Open Journal of Business and Management, 8(04), p.1771.

Ekpo, N.B., Etukafia, N.I., Acha, I.A., Udoidem, J.O. and Asogwa, I.E., 2017. Growth implications of managerial finance in business: Empirical evidence from AkwaIbom State, Nigeria. Research proposal assignment World Journal of Economics and Finance, 3(1), pp.61-68.

Garg, A.K. and Phaahla, P.N., 2018. Factors Affecting the Business Performance of Small Businesses in Sekhukhune. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 10(4 (J)), pp.54-67.

Gumel, B.I., 2017. Critical challenges facing small business enterprises in Nigeria: A literature review. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, 8(8), pp.796-808.

Gumel, B.I., 2019. The Impact of Strategic Planning on Growth of Small Businesses in Nigeria. SEISENSE Journal of Management, 2(1), pp.69-84.

Karagiorgos, A., Alexandra, G., Ignatiou, O. and Terzidou, A., 2020. Role and contribution of administrative accounting to small and very small businesses. Journal of Accounting and Taxation, 12(2), pp.75-84.

Okpala, L.I., 2019. Effect of accounting records on financial performance of small and medium industries in Nigeria. International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, 3(4), pp.1120-1125.

Ørngreen, R. and Levinsen, K., 2017. Workshops as a Research Methodology. Electronic Journal of E-learning, 15(1), pp.70-81.

Snyder, H., 2019. Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of business research, 104, pp.333-339.

Zangirolami-Raimundo, J., Echeimberg, J.D.O. and Leone, C., 2018. Research methodology topics: Cross-sectional studies. Journal of Human Growth and Development, 28(3), pp.356-360.

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