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International Issues and Operations Management

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1. Why are international issues now important in operations management? Give an example.

2. What are the ways you would determine the demand of your firm's new convertible roadster?

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1. Why are international issues now important in operations management? Give an example?

We all understand the importance of global operations and formulation of strategies that transcend national boundaries. Mainly, as the world moves toward a global economy, it is increasingly important that operations management address globalization issues.

The study of international operations has mainly evolved around two fundamental dimensions: configuration and co-ordination of companies operating internationally. According to Porter (1986), configuration of a firm's worldwide activities is concerned with where and in how many places in the world each activity in the value chain is conducted. Configuration ranged from concentrated - that is performing all the value chain activities in one location to serve the world - to dispersed which means performing each activity in the value chain in each country. Coordination, on the other hand was defined as how the activities performed in different countries are coordinated, and it ranges from none, which implies full autonomy for each plant, to highly coordinated where the plants are tightly linked to one another. In other words, it is important to understand both the firm's worldwide activities as well as how the activities are performed in different countries (i.e., know both the competition and the allies).

For example, Meijboom (1999) is one among just a few sources that addressed the issues of international supply chains. In his work Meijboom investigated whether the basic supply chain principles that include a high degree of integration and simplification of basic chain structure - through proper placement of decoupling point - still apply in the context of international operations. To address the problem he conducted an exploratory case study in an internationally operating Dutch company producing children's wear. Results from the case study were used to evaluate the configuration and coordination aspects of the company and justify the effects of international operations on the basic supply chain principles.

Based on Meijboom's investigations several points can be derived:

1. The presence of documents related to the ...

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