Answered By: Vicki Sciuk
Last Updated: May 23, 2023     Views: 8

Operations Management (OM) is "the business function responsible for planning, coordinating, and controlling the resources needed to produce a company’s goods and services" (Reid & Sanders, 2020, p. 2). Operations Management Practices cover many different aspects of bringing goods or services to market, so you may need to search for individual aspects to get enough information for your paper. Although you can begin by searching for Company Name AND "operations management", that will rarely give you enough useful articles for your paper. Your paper should include the different "approaches, principles, and methods" you are learning about in class, so those are good topics to get more info for your paper.

Here are samples from the Week 1 document Term Paper Company Selection & Topic Examples to give you ideas:

  1. Supply Chain Management of Target
  2. Total Quality Management of Toyota
  3. Competitive Advantages of Walmart
  4. Product Design of Apple
  5. Competitive Strategy of Starbucks

For more methods to search, you can use the main topic of a chapter from your eText, or an important concept or learning objective for a week.  Check in the introduction to each weekly module for what your professor is emphasizing, and make that a search term. Those should give you other topics - methods of OM - to search for with your company.

Here are the best places to look for info for the major sections of your paper:

1) Background and Context - Use their corporate website, the company's annual 10-K reports, and the company & industry profiles in these databases:

  • Business Insights - Company profiles containing overviews, financials, histories & articles; many large public companies include SWOT analyses which will help with threats, opportunities & strategies.
  • IBISWorld - Reports on most US and many global industries, with new Company Benchmarking Reports on major US companies showing their market shares, competitors, and analysis for different aspects of the business.
  • Corporate Website - check the About Us or Investor Relations sections to find their mission, vision, values and goals. Their Annual Report may go into their strategies and what they are planning. For larger companies, the Careers section often talks about the company's culture and values.

2) Analysis of current operations management practices & organizational culture; and 
3) Analysis of key terms & principles learned in class
    This is where you will look for OM practices like "Supply Chain Management" or "Total Quality Management" or "just in time" or "continuous improvement" or "corporate culture" and the name of your company or industry. Pick the principles you learned in class that are most relevant to the business or industry you are researching and look for articles about them in our business database:

  • ABI/INFORM Collection - our large database of business articles, which you can easily limit to Scholarly articles by checking off the Peer reviewed (and Full text) boxes below the white search box. You will find relevant articles more quickly when you use Advanced Search, which has dropdown lists to search specific fields for your terms to focus your results more. We suggest searching for the company name in the Organization/Company Name field (COMPANY) so it will be a main point. Put the other keywords in the following box, which can be restricted to words only in the Title of an article (Document Title) or Anywhere except full text (NOFT), which searches the title, abstract/summary, and main subjects of the article. If you don't tell it where it should search for your keywords, it will search every word of the full text. That can give you a lot of results, but many may not be relevant to your topic. This FAQ has screenshots showing you how to use Advanced search: How do I do an advanced search in ProQuest?
  • LibSearch - our main gold LibSearch box searches many library databases at once, which can be useful to search for interviews with the CEO, or recent articles about the executive team, where they discuss their culture, vision, strategies, and management practices.

4) Your recommendations - use what you learned about the company, its vision, and its operations from the materials you've gotten for your paper, combine it with what you have learned in this class all semester, and use that to make recommendations about their operations management practices.

Reid, R. D., & Sanders, N. R. (2020). Operations Management: An Integrated Approach (7th ed.). Wiley Global Education  US.

The FAQs and guides below go into more detail about using these resources, plus creating an APA formatted and cited paper:

Related FAQs