Research Essay, Thesis & Dissertation Topics Sample Assignments:

Question: Critically discuss a contemporary issue in strategic operations management

January 4, 2023 0 Comments

strategic management

Question: Critically discuss a contemporary issue in strategic operations management (6000 words). You should include one practical example (case study) relevant to your studies like in the given examples. Check the list of the proposed topics and send me the topic you would like to work on before you start. (very important)

Use sources dating 10 years back, use USW guide given.

Avoid being descriptive critically evaluate, compare and contrast, and critic the work of other scholars.

Use a total of 70 sources

Structure (Strictly follow this structure)

Introduction – 600 words (4 paragraphs)

First paragraph – open with a problem statement. Provide evidence that details the magnitude/ importance/ urgency of the problem/topic. Should explain why your topic is of importance and necessary and why is it urgent now.

Second paragraph – Give an overview of the research in this subject area. Highlight the main themes. (almost like a background of the study)

Third paragraph – highlight how the current literature fails to fully address the problem statement. Propose a research question that will address your problem statement and should align with the topic.

e.g. How does resilience, built at different nodes of a supply chain, influence SCRES?

Fourth paragraph – Finish off by stating how the rest of the assignment will be structured – introduce the literature streams that you will explore using your main headings. E.g. Firm and supply chain resilience, Resilience elements,

Things to note in the introduction:

Introduce the reader to your subject.

Explain the background of the topic etc.

Define key terms and explain your interpretation of any ambiguities in the question

State/explain the objectives

Outline what you intend to cover in the essay, your main arguments and conclusions (structure, structure, structure).

Main body – 4,800 words (to be arranged and aligned with the literature streams you have mentioned in the introduction, the client wants us to include a conceptual framework too)

Literature stream 1

e.g. Resilience is widely defined as the ability of organizations and supply chains to plan for, respond to, and recover from disruptions in a timely and cost-effective manner; it is the ability to take actions that should return them to an original or perhaps better state than before the disruption (Ponomarov and Holcomb, 2009; Wieland and Wallenburg, 2013; Tukamuhabwa et al., 2015). This definition covers the moments before, during and after the disruption (Sheffi and Rice, 2005; Ali et al., 2017) and encompasses different phases of resilience: preparedness, response, recovery and growth or adaptation (Hohenstein et al., 2015; Ali et al., 2017; Stone and Rahimifard, 2018).

The concept of resilience addresses different units of analysis: the firm and the supply chain (Kamalahmadi and Parast, 2016; Ali et al., 2017). Firm resilience refers to an organization’s capacity to anticipate, prepare for, quickly respond to, and then recover from a crisis by learning from the experience and adapting to the new scenario (Hohenstein et al., 2015; Ali et al., 2017; Stone and Rahimifard, 2018). Resilient firms are less vulnerable to disturbances and better able to manage internal resources, such as routines and systems, to cope with unexpected disturbances (Ponomarov and Holcomb, 2009; Ambulkar et al., 2015). Firms depend on individuals, processes and organizational culture to build resilience (Bhamra et al., 2011; Kamalahmadi and Parast, 2016).

Literature stream 2

e.g. Current SCRES research has analyzed what management and operational elements a firm can adopt to build resilience capabilities (Hohenstein et al., 2015; Ali et al., 2017; Stone and Rahimifard, 2018). The most cited resilience elements in the literature are flexibility, redundancy, collaboration, velocity and visibility (Ponis and Koronis, 2012; Hohenstein et al., 2015; Tukamuhabwa et al., 2015). Flexibility refers to how easy it is for a supply chain to change based on its range of options (Stevenson and Spring, 2007; Ali et al., 2017). Flexibility can be achieved by using multiple suppliers’ strategies, flexible supply bases and flexible processes for operations, transportation and order fulfillment (Kamalahmadi and Parast, 2016; Ali et al., 2017). Redundancy involves maintaining an idle response capacity to access in case of disruptions. This is done primarily through investments in capital and capacity, such as safety stocks and backup suppliers or storage (Rice and Caniato, 2003; Kamalahmadi and Parast, 2016). Collaboration refers to the level and degree of shared information, knowledge and decisions between two or more members of the supply chain (Christopher and Peck, 2004; Wieland and Wallenburg, 2013; Scholten and Schilder, 2015). Both vertical and horizontal forms of collaboration are based on trust and synergies (Cao and Zhang, 2011; Leat and Revoredo-Giha, 2013; Ali et al., 2017). Velocity encompasses the ability to react rapidly to changes (Christopher and Peck, 2004; Brandon-Jones et al., 2014), while visibility addresses the extent to which supply chain participants have access to or share information regarding their operations during the crisis (Barratt and Oke, 2007; Wieland and Wallenburg, 2013).

Literature stream 3….

– Maybe include a conceptual framework here that represents the emergent concepts from your review in relation to your research question, e.g.

Things to note in the body section

Split this section into clear subsections Explaining each point of the argument

One paragraph, one point

Introduce idea

Define/explain the idea

Offer evidence and argument

Relate to question/brief

If you are evaluating, be sure to state the criteria on which you are making judgements.

Literature review

Need to demonstrate an in-depth study of the topic has been undertaken

Range of sources – include books, journal articles, business news articles

A range of industry sectors have been looked at

Up to date sources (2015 – 2020 (maybe)) have been used as well as past research

Literature review (getting the most from a journal paper – USW supply chain management group)

What is the context of the article. WHY is the author writing about this topic/doing this research?

What does the author really want to know? Ie WHY are they doing this particular piece of research?

What did the author find out? What is the KEY message of this article? Try to write this in just 2-3 sentences.

What type of research is the author doing?

What other literature is this author citing and can it be useful for you?

Notes – challenges with the article

Conclusion – 600 words

Remind the reader of the aim of your review (your research question).

Summarise the findings

State how these findings add to the current understanding of the subject

Suggest areas for future research.


Should be in Harvard and in line with USW referencing guide and should have links attached to them.

Minimum 60 references

I have attached documents with further instructions, examples from students that passed last year and the referencing guide.

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