The Necessity of Sustainability in Operations Management in Terms of Various Sectors

The Necessity of Sustainability in Operations Management in Terms of Various Sectors

Yasin Galip Gencer (Yalova University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8970-9.ch005
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The purpose of this chapter is to explain the necessity of sustainability in operations management processes. Sustainability in all areas is a key factor for long term successes and operations management is the baseline for nearly all other business units. Thus, the sustainability of operations management becomes critical for all business units in an organization. The chapter starts with a brief description about the both concepts sustainability and operations management then continues with the strong relationship between them. The applications in the work area are analyzed and real-life examples are also proposed. Health, Retailing and Banking sectors are analyzed on the basis of the previous studies from the literature. The contribution aim of this chapter to the literature is to take attention to the strong relationship between sustainability and operations management.
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Operations Management And Sustainability

Operations management should be at the center of all institutions, whether they work in the service or manufacturing area, or they work for profit or non-profit. The right products and services are possible thanks to the fast, cost-effective design, production and delivery of operations that guarantee customer satisfaction. Having expertise in the operations makes it possible to successfully maintain general or emergency health services and other human and social activities. In fact, the operation function defines the basic purpose of an organization. For example, the aim is to produce glass products for a glass manufacturer whereas for a hospital, the main aim is providing treatment for patients.

On the other hand, some decision areas within the concept of operations management are listed as follows:

  • Designing innovative products

  • Choosing the best processes to offer services or produce products

  • Providing high quality products and services

  • Deciding the best locations for facilities

  • Planning optimal capacity

  • Designing an efficient layout at work

  • Finding the right sources worldwide and ensure that they are properly supplied

  • Managing and controlling raw material and final product stocks

  • Ensuring workplace safety regulations for employees

Such decisions in an organization have significant impacts on cost, profit, product quality and diversity. Today, success in this global business environment is changing rapidly (Gencer and Akkucuk, 2017); it is not only about how companies manage their internal operations in the best way, but also how well they manage all supply chain management and networks by integrating all stages from suppliers to end customers (Ozcan, 2011).

The processes from logistics to marketing of a company’s product or service until it is offered to your consumer can be evaluated in the area of operations planning. There are certain force that make companies to be sustainable in their strategies (Sozuer, 2011). While some of these forces originate from the financial concerns of companies, others have a sense of social responsibility, which is considered necessary in the formation of an institutional identity (Yildiz, 2008). Whereas it is obvious that when the companies are approached from the economic point of view; there are many factors that force companies to be sustainable, but ultimately these companies are commercial enterprises and the primary purpose of all business organizations is profit. Furthermore, these companies want to feel responsible for the prevention of environmental degeneration, to make changes in the changing consumer habits with their innovations especially in production and marketing processes, or to exhibit a sustainable vision in order not to fall back from other competitors in the global formation; consequently, which is aimed at maximizing profit. The late 20th century and the century we are in has led to a change in what the objectives of the enterprises should be. As the business is a business organization, the understanding that accepts all kinds of activities towards increasing the accounting profit has been replaced by the acceptance and implementation of the values that put forward the activities that increase the economic profitability of this organization (Elitas and Seker, 2017). In other words, especially the financial expectations of the past have been replaced by expectations of the social context. In fact, financial expectations have not been fully lost; businesses that protect the social, environmental and social values, take care of responsible and responsible practices but the competition in the new order has increased (Akkucuk, 2011).

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