Glossary

Glossary of key terms: Unit 5.1 The role of operations management

Adding value

An essential part of the production process that ensures customers are willing to pay a price that is higher than the costs of producing the good or service.

Capital-intensive

When an organization relies on machinery and equipment to produce its output, rather than labour.

Ecological sustainability

Also known as environmental sustainability, this refers to sustainable use of the planet’s natural resources so that the current level of consumption does not jeopardise the resources available for future generations.

Economic sustainability

Dimension of the triple bottom line that focuses on using resources, both natural and manufactured, efficiently and responsibly.

Factors of production

The resources needed to produce a good or service, namely land, labour, capital and enterprise.

Labour-intensive

When an organization relies on labourers to produce its output, rather than machinery or capital equipment.

Operation management

The business function that combines inputs (such as human and financial resources) to produce outputs (goods and services).

Production

Production, or operations management, refers to the process of organizing resources in order to produce goods and/or provide services.

Social sustainability

Dimension of the triple bottom line that focuses on the extent to which an organization or economy can meet the needs of the current population without jeopardising the needs of future populations.

Sustainability

The ability of an organization or an economy to continue its business activities indefinitely, without jeopardising opportunities for future generations.

Triple bottom line

John Elkington’s notion of three pillars (aspects) of sustainability that businesses need to consider: social, ecological and economic sustainability (or people, planet and profits).

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