Operations Research

Operations research is fairly a recent discipline that refers to the use of mathematical and scientific techniques in order to develop a quantitative basis for organizational decision making (Raiffa, 1968).



We learn from the principles of the scientific management that Taylor actually used quantitative scientific approaches and methods in order to find “the one best way”. That approach is in a sense an effort to achieve process optimizations and maximizing efficiency, which are still the targets and objectives of any operations researcher until these current days. Aside from the basic approach by Taylor when he first used the quantitative scientific methods, the operations management researchers after the Second World War were comfortably applying more advanced quantitative scientific methods.



The above mentioned methods such as mathematical and statistical probability models were conducted as part of a routine organizational process, and reliable mechanism for decision making process. Many of those early efforts that were conducted under the discipline of operations analysis, or operations research took place through the defense industry after the Second World War. The most notable organizations that were involved in the operations research activity based on the scientific management were organizations such as Think‐Tank, and RAND (Research and Development) in Santa Monica, California. (Shafritz, Ott & Jang, 2011).



Decades after the Second World War, most of the tools and techniques that are now widely used in the operations research discipline have started to emerge mainly through programs funded by the defense and the aerospace industries. The tools and techniques that were developed during that period would include PERT (Program Evaluation & Review Technique), CPM (Critical Path Method), Statistical Inference, Linear Programming, and Monte Carlo methods and simulations.




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