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Definitions of operation research

Quite a large number of definitions of operations Research have given from time to time but is not possible to give a uniformly acceptable definition of O.R. however the September 1962 issue of the Operational Research Quarterly (London) the journal O.R. society of U.K. carried out the following definition:

      "Operational Research is the application of the methods of science to complex problems arising in the direction and management of large systems of men, machines materials and money in industry business government and defense. The distinctive approach is to develop a scientific model of the system incorporating measurements of factors such as chance and risk which to predict and compare the outcomes of alternative decision strategies and controls. The purpose is to help management determine its policy and actions scientifically"

      Apart from its length this definition has been criticized because it emphasizes on complex problems and large systems leaving the reader with the impression that it is a highly technical and sophisticated approach appropriate only for large organizations. A few other definitions which are commonly used and widely acceptable are as follows:

      James Lundy writes "OR is the sophisticated name given to a multi-displinary problem oriented approach to the top management problems". It involves the application of the scientific methods in situations where executives require description prediction and comparision for the purpose of making decisions

      Morse & Kimble defines O.R. as "a scientific method of providing executive departments with a quantitative basis for decisions regarding the operations under their control"

      Charchman say "O.R. is the application of scientific methods, techniques and tools to problems involving the operations of systems so as to provide those in control of the operations with optimum solutions to the problem"

      Jagjit Singh states "operations Research is a management activity pursued in two complementary by any routine and the half by the application of a repertoire of well established pre-created methods and techniques."

      According to miller and starr "O.R. is applied decision theory. It uses any scientific mathematical or logical means to attempt to cope with the problems that confront the executive when he tries to achieve a through going rationality in dealing with his decision problems."

      T.L. saaty states "O.R is the art of giving bad answers to problems, to which otherwise have worse answers".

      In the words of Ackoff and Sasieni "O.R. is the application of scientific method y interdisciplinary teams to problems involving the control of organized (man machine) systems so as to provide solutions which best serve the purpose of the organization as a whole'.

      O.R Society of America gave the following definition of O.R.

      "O.R.is experimental and applied science devoted to observing understanding and predicting the behavior of purposeful man-machine systems and Operations Research workers are actively engaged in applying this knowledge to practical problems in business Government and society".

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