Operational Research and Systems

A Problematic Relationship
  • Paul Keys
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


The material in this book is devoted to an examination of the relationship between two disciplines, operational research (OR) and systems. The two bodies of knowledge both emerged in the decade following the conclusion of the Second World War, and their common history is reinforced by the contribution subsequently made to both disciplines by certain important figures, notably Ackoff, Beer, and Churchman. The relationship is considered from a perspective which concentrates upon OR and systems in relation to problem solving and decision making. Thus an emphasis is placed upon the methodology and process of OR rather than upon the mathematical modeling techniques which have developed within it. Certain aspects of the systems movement equally are not directly addressed; for example, general systems theory, which seeks to provide a conceptual framework useful in many fields of interest, receives little explicit attention. This particular view of the relationship is adopted because it emphasizes a major area where the two disciplines overlap and offers a fruitful arena from which beneficial insights may be gained.


Operational Research Scientific Method System Movement System Idea Wicked Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Keys
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HullHullUK

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