Operational Research as Problem Solving

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


The purpose of the discussion in this chapter is to show how classical OR methodology can be interpreted as being a problem-solving system. The following two chapters will then consider how this system relates to the decision-making system in an organization and the extent to which it is scientific in character. The first task to accomplish here is to define what types of problems OR is deemed capable of tackling and from this definition to establish what it means to solve such problems. A problem-solving system is then seen to be a set of processes which can provide such solutions. The classical OR methodology is then described and illustrated. The various studies used previously to exemplify standard OR problems are used again here. Finally, systems thinking is used to provide a framework in which this methodology can be understood. The notions of hierarchy, emergent properties, communication, and control each highlight particular features of the approach.


Decision Maker Operational Research Performance Indicator Model Solution Scientific Method 
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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