Operations Research


Basically it is a branch of mathematics which provides a solid base to management to take timely and effective decision for any organization.

Historical development:

OPERATIONS RESEARCH is a branch of mathematics - specially applied mathematics, used to provide a scientific base for management to take timely and effective decisions to their problems.

  •    It tries to avoid the dangers from taking decisions merely by guessing or by using thumb rules.
  •    Management is the multidimensional and dynamic concept.
  •     It is multidimensional, because management problems and their solutions have consequences in several dimensions, such as human, economic social and political fields.
  •     As the manager operates his system in an environment, which will never remain static, hence is dynamic in nature. Hence any manager, while making decisions, considers all aspects in addition to economic aspect, so that his solution should be useful in all aspects.
  •   The general approach is to analyses the problem in economic terms and then implement the solution if it does not aggressive or violent to other aspects like human, social and political constraints.
  •    Management may be considered as the process of integrating the efforts of a purposeful group, or organisation, whose members have at least one common goal.  Most scientific basis for decision making is:The Decision theory
  •    The Mathematical or Quantitative Measurement
  •     Conventional managers were very much worried about that an Operations Research analyst replaces them as a decision maker, but immediately they could appreciated him due to his mathematical and logical knowledge, which he applies while making decisions.
  •     But operations research analyst list out alternative solutions and their consequences to ease manager’s work of decision making.
  •      Operations research gives rationality to decision-making with clear view of possible consequences.
  •      The scope of quantitative methods is very broad.
  •        They are applied in defining the problems and getting solutions of various organizations like, business, Government organizations, and profit making units and non-profit units and service units. They can be applied to variety of problems like deciding plant location, Inventory control, Replacement problems, Production scheduling, return on investment analysis (ROI), Portfolio selection, marketing research and so on.

Two important aspects of quantitative methods are:

a)      Availability of well-structured models and methods in solving the problems,

b)      The attitude of search, conducted on a scientific basis, for increased knowledge in the management of organizations.

The advancement in quantitative approach to management problems is due to two facts. They are:

a)      Research efforts have been and are being directed to discover and develop more efficient tools and techniques to solve decision problems of all types.

b)      Through a continuous process of testing new frontiers, attempts have been made to expand the boundaries and application potential of the available techniques.