Operation Research: Introduction

Historical Background

During the World War II, scientists from United Kingdom studied the strategic and tactical problems associated with air and land defense of the country. The aim of this study was to determine the effective utilization of limited military resources to win the battle. The technique was named operations research. After World War II, operations research technique, were developed and deployed in the decision-making process in complicated situations in various fields, such as Industrial, academic, and government organizations.


The application of scientific methods, techniques and tools to the operation of a system with optimum solution to the problems.

The objective of OR is to provide a scientific basis to the decision-makers or solving problems involving interaction with various components of the organization. This can be achieved by employing a team of scientists from different disciplines to work together for finding the best possible solution in the Interest of the organization as a whole. The solution thus obtained is known as an optimal decision You can also define operations research as “The use of scientific methods to provide criteria for decisions.

Features of Operations Research

1. OR is System Oriented.

OR  Scrutinises the problem from an organisation’s perspective. The result can be optimal for one part of the system while the same can be unfavourable for another part of the system.

2. OR imbibes an inter-disciplinary team approach.

Since no single individual can have a thorough knowledge of all the fast developing scintific know-how, personalities from different scientific and managerial cadre form a team to solve the problem.

3. OR uses scientific method to solve the problems.

4.OR increases effectiveness of the managements’s decision-making ability.

5.OR uses computer to solve large and complex problems.

6. OR offers a quantitative solution.

7. OR also takes into account the human factors.

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