Operational Research in a Developing Country: The Example of Jordan

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Operational research is a western science. Its origins may stem from the wartime experiences of the allied military effort, but the roots go far deeper. Behind the practical developments which have been characteristic of OR in the post-war era, there is an underlying social philosophy which has permitted scientific management and analytical decision-making to flourish. This creed has several facets which are not shared by all societies, and in consequence the ideas of OR may not transfer readily from western nations to others. With improved international communications, and especially the availability of cheap computer programs to apply OR techniques, there is a need for management scientists to proceed with caution in less developed countries. It is easy to prescribe a simple technique whilst failing to diagnose a deeper, more serious, problem in management.

Management science flourishes on the twin foundations of measurement of the past and present, and planning for the future (especially for alternative futures). Implicit in this are commitments to each one. There must be a readiness to take measurements, to make them accurately, and to record them for analysis and use. The widespread acceptance of databases as being good and desirable is an instance of this. On the other hand there must be a willingness to make plans for the future in an atmosphere where discussion and comparisons can take place and decisions be made on the basis of reasoning. Coupled with this is the acceptance of the need to take time over the planning process as an essential part of the manager's task.

Link to material:http://ifors.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ORinJordan1987.pdf