Operations Research | Operational Research

Knowledge Center

12manage is looking for students. Info

Applying analytical methods to decision-making. Explanation of Operations Research (Eng) | Operational Research (Am).

What is Operations Research? Definition

The terminology "Operations Research" is somewhat unfortunate or even funny, since it is not any more concerned with operations, nor does its application involve any research in the traditional sense. Some good Operations Research definitions are:

  • Operations Research is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. By using techniques such as mathematical modeling to analyze complex situations, operations research gives executives the power to make more effective decisions and build more productive systems.

  • O.R. is the professional discipline that deals with the application of information technology for informed decision-making. It aims to provide a rational bases for decision making by seeking to understand and structure complex situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior and improve system performance. Much of this work is done using analytical and numerical techniques to develop and manipulate mathematical and computer models of organizational systems composed of people, machines, and procedures.

  • O.R. draws upon ideas from engineering, management, mathematics, and psychology to contribute to a wide variety of application domains; the field is closely related to several other fields in the "decision sciences" - applied mathematics, computer science, economics, industrial engineering, and systems engineering.

  • O.R. is the science of rational decision making and the study, design and integration of complex situations and systems with the goal of predicting system behavior and improving or optimizing system performance. It encompasses managerial decision-making, mathematical and computer modeling and the use of information technology for informed decision-making.

As a science, O.R. traces its roots back to World War II, when military planners such as Frederick Lanchester and Patrick Blackett looked for ways to bring scientific calculations to Allied warfare against Nazi Germany. Compare also: Scientific Management.

Typical Operations Research methods and techniques

  • Simulation. Giving you the ability to try out approaches and test ideas for improvement.

  • Optimization. Narrowing your choices to the very best when there are virtually innumerable feasible options. And comparing them.

  • Probability and statistics. Helping you measure risk, mine data to find valuable connections and insights, test conclusions, and make reliable forecasts.

  • Mathematical models.

  • (Complex) algorithms.

  • Visualization.

  • Neural networks.

  • Pattern recognition.

  • Data mining, Data Warehousing.

O.R. can be used for supporting an indefinite number of business decisions.

Typical applications of Operations Research

  • Capital budgeting.

  • Asset allocation.

  • Portfolio selection.

  • Fraud prevention, Anti-Money Laundering.

  • Benchmarking.

  • Marketing channel optimization, Customer segmentation.

  • Direct marketing campaigns, Predicting customer response, Campaign optimization.

  • Supply Chain Planning.

  • Distribution, Routing, Scheduling, Traffic flow optimization.

  • Resource allocation, Staff allocation.

  • Inventory planning.

  • Retail planning, Merchandize optimization.

  • Product mix and blending, Industrial waste reduction.


The Americans use "Operations Research', the British/Europeans use: "Operational Research". Sometimes you can also the following terms: "Management Science", "Industrial Engineering" and "Decision Science" being used to indicate the same discipline.

Special Interest Group - Operations Research | Operational Research

Special Interest Group (271 members)

Forum - Operations Research | Operational Research  

Here you will find interesting and educational discussions.

  Operation Research Case
A shopkeeper has a uniform demand of an item X items per mon...
  Application of Operations Research in HR? (1 reactions)
How can the OR technique be applied to HR methods and functi...
Hot How to Model If... Then
Hi everyone, I need to model a problem that has the followi...

Best Practices - Operations Research | Operational Research

Here you will find the most valuable ideas.

Expert Tips - Operations Research | Operational Research

Here you will find high-quality advice from experts.


What is Managerial Economics?

Operations Research...

Resources - Operations Research | Operational Research

Here you will find powerpoint presentations, micro-learning videos and further information sources.

Soft Systems Methodology in Operations Research

Operations Research...

Game Theory and OR

Operations Research...

An Intro to Operations Research

Operations Research, Operational Research, OR...

Introduction Into Operations Research (OR)

Operations Research, Operational Research...

Introduction to Simulation: Definition, Terminology and Process Steps

Simulation, Complex Systems...

Behavioral Operational Research | Soft OR

Behavioral Operational Research, Soft Operational Research, Behavioural Operational Research...

News about Operations Research


News about Operational Research


Videos about Operations Research


Videos about Operational Research


Presentations about Operations Research


Presentations about Operational Research


Books about Operations Research


Books about Operational Research


More about Operations Research


More about Operational Research


Compare with Operations Research:  Business Intelligence  |  Simulation  |  Benchmarking  |  Regression Analysis  |  Exponential Smoothing  |  CAPM  |  Real Options  |  Game Theory  |  Data Warehousing

Return to Management Hub: Decision-making & Valuation  |  Finance & Investing  |  Human Resources  |  Marketing  |   Strategy  |  Supply Chain & Quality

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group Leader

You here? Sign up for free


About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2019 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.1 - Last updated: 15-10-2019. All names ™ of their owners.