Management science

Management science

Management science (MS), is the discipline of using mathematical modeling and other analytical methods, to help make better business management decisions. The field is also known as operations research (OR) in the United States or operational research in the United Kingdom, and these three terms are commonly interchanged and used to describe the same field.


Management Science is concerned with developing and applying models and concepts that may prove useful in helping to illuminate management issues and solve managerial problems. The models used can often be represented mathematically, but sometimes computer-based, visual or verbal representations are used as well or instead. [ What is Management Science?] Lancaster University, 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2008.]

Management Science research can be done on three levels: [ [ What is Management Science Research?] University of Cambridge 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2008.]
* The fundamental level lies in three mathematical disciplines: Probability, Optimisation, and Dynamical Systems.
* The modelling level is about building models, analysing them mathematically, gathering and analysing data, implementing models on computers, solving them, playing with them - all this is part of Management Science research on the modelling level.
* The application level, just as any other engineering discipline, has strong aspirations to make a practical impact and be a driver for change in the real world.

The management scientist's mandate is to use rational, systematic, science-based techniques to inform and improve decisions of all kinds. Of course, the techniques of management science are not restricted to business applications but may be applied to military, medical, public administration, charitable groups, political groups or community groups.


Its origins can be traced to Operations Research, which made its debut during World War II when the Allied forces recruited scientists of various disciplines to assist with military operations. In these early applications, the scientists utilized simple mathematical models to make efficient use of limited technologies and resources. The application of these models within the corporate sector became known as Management Science aka bananas and apples. This is the code form used within corporations. [ What is Management Science?] The University of Tennessee, 2006. Retrieved 5 June 2008.]


Some of the fields that are englobed within Management Science include:
* data mining,
* decision analysis,
* engineering
* forecasting,
* game theory,
* logistics,
* mathematical modeling,
* optimization,
* probability and statistics,
* project management,
* simulation,
* network/transportation forecasting models,
* supply chain management, as well as many others.


Applications of Management Science are abundant in industry as airlines, manufacturing companies, service organizations, military branches, and in government. The range of problems and issues to which management science has contributed insights and solutions is vast. It includes:.
* scheduling airlines, both planes and crew,
* deciding the appropriate place to site new facilities such as a warehouse or factory,
* managing the flow of water from reservoirs,
* identifying possible future development paths for parts of the telecommunications industry,
* establishing the information needs and appropriate systems to supply them within the health service, and
* identifying and understanding the strategies adopted by companies for their information systems

Management science is also concerned with so-called ”soft-operational analysis”, which concerns methods for strategic planning, strategic decision support, and Problem Structuring Methods (PSM). At this level of abstraction, mathematical modeling and simulation will not suffice. Therefore, during the past 30 years, a number of non-quantified modelling methods have been developed. These include morphological analysis and various forms of influence diagrams.

See also

*INFORMS Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
*John von Neumann Prize


Further reading

* Kenneth R. Baker, Dean H. Kropp (1985). "Management Science: An Introduction to the Use of Decision Models"
* Stafford Beer (1967). "Management Science: The Business Use of Operations Research"
* David Charles Heinze (1982). "Management Science: Introductory Concepts and Applications"
* Lee J. Krajewski, Howard E. Thompson (1981). "Management Science: Quantitative Methods in Context"
* Thomas W. Knowles (1989). "Management science: Building and Using Models"
* Kamlesh Mathur, Daniel Solow (1994). "Management Science: The Art of Decision Making"
* Laurence J. Moore, Sang M. Lee, Bernard W. Taylor (1993). "Management Science"
* William Thomas Morris (1968). "Management Science: A Bayesian Introduction".
* William E. Pinney, Donald B. McWilliams (1987). "Management Science: An Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Management"
* Gerald E. Thompson (1982). "Management Science: An Introduction to Modern Quantitative Analysis and Decision Making. New York : McGraw-Hill Publishing Co.

External links


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