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How OR can contribute to strategy making

Ackermann, Fran (2010) How OR can contribute to strategy making. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 62 (5). pp. 921-923. ISSN 0160-5682

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OR's venture into strategy is relatively recent and on examination of the extant literature it appears to have emerged through two relatively independent directions—each adding to a potentially substantial contribution. These directions or roles emanate from (1) a desire to undertake good analysis (echoing Simon's request for procedural rationality: Simon, 1976); and (2) a wish to manage the complexity that surrounds strategy making if systemically feasible and culturally desirable outcomes (see Checkland and Scholes, 1990) are to be generated. Furthermore, the nascent interest in mixing methods (Mingers and Brocklesby, 1997) additionally contributes to OR's potential contribution to strategy making through providing frameworks that facilitate and articulate the effective integration of the two directions. It is also noted by those working in the mixing methods field (Mingers and Brocklesby, 1997), that mixing methods is apposite for those problems that are complex, and multi-dimensional—a good description for those contemplating developing strategy.