O.R. in the community

Jones, Sue and Eden, Colin (1981) O.R. in the community. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 32 (5). pp. 335-345. ISSN 0160-5682

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Abstract

For the past eighteen months the authors have been involved in work with a community group attempting to help the unemployed youth of their small city. This paper discusses some of the key differences and similarities they found between this work in the community and more traditional organizations, particularly in terms of client-consultant expectations and their "organizational" context. The authors were made aware of the inadequacy of traditional O.R. techniques for helping their clients and the paper also describes some of the unconventional methods they were forced to turn to in order to offer realistic and relevant help with this complex "mess" of multiple problems, nested feedback loops and subjective, political beliefs not amenable to quantification.