This is the first of two projected volumes on the history of operational research (OR) in Britain commissioned by the UK Operational Research Society. Based upon a vast array of published and unpublished sources, the book provides an original account of the discipline's pre-war and wartime origins. This serves as a prelude to a wide-ranging analysis of the diffusion of OR into the public and private sectors after 1945. The chapters on the role of OR in iron and steel and coalmining, and its rapid adoption in the UK corporate sector after 1960, will be of particular interest to practitioners. The book also analyses and explains the diffusion of OR into local and central government and provides an informed commentary on the origins and subsequent history of the OR Society. Professor Kirby has related the development of OR in the UK to contemporary developments in the USA. The book concludes with a resume of the post-1970 debates concerning the future trajectory of OR.
Publisher: Imperial College Press
Number of pages: 476
Weight: 685 g
Dimensions: 200 x 129 x 24 mm
"Although the brief of this book might appear narrow, Kirby has commendably broadened its scope to show the relevance of OR to, or used it as an example of wider historical and economic issues, most obviously in his discussions about the penetration of Taylorism and scientific management in Britain compared to the US." Business History "... is an excellent authorized history, produced for the Operational Research (OR) Society. Its novelty lies not in what it tells us about OR at war but about OR in peace." The Economic History Review "The interesting historical perspective presented by the author shows that the success of operational research in obtaining the status of an independent science considerably increased the level of its technical requirements and therefore is also responsible for a closed-loop mathematical development and a loss of contact with application." Mathematical Reviews