How to Market OR/MS Decision Support

How to Market OR/MS Decision Support

Masayuki Ueda (Sapporo University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0267-0.ch007


This research examines what decision makers must do to utilize OR/MS decision support. The author investigates OR/MS decision support from a new viewpoint of service. Firstly, OR/MS decision support provides information to aid in decision making, and it is shown that OR/MS decision support shares characteristics with service and can be considered a kind of service. This paper analyzes OR/MS decision support from the viewpoint of what is necessary for high quality service, and the issue of a communication gap is clarified. Through analyzing preceding research in OR/MS (Operations Research/Management Science), the author discovers a communication gap between decision makers and decision supporters. Finally, the author shows that it is effective to utilize “problem specification”, which is a decision-maker friendly description of problems proposed by research group including the author, as one approach to bridge the communication gap.
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Service science requires multidisciplinary approach that integrates elements of computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, business strategy, management sciences, social and cognitive sciences, legal sciences, and so on (Council on Competitiveness, 2004; IBM Research). OR/MS is commonly thought to play an important role in service science where service are scientifically analyzed. However, as Hidaka (2006) pointed out, services usually include many components that cannot be properly expressed as mathematical models and thus cannot be solved by OR/MS in isolation. It may be caused by human factor or social practice and regulation. For such problems, it is necessary for OR/MS to collaborate with other fields of research.

As mentioned above, OR/MS is in general regarded as one of the tools of service science. Compared with this, this research regards OR/MS (more properly, OR/MS decision support) as one of the objects of research in service science. There are some bodies of research that discuss the necessity of applying OR/MS to service or the expectation to such studies. However, there is little research that explicitly analyzes OR/MS as a service.

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