Q1. a. Explain how and why Operation Research methods have been valuable inaiding executive decisions. [5 Marks]b.

Discuss the usefulness of Operation Research in decision making process andthe role of computers in this field. [5 Marks]Answer: a. Churchman, Ackoff and Aruoff have defined “Operations research as the application of scientific methods, techniques and tools to operation of a system with optimum solutions to the problems”. Here Optimum implies the one, which is best of all possiblealternatives. Another definition is that, “Operations research is the use of scientific methods to provide criteria for decisions regarding man, machine, systems involvingrepetitive operations”.Optimization is the act of obtaining the best result under any giv en circumstance. Invarious practical problems we may have to take many technical or managerial decisionsat several stages. The ultimate goal of all such decisions is to either maximize the desired benefit or minimize the effort required. We make decisions in our every day lifewithout even noticing them.Decision making is one of the main activities of a manager or executive. In simple situations decisions are taken simply by common sense, sound judgment and expertisewithout using any mathematics. But here the decisions we are concerned with arerather complex and heavily loaded with responsibility. Examples of such decision arefinding the appropriate product mix when there are large numbers of products withd i f f e r e n t p r o f i t c o n t r i b u t i o n s a n d p r o d u c t i o n r e q u i r e m e n t o r p l a n n i n g p u b l i c transportation network in a town having its own layout of factories, apartments, blockse t c . C e r t a i n l y i n s u c h s i t u a t i o n s a l s o d e c i s i o n m a y b e a r r i v e d a t intuitively frome x p e r i e n c e a n d c o m m o n s e n s e , y e t t h e y a r e m o r e j u d i c i o u s i f b a c k e d u p b y mathematical reasoning. The search of a decision may also be done by trial and error but such a search may be cumbersome and costly. Preparative calculations may avoidlong and costly research. Doing preparative calculations is the purpose of Operationsr e s e a r c h . O p e r a t i o n s r e s e a r c h d o e s m a t h e m a t i c a l s c o r i n g o f c o n s e q u e n c e s o f a decision with the aim of optimizing the use of time, efforts and resources and avoidingblunders.The application of Operations research methods helps in making decisions in suchcom plicated situations. Evidently the main o b j e c t i v e o f O p e r a t i o n s r e s e a r c h i s t o provide a scientific basis to the decision makers for solving the problems involving theinteraction of various components of organization, by employing a team of scientists from different disciplines, all working together for finding a solution which is the best inthe interest of the organization as a whole. The solution thus obtained is known asoptimal decision. b. OR increases the effectiveness of a management Decision making ability. It makesuse of computer to solve large and complex problems.T h e O p e r a t i o n R e s e a r c h p r o b l e m s a r e t i m e c o n s u m i n g a n d i n v o l v e t e d i o u s computations. Even a simple problem with

The advent of computers accelerated the wide -- .few variables take a long time to solve manually and even by a hand calculator.

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