Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

The Management Science School

The management science school provides managers with a scientific basis for solving problems and making decisions. This school grew directly out of the World War II groups (called operational research teams in Great Britain and operations research teams in the United States). Churchman, Ackoff, and Arnoff define the management science approach as an application of the scientific method to problems arising in the operation of a system, and the solving of these problems by solving mathematical equations representing the system.

The term management science sounds very much like scientific management (the approach developed by Taylor), but the two not be confused. The distinguishing characteristics include:

* Managerial decisionsmaking Scientific management is concerned with production tasks and the  efficiency of workers and machines. Management science stresses that efficiency comes from proper planning and making the right decisions.

* Mathematical models In management science, a  mathematical model attempts to reduce a managerial decision to a mathematical form so that the decision-making process can be simulated and  evaluated before the actual decision is made.

* Computer applications The use of the computer has been the driving force behind the emergence of the management science approach.

* Evaluation criteria In management science, model have been evaluated against a set of effectiveness criteria (e.g., revenue, return on investment, and cost savings).

Operations management refers to the various models and techniques in use. Some of the commonly used methods are forecasting, inventory modeling, linear and nonlinear programming, scheduling, simulation, networks models, probability analysis, and break-even analysis. Operations management specialists use these techniques to solve manufacturing problems.

Management information system (MIS) is the most recent subfield of the management science perspective. MIS is a system designed to provide information to managers in a timely and cost-efficient manner. It entails and integrated data base (usually in a computer), a hierarchical information structure, and an orientation toward decision support.

Because management science thought is still evolving, more specific technic can be expected.