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The theory of constraints: a methodology apart?--a comparison with selected OR/MS methodologies

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  • Davies, J.
  • Mabin, V.J.
  • Balderstone, S.J.

Abstract

Mingers (J. Oper. Res. Soc. 54 (2003) 559; Int. Trans. Oper. Res. 7 (2000) 673; J. Mingers, A. Gill (Eds.), Multimethodology: Towards the Theory and Practice of Combining Management Science Methodologies, Wiley, Chichester, 1997), Mingers and Brocklesby (Omega--Int. J. Manage. Sci. 25(5) (1997) 489; Systemist 18(3) (1996) 101) and others have sought to develop classificatory frameworks that would be useful in understanding the nature and characteristics of Operational Research/Management Science (OR/MS) methodologies and the philosophical assumptions underpinning them. This paper extends their work to the domain of methods and methodologies known as the Theory of Constraints (TOC). In particular, the paper helps position TOC methods and tools in relation to traditional OR/MS methodologies, methods and tools, and provides a basis for continuing multi-methodological development across the two domains. The paper concludes that the tools, techniques and methods of TOC can be viewed as a methodological set of complementary hard and soft tools and methods that contribute to all phases of activity and across all three social, personal and material dimensions of the Mingers-Brocklesby framework, and share the ontological and epistemological characteristics and assumptions of extant OR/MS methodologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Davies, J. & Mabin, V.J. & Balderstone, S.J., 2005. "The theory of constraints: a methodology apart?--a comparison with selected OR/MS methodologies," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 506-524, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:33:y:2005:i:6:p:506-524
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ovidiu Vlad, Marcel & Mackey, Michael C., 1995. "Maximum information entropy approach to non-markovian random jump processes with long memory: application to surprisal analysis in molecular dynamics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 215(3), pages 339-360.
    2. John Brocklesby, 1993. "Methodological Complementarism or Separate Paradigm Development—Examining the Options for Enhanced Operational Research," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 18(2), pages 133-158, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lowalekar, Harshal & Ravi, R. Raghavendra, 2017. "Revolutionizing blood bank inventory management using the TOC thinking process: An Indian case study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 89-122.
    2. Sommer, Kim A. & Mabin, Victoria J., 2016. "Insights into the eldercare conundrum through complementary lenses of Boardman's SSM and TOC's Evaporating Cloud," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(1), pages 286-300.
    3. V J Mabin & J Davies & S Kim, 2009. "Rethinking tradeoffs and OR/MS methodology," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 60(10), pages 1384-1395, October.
    4. Ana Gabriela Ramírez-Gutiérrez & Pedro Pablo Cardoso-Castro & Ricardo Tejeida-Padilla, 0. "A Methodological Proposal for the Complementarity of the SSM and the VSM for the Analysis of Viability in Organizations," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-27.
    5. Brocklesby, John, 2009. "Ethics beyond the model: How social dynamics can interfere with ethical practice in operational research/management science," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1073-1082, December.

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