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Reflections on the ORSA Guidelines: A Story, a Poem and a Commentary


  • Paul Peters

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • John Nelson

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Chai Kim

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Eugene Rathswohl

    (University of Pittsburgh)


A story and a poem are presented as vehicles through which to express the authors' impressions of the Guidelines for the practice of operations research issued by the Operations Research Society of America. A commentary on the story and poem is included. This commentary makes the points that the language of the Guidelines is inappropriate to both the practitioner of operations research and his or her client, and that the Guidelines allow and approve of inhumane behavior on the part of a practitioner of operations research. The argument is made that the linguistic problem, if appreciated, can probably be easily rectified. An acceptance of the legitimacy of the second problem, however, is argued to imply a change of attitude.

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  • Paul Peters & John Nelson & Chai Kim & Eugene Rathswohl, 1972. "Reflections on the ORSA Guidelines: A Story, a Poem and a Commentary," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(10), pages 626-629, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:18:y:1972:i:10:p:b626-b629

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. E. Salveson, 1956. "A Problem in Optimal Machine Loading," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(3), pages 232-260, April.
    2. M. Beckman & R. Muth, 1956. "An Inventory Policy for a Case of Lagged Delivery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(2), pages 145-155, January.
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