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Anthony Stafford Beer

Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR,volume 147)

Abstract

Stafford Beer was one of the most remarkable figures that Operational Research (OR) in any country has produced. A charismatic, even flamboyant character, he founded two major and pioneering OR groups in the U.K., wrote some of the best books about the subject, and was a world leader in the development of systems thinking. He is widely acknowledged as the founder of the field of management cybernetics. This international stature led to his engagement as advisor to several national presidents. His charm, conviction, and force of character opened up opportunities in industry and business, and later in government, which would have been denied to a more conventional figure.

Keywords

  • Operational Research
  • Operational Research Society
  • Viable System Model
  • Good Book
  • Project Assistant

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Acknowledgments

I am writing this profile as someone who was influenced by Stafford while still a student, not least in my choice of career, and who went on to work in two of the OR units, which he established. So, this is an engaged account. My personal experience has been doubly useful in that I know or knew many of the other people who worked with Stafford in those earlier days. I am grateful to a remarkably large number of them for the generous contribution of their recollections.

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Rosenhead, J. (2011). Anthony Stafford Beer. In: Assad, A., Gass, S. (eds) Profiles in Operations Research. International Series in Operations Research & Management Science, vol 147. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-6281-2_32

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