Effectiveness Versus Efficiency:Operations Research in a New Light
Operations researchers have traditionally been concerned with well-structured problems which have one best solution or a range of acceptable solutions. Social scientists, on the other hand, deal with hard-to-structure problems in which it is very difficult to define what “best” means let alone find the best solution. Stated differently, operations research attempts to find the most efficient means of reaching a goal given a particular problem formulation. In contrast, social sciences tend to question the validity of the goal itself by treating the problem formulation not as a given but as open to challenge and revision.
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