Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

Theory of constraints

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_1042

In the early 1980s, a novel was published which has subsequently been read by many hundreds of thousands of executives, production planners and shop floor workers. The Goal sets out Eli Goldratt's ideas on how production should be planned. The ideas were developed in the production planning system OPT (Optimized Production Output) which was marketed by Creative Technology, Inc. (Rand, 1990). These ideas were latter broadened to encompass other areas such as marketing, distribution and project management in two further novels, It's Not Luck and Critical Chain and the theory widened to become the Theory of Constraints. Amongst the methods in his approach, Evaporating Clouds and Current Reality Tree have become widely used. Technical details are found in two further books (Goldratt, 1990a, 1990b).

Network planning.


  1. [1]
    Goldratt, E.M. and Cox, J. (1993). The Goal, 2nd ed. Gower, Aldershot, England.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Rand, G.K. (1990). “MRP, JIT and OPT.” In Hendry L.C. and R.W. Eglese, Operational Research Tutorial Papers, 1990. Operational Research Society, Birmingham, England.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Goldratt, E.M. (1994). It's Not Luck. Gower, Aldershot, England.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Goldratt, E.M. (1997). Critical Chain. North River Press, Great Barrington, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Goldratt, E.M. (1990a). What is this thing called the Theory of Constraints? North River Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Goldratt, E.M. (1990b). The Haystack Syndrome. North River Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUnited Kingdom