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Salient features of OR

After having understood the basic concept of OR and the need, one can easily understand its salient features.

1.   System Approach

OR is a system approach as is clear from the conceptual model of OR explained above. It encompasses all the sub-systems and departments of an organization. Since it is a technique that effects the entire organization, optimizing results of one part of the organization is not the proper use of OR. Before applying OR technique the management must understand its impact and implications on the entire organization.

2.   OR is both a Science and an Art

OR has the scientific orientation because of its inherent methodology and scientific methods are used for problem solving. But its implementation needs the art of taking the entire organization along. OR does not experiment but helps in finding solutions. OR must take into account the human factor which is the most important factor in implementing any technique/methods of problem-solving.

3.   Interdependency approach

Problem of organizations could be related with economics, engineering, infrastructure related with markets, management of human resources and so on. If OR has to find a solution to problems related to diverse fields, the OR team must be constituted of members with background disciplines of science, management and engineering etc. Only then practical solutions, which can be implemented, can be found to the advantage of organizations.

4.   Management decision-making

Management of any organization has to make decision, which has, impact on its profitability. All business organizations exist to make profits. Non-business organizations like hospitals, educational institutions, NGO’s etc, generate profits by reducing the inputs and increasing the outputs through effective and efficient management. Decision-making involves generating different alternatives and selecting the best under the given situation. OR helps in making the right decisions.

5.   Quantitative technique

OR is a quantitative technique, which uses mathematical models and finds rational quantitative solutions to the managerial problems. The management may use the OR inputs and take into account the quantitative analysis of the problem in finding the solution in the best interest of the organization.

6.   Use ofInformation Technology (IT)

OR extensively uses the IT for complex mathematical problems to its advantage. OR approach to decision-making depends heavily on the use of computers.