This is the first of two projected volumes on the history of operational research (OR) in Britain commissioned by the UK Operational Research Society. Based upon a vast array of published and unpublished sources, the book provides an original account of the discipline's pre-war and wartime origins. This serves as a prelude to a wide-ranging analysis of the diffusion of OR into the public and private sectors after 1945. The chapters on the role of OR in iron and steel and coalmining, and its rapid adoption in the UK corporate sector after 1960, will be of particular interest to practitioners. The book also analyses and explains the diffusion of OR into local and central government and provides an informed commentary on the origins and subsequent history of the OR Society. Professor Kirby has related the development of OR in the UK to contemporary developments in the USA. The book concludes with a resume of the post-1970 debates concerning the future trajectory of OR.
* The Origins of Operational Research: Military and Other Antecedents to 1937 * The Beginnings of Operational Research: British Air Strategy, 1920-1940 * The Wartime Diffusion of Operational Research, 1940-1945 * Operational Research in Bomber Command, 1941-1945 * The Postwar Labour Government and Operational Research 1945-1951 * Operational Research in Iron and Steel * Operational Research in Coalmining * The Diffusion of Operational Research After 1960: The Corporate Sector * Operational Research in the Public Sector * The Institutional Development of Operational Research