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Operational Research in War and Peace: The British Experience from the 1930s to 1970

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Publication date2003
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherImperial College Press
Number of pages476
ISBN (Print)1-86094-297-0
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This invaluable book provides an account of Operational Research in Britain, the country of its inception, from the late 1930s to 1970. Originating in response to the country's air defence needs against the Luftwaffe, Operational Research had outstanding achievements as part of the 'secret war' against Nazi Germany. After 1945, the discipline began to be adopted in an increasing range of industries and services. In the 1960s — by which time it was being incorporated in to university curricula — the discipline began to penetrate into civil government departments. The history of Operational Research provides unique insights into the conduct of modern warfare, the professionalisation of business management and the modernisation of the civil service. The chronological coverage, from the late 1930s to 1970, coincides with 'golden age' of Operational Research, when the discipline was presented as a means of achieving optimum solutions to complex managerial problems. The book will be of interest to military and business historians, as well as to historians of public administration and higher education.