Current status of operations research/management science education at the United Arab Emirates business schools

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    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate current status of operations research/management science education at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) business schools in terms of the position of operational research/management science (OR/MS) course in the curriculum, the title assigned to this course, its objectives, contents, teaching methods, text-books used, assessment methods, and pre-requisites. Design/methodology/approach: Owing to the nature of this paper (exploratory), and the data collected (non-numerical) this paper has adopted qualitative approach to analyze the collected data. Findings: Results reveal that all business schools offering this course offer only one OR/MS course. Results also show that OR/MS course is a business core course in the majority of schools offering this course. It is also found that different titles are assigned to this course at different business schools offering this course. Furthermore, results indicate that the main teaching mode used in this course is lectures and main assessment method is exams. It is found that the prevalent objectives of OR/MS course at the business schools offering this course are: teaching students quantitative skills needed to tackle real-world problems, and teaching students how to use certain OR/MS techniques and how to use software to solve OR/MS models. Research limitations/implications: This paper like any other paper in the social sciences suffers a number of limitations. For example, this paper is based mainly on course syllabus as a mode of obtaining the required data. Therefore, if other modes of data collection, such as, for example, questionnaires are used, more advanced analysis techniques could be used and this in turn might enhance the results of the study. Furthermore, this paper is based mainly on the point of views of the instructors teaching OR/MS course and therefore neglecting the views of the students taking the course. Practical implications: This paper has a number of implications for courses' developers and instructors alike. For courses' developers, they will be aware of current status of OR/MS education in the UAE and this in turn might enable them make better decisions regarding OR/MS courses in terms of objectives, contents, teaching formats, assessment methods, etc. For instructors, they will learn from the experiences of each other and this, of course, will enhance their ability to deliver the course in much more effective manner. Originality/value: Owing to paucity of studies concerning OR/MS education in the Arab countries in general and in the UAE in particular, this paper is the first paper which provides a comprehensive picture of the status of OR/MS education at the UAE business schools.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)191-202
    Number of pages12
    JournalEducation, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Business schools
    • Developing countries
    • Management science
    • Operational research
    • United Arab Emirates

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • General Business,Management and Accounting


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