Operations research/management science in the Arab world: Historical development

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This study aims to review the related literature on operations research (OR)/management science (MS) in the Arab world published during the last three decades. Owing to the nature of this study, an extensive survey of the related literature was conducted and inferences were drawn. The inferences drawn from the literature survey on OR/MS in the Arab world were first, there is a paucity of published real-world applications of OR/ MS. Second, there is a lack of published survey-type studies in most Arab countries, except in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. Third, the majority of published works on OR/MS were of a conceptual nature. A few papers concerned with OR/MS in the Arab world were published during the 1980s, with a special emphasis on conceptual issues rather than on applied or survey-type studies. The 1990s witnessed an increased number of publications on both survey-type and conceptual studies. Since 2000, the number of publications has increased substantially, mainly through conceptual studies. This study has a number of implications for both practitioners and researchers. Practitioners will be made aware of the applications of OR/MS in the Arab world and the type of problems that have been addressed. This, in turn, might motivate the decision makers and the managers to adopt OR/MS approaches in solving their organizations' problems. As a result, this might increase the usage of OR/MS in this part of the world. Researchers will be able to identify the OR/MS research areas that need more attention in the Arab world. The study mainly covers the studies that are written in English and indexed in non-Arabic databases. Although the Arabic works were not surveyed exhaustively, the author reviewed and included some available OR/MS works written in Arabic. This study is considered as the first work of its type in surveying the scholarly publications pertaining to OR/MS in the Arab world since the 1980s.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-69
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Transactions in Operational Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


    • Arab world
    • Developing countries
    • History of OR/MS
    • Literature survey
    • Management science
    • Operations research

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Strategy and Management
    • Management Science and Operations Research
    • Management of Technology and Innovation


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