Synthesis as Conception Shifting

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Title Synthesis as Conception Shifting
Author Houghton, Luke; Metcalfe, M.
Journal Name Journal of the Operational Research Society
Year Published 2010
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract John Dewey's work inspired Simon, Churchman and Ackoff. To encourage rigorous thinking, Dewey makes the rallying cry: Synthesize don't just analyse. Operational research does analysis well. However, our understanding of its conjoint twin, synthesis, may need some more pragmatic rationalization. Synthesis, often confused with systems thinking, is thought to be a process of engagement with alternative conceptions (interpretations) of the problem domain; conceptions that suggest a different solution set. Therefore, this paper explores the proposition that operational research needs to engage more synthesis to complement its skill at analysis. Why synthesis is required, what it is and how it works is explained. Two case studies are provided to demonstrate the mechanisms of synthesis as one part of strategic thinking.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
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Copyright Statement Copyright 2010 Palgrave Macmillan. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of the Operational Research Society. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Journal of the Operational Research Society Volume 61, Issue 6, 953--963 is available online at: 10.1057/jors.2008.188
Volume 61
Issue Number 6
Page from 953
Page to 963
ISSN 0160-5682
Date Accessioned 2010-05-07
Language en_AU
Research Centre Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Organisational Planning and Management
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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