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Community-Engaged Operations Research: Trends, New Frontiers and Opportunities
Foisie Business School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2017)
  • Michael P Johnson, Jr.
Scholars in multiple disciplines intersecting operations research have developed theory and applications to address the question, how can the decision sciences develop new ways to solve problems of special interest to organizations and individuals situated in geographically, economically and socially circumscribed communities? The motivation for this work is the belief that mission-driven and resource-constrained nonprofit organizations, and underrepresented, underserved, or vulnerable populations may have special needs for analytic and empirical problem-solving methods that have traditionally received less emphasis in traditional operations research and management science research and teaching. Scholarship in this area, alternatively labeled ‘community operational research’ (mostly in the UK and Europe) and ‘community-based operations research’ (mostly in the US) has used a variety of analytical methods to generate insights intended to strengthen organizations and support social change. In this talk, I will discuss the special nature of nonprofit and social welfare-focused decision modeling, review the state of the art in community-engaged OR, and highlight some emerging domains representing opportunities for novel research and applications in OR/MS. I will provide examples of community-engaged OR from my own recent work, including housing foreclosure response, local economic development and community revitalization.
  • Community-based operations research,
  • analytics,
  • qualitative methods,
  • public-sector OR
Publication Date
February 17, 2017
Worcester, MA
Citation Information
Michael P Johnson. "Community-Engaged Operations Research: Trends, New Frontiers and Opportunities" Foisie Business School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2017)
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