a guide to Management Science Theory

Management Science Approach Definition, Contributions, and Limitations

Understanding Management Science Theory/Approach

Management science theory is also called mathematical, quantitative, and operational research approach. Management science theory emphasizes on applications of mathematics and statistics for decision making and solving management problems. This theory focuses on solving technical problems rather than human relation problems. And computer programs are used to analyze the problems.

This theory developed during the Second World War to solve military problems by the UK and USA. After the end of the war, people started using this technique for industrial problems solving. Management science theory is primarily concerned with decision making. Linear programming, game theory, sampling theory, probability theory, simulations, etc are the techniques that managers use to solve resource allocation problems.

Joel Dean and PMS Blackett are the main contributors to this approach.

This theory uses knowledge from different areas to solve the problems. Thus this is mostly useful for solving complex management problems and develop good operational research.

Today it has three branches they are quantitative management, operation management, and information management system.

  1. Quantitative Management:- It is based on the available data and for analyzing it uses linear programming, sampling theory, modeling, etc. to make better decisions by managers.
  2. Operation Management:- It is concerned with the proper utilization of organizational resources and production systems to increase the quality of goods and services produced by the business firm.
  3. Information Management System:- It is a computerized system of storing data used by business organizations for the betterment of using that information at required time and situations.

Contributions and Limitations of Management Science Approach


  • It encourages in use of knowledge from different disciplines.
  • Complex relations among variables can be expressed more effectively.
  • Decisions can be more precise with the use of a mathematical approach.
  • It emphasizes on replacement of intuition and hunch by factual data and logical analysis in the decision-making process.


  • It ignores the human relation aspects.
  • All the assumptions cannot be realistic.
  • Data and facts may not be available all the time.

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