October 21, 2008
Short Profile of Russell L. Ackoff
We are delighted to have permission to post here a short profile of Russell L. Ackoff that will appear in late 2008 or early 2009 as part of a book of profiles of major figures in Operations Research. The profile has been written by two UK academics - Maurice Kirby, Professor of Economic History at the University of Lancaster, and Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics. The book in which it will appear is:
Profiles in Operations Research edited by Saul Gass and Arjang Assad, to be published by Springer.
Russell Ackoff was one of the leading members of the second generation of Operations Researchers who established the subject as an academic discipline in the decades following World War II. As the profile makes clear he became increasingly dissatisfied with the direction that OR was taking, and in the end parted company with it decisively. Nevertheless he has been a strong influence on its development, though his message has been picked up more strongly in Europe and elsewhere than in the United States.
The profile covers not only his work directly in OR, but also his background and early life and studies, as well as some treatment of his position within the systems movement. To download the paper, please click on the following link: Download Ackoffprofile.pdf
Please note that it is copyrighted to Jonathan Rosenhead and Maurice Kirby. It should be noted that it cannot be reproduced or distributed in any form and it should be noted that the final version is to appear in S. Gass and A. Assad "Profiles in Operations Research", Springer, forthcoming 2008. The original publication will be available at springer.com.