The quantitative approach involves the use of quantitative techniques to improve decision making. This approach has also been labeled operations research or management science.

The quantitative approach evolved out of the development o f mathematical and statistical solution to military problems during World War II. After the war was over, many of the techniques that had been used for military problems were applied to the business sector. This approach to management involves application of statistics, optimization models, information models and computer simulations to management activities. Linear programming, for instance is a technique that mangers use to improve resource allocation decisions. Work scheduling can be more efficient as a result of critical path scheduling analysis. Decisions on determining a company’s optimum inventory levels have been significantly influenced by the economic order quantity model. Each of these is an example of quantitative techniques being applied to improve managerial decision making.

The quantitative approach has contributed directly to manager decision making in the areas of planning and control. For instance, when managers make budgeting, scheduling, quality control and similar decisions, they typically rely on quantitative techniques. The availability of sophisticated computer software programs to aid in developing models, equations and formulas has made the use of quantitative techniques somewhat less intimidating for mangers, although they must still be able to interpret the results.

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