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Community-based operations research is the name of a new sub-discipline within operations research and the management sciences. CBOR synthesizes previous practice and research traditions within OR/MS to address problems within the public sector that are often of a localized nature, that address the concerns of citizens affiliated through characteristics of race, ethnicity and class and other ties and that are solved using diverse qualitative and quantitative methods. Solutions to these problems are developed and implemented by formal and informal organizations, and embody a critical perspective towards traditional notions of decisionmakers, stakeholders and analytic methods. The most proximate antecedents of CBOR are the well-studied fields of community operational research, problem structuring methods and soft systems methodologies. This chapter provides a framework for understanding CBOR through key themes such as the importance of place and space, community, disadvantaged populations and multiple methods. It introduces a theory of CBOR, surveys recent literature within CBOR and assesses the presence of CBOR in OR/MS literature, education and practice. After a summary of this book‘s twelve chapters, eleven of which are newly published, the introduction concludes by summarizing the important contributions of CBOR and identifies some promising avenues for future research.


Introduction to Community-Based Operations Research: Decision Modeling for Local Impact and Diverse Populations. Ed. Michael P. Johnson. New York: Springer, 2011.



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