THE RELEVANCE AND APPLICATION OF OPERATIONS RESEARCH IN MANAGERIAL IN MANAGERIAL DECISION MAKING IN NIGERIA MANUFACTURING ORGANIZATION

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ABSTRACT

Operations research is one of the most comprehensive research and analysis approaches to decision making. It is a product of World War II. Although its antecedents in scientific method, higher mathematics, and such tools as probability theory go back far beyond that period. There are extensive empirical evidence on its successful application in solving problems in American industries and across Europe. But not much has been heard of its usefulness in Nigeria. This research study is therefore a move toward this direction. The study is focused at findings out the relevance and the extent of application of Operations Research techniques in the decision-making process of managers in manufacturing firms across the Sough Eastern zone of Nigeria. To realize the objective of this study, the quasi-experimental design was employed, likewise, the descriptive research was used because it allows the researcher to look for fresh ideas and insight which helps to explain what was seen and how the identified variables inter-relate. Employing the simple random sampling technique, a sample size of 133 (determined through Saunders formula) out of the 1,482 workers in the six (6) manufacturing firms selected from Abia, Anambra and Imo States was used for this study. Primary data was collected through the administration of structured questionnaire validated by experts to ascertain the appropriateness of the items. Oral interviews were conducted as appropriate simple percentages were also used for data analyses. The Chi-square formular was to test the research hypothesis. The findings of the study showed that Basic statistics, inventory control techniques forecasting technique, Break-even analysis and decision analyses are the most frequently applied operations Research techniques in decision-making process of Nigerian managers in manufacturing firms. Only very few (23% or 31%) managers are familiar with the use of transportation technique, linear programming, computer simulation and PERT/CPM. It was further revealed that these techniques have been successfully applied by Nigerian managers in decision concerning the selection of building sites of plants, pricing, advertising and bidding procedures, development of quantity discount schedules, compatibility analysis for new products, and in locating points of distribution and warehousing. We strongly recommend the formation of Operations Research associations among Nigeria managers in public and private sectors and practitioners for there is none existing for now. This, we feel will encourage the floating of more operations Research journals, and regular mounting of seminars and workshops, thereby improving on the awareness level of the existence and relevance of Operations Research in Nigeria.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Abstract
Table of contents
List of Figures
List of Tables

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the study
1.2       Statement of problem
1.3       Objective of the study
1.4       Research Hypotheses
1.5       The Significance of the study
1.6       The Organization of the study
1.7       Assumptions of the study
1.8       Scope and Limitations of the study
1.9       The Historical Background of the Study Area
            References

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1       Introduction
2.2       Historical Development of Operations Research
2.1.2    Essential Characteristics of Operations Research
2.1.3    Operations Research Methodology
2.2       Operations Research Techniques Used in Managerial Problems
2.2.1    Linear programming
2.2.2    Transportation, Assignment, and Transshipment problems
2.2.3    Network Models
2.2.4    Project Management: PERT/CPM
2.2.5    Inventory Models
2.2.6    Waiting Line Models
2.2.7    Computer Simulation
2.2.8    Decision Analysis
2.2.9    Forecasting Techniques
2.3       Areas of Application of Operations Research
2.3.1    Utilization of Operations Research Techniques in Europe
            References

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1       Introduction
3.2       Research Design
3.3       Data Collection
3.3.1    Desk Survey: Secondary Source
3.3.2    Field survey: Primary Source
3.3       The population of the study
3.4       Sampling Criteria
3.5       Sampling Size
3.6       Data Processing
3.7       Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.0       Introduction
4.1       Data Presentation
4.2       Data Analysis
4.3       Testing of Hypotheses

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDING, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.0       Introduction
5.1       Summary of Findings
5.2       Recommendation
5.3       Conclusion
            Bibliography
            Questionnaire

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The necessity for business enterprises to make effective decision has never been more apparent than it is now. Pressures, primary of an economic nature dictate that business must be run effectively and this can only be done by rational decision making based on the best available approaches and techniques.
Manufacturing industries exist to create products and services that are satisfying to customers at a profit. Thus, the ultimate goal of any concern is to maximize profit by satisfying customer’s want. This however, carries with it a lot of cost implications. According to Ackoff and Arnoff (1980:21) “It will therefore, be proper if the main objective of business as given above is re-stated as to maximize cost and maximize profit effectively and efficiently by satisfying consumer’s want”. This objective cannot be achieved without adequate information, facts and figures upon which decision is based. The provision of the necessary facts, information’s and figures are often seen to be provided by the tool, and technique called Operations Research or Management Science.
Operations Research is one of the most comprehensive research and analysis approaches to decision making. It is a world War II, although its antecedents in scientific method, higher mathematics and such tools as probability theory go back far beyond has followed the whole trend of applying the methods of the physical scientist and the engineer to economic and political problems. It has also been made possible by the development of rapid computing machines.

Fundamentally, decision-making involves the choice between alternative actions. In many cases, alternatives will involve the determination of special numerical values. While in other cases, alternatives may appear to strictly a qualitative nature. Often however, one or more of these alternatives involves taking decisions, which are definitely quantitative. For the mathematically minded manager with an extensive academic background, according to Anderson, et al (1991:40) the use of analytical techniques such as Operation Research present little in the form of problems, but for his more practitioners contemporary whose time and efforts have been more directed towards doing job than researching it, it is totally different matter.

Operations research has been extensively applied in solving completely managerial problems in industries in America and Europe. But not much has been heard of any successful application of this tool in Nigeria. The research study is therefore, an attempt to investigate the relevance and the extent of the application of Operations Research techniques in managerial decisions, using so (6) manufacturing firms selected from Abia, Enugu, Anambra and Imo State as case study.


1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The importance of manufacturing organizations in nation building cannot be over-emphasized. Their contributions to job creation, wealth creation, national. Income industrialization and government’s foreign reserve make them a significant catalyst for economic growth and development. But the Nigeria manufacturing firms have not done much in this direction to the extent showing any appreciable improvements in our march toward industrialization. This, many attribute to:

-                    Persistent High Operating Cost and Expenses

-                    Gross Under – Utilization of installed capacity.

-                    Regular shutting down of the production plants, among others. This research study is however, structured to specifically find out how

the application of Operation Research in managerial decisions could assist in reducing or eliminating these problems.


1.3    OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to investigate the relevance and the extent of applications Research in managerial decisions by managers in manufacturing companies in Nigeria, using some selected manufacturing firms across South Eastern Zone of Nigeria as case study. Other objectives include the following;
(1)        To investigate the main reasons for high mortality rate of manufacturing firms in Nigeria, and specifically in South Eastern Zone of Nigeria.

(2)        To find out how the application of Operations Research techniques can assist in reducing operating cost and expenses in manufacturing firms.

(3)        To find out how and to what extent the application of Operations Research can help to improve capacity utilization in Nigeria manufacturing firms.....

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