Management science (MS), is the discipline of using a mathematical model, and other analytical methods, to help make better business management decisions. The field is also known as operations research (OR) in the United States or operational research in the United Kingdom, and these 3 terms are commonly interchanged and used to describe the same field.
Some of the fields that are incorporated into Management Science include: decision analysis, optimization, simulation, forecasting, game theory, network/transportation forecasting models, mathematical modeling, data mining, probability and statistics, resources allocation, project management as well as many others.
The management scientist's mandate is to use rational, systematic, science-based techniques to inform and improve decisions of all kinds. Of course, the techniques of management science are not restricted to business applications but may be applied to military, medical, public administration, charitable groups, political groups or community groups.
Management Science is also concerned with so-called ”soft-operational analysis”, which concerns methods for strategic planning, strategic decision support, and Problem Structuring Methods (PSM). At this level of abstraction, mathematical modelling and simulation will not suffice. Therefore, during the past 30 years, a number of non-quantified modelling methods have been developed. These include morphological analysis and various forms of influence diagrams.