A historic review of management science research in China

John Wang, Ruiliang Yan, Kimberly Hollister, Dan Zhu

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Abstract

The development of management science (MS) in China has been a long and dynamic journey involving many unexpected events. Beginning in 1955 and continuing through the present, the revolution roughly consisted of four stages. The first stage (1955-1965) was characterized by large-scale campaigns. Critical path method (CPM) and optimum seeking method swept the country resulting in astonishing economic efficiencies. The Cultural Revolution halted MS during the second stage (1966-1976). The third stage (1977-1992), began when the door to the outside world was officially opened, but half-closed due to Tiananmen Incident later, and re-opened again owing to spirit of Deng Xiaoping's speech in Southern China. The fourth stage (1992-present) has pushed MS into almost every field, accelerating national modernization. The impact of research by many scholars is evidenced through history by examples that include conducting war, building dams, and developing postal service routes.

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