Marc Le Menestrel
Affiliate Professor of Decision Sciences
OR and Ethics; Philosophy of OR; Uncertainty; Dilemmas; Dynamic Systems
This paper develops the idea that following rules of good OR practice is necessary, but not sufficient for ethical OR. Several challenges of introducing ethical aspects into OR are discussed, evidencing difficulties and ambiguities in the relationship to be established between the OR practitioner and his/her clients, decision-makers or stakeholders. It shows that neither analysis nor modelling work nor the choice of analytical tools is entirely ethically neutral; incomparability, incommensurability and incertitude must be dealt with.The purpose of this article is to detail several difficulties or dilemmas an OR practitioner may be confronted with in the course of his or her assignment. In such situations, following rules of good practice may not be sufficient to indicate how to act in a morally good way. This paper aims at stimulating reflection by structuring the debate; it may leave the reader unsettled—unsettlement being a result and even aim of many discussions in moral philosophy.