Cooper, C and Brown, J and Pidd, M (2004) A taxing problem: the complementary use of hard and soft OR in public policy. Working Paper. The Department of Management Science, Lancaster University.
A review of the UK personal taxation system used a combination of hard and soft OR approaches in a complementary way. The hard OR was based on data mining to increase understanding of individual taxpayers and their changing needs within the personal tax system. The soft OR was based on soft systems methodology with two aims in mind. First, to guide the review and, secondly, as an auditable approach for collecting the views of key internal and external stakeholders. The soft and hard OR were used alongside one another, rather than one providing a contextual scheme for the other. The experience reveals that soft OR is much more than common sense and, that, used in parallel, soft and hard approaches have a powerful synergy
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