Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Decision-support models have values embedded in them and are subjective to varying degrees. Philosophical and ethical perspectives on operations research models are used to describe this subjectivity. Approaches to model building are then suggested that take into account subjectivity and values. For the decisions to reflect the right values, the model must align with the decision-maker’s values. I argue that it is appropriate and important for Christians applying mathematical models to be keenly aware of decision-maker’s values and seek to reflect them in the model. Disaster response planning is presented as an example where incorporating values is challenging. The responding organizations have multifaceted goals. How is equity balanced with efficiency? How is cost and donor interest considered? I report on a study of how Christian relief organizations differ from non-faith based organizations in ways that can be reflected in their logistics procedures and in these models.



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