I was asked by a potential PhD student why departments that do similar things as my department have different names. For example, some of the researchers who work in research areas that are similar to my own are in departments with names such as:
- Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
- Management Science and Engineering
- Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
- Technology and Operations Management
- Decision Sciences
- Business Statistics and Operations Management
- Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics
- Management Science and Operations
He claims that this is confusing, which indeed it is, given that as an "insider" I know that the people in these departments work in very similar research areas.
What is a good explanation for why departments doing similar research often in practice have very different sounding names?