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A problem-structuring method for complex societal decisions: Its philosophical and psychological dimensions

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  • Hector, Donald
  • Christensen, Carleton
  • Petrie, Jim
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    Abstract

    A novel approach to problem-structuring for decisions relating to the sustainable development of large-scale infrastructure is presented. The philosophical (a critical realist ontology and epistemology), psychological (implications of behavioural and cognitive psychology), and systems dimensions (dynamics and emergent properties) of the problem are discussed, and form the basis of the approach. The problem is structured as a system of "trilemmas" (a means of representing and criticising sets of three competing forces), representing different aspects of the problem and considered in the context of a number of problem dimensions. A case study relating to the development of a sustainable water system for a major Australian metropolis is developed to test the value of the approach.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

    Volume (Year): 193 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 693-708

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:193:y:2009:i:3:p:693-708

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor

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    Keywords: Problem-structuring Complex societal problems Sustainable development Psychology Practical philosophy;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. P. Leviäkangas & S. Michaelides, 2014. "Transport system management under extreme weather risks: views to project appraisal, asset value protection and risk-aware system management," Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 72(1), pages 263-286, May.
    2. Sinclair, Philip, 2011. ""Describing the elephant": A framework for supporting sustainable development processes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 2990-2998, August.

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