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The next phase in information management: using risk to integrate data and facilitate social learning about sustainability


  • Kala Saravanamuthu
  • Carole Brooke
  • Michael Gaffikin


Business intelligence (BI) for the 21st century should reflect the uncertainty inherent in emergent knowledge about complex causal relationships between elements of the ecosystem. However BI constructed by integrating data from multiple sources remain restricted to strong economic signals as its systems cannot cope with the amount and diversity of data about sustainability. BI's non-engagement with weak signals about the impact of unsustainable activities is aggravated by the absence of a single uncontested definition of sustainability. Ecosystem literature advocates grappling with sustainability's characteristic uncertainty-complexity by providing stakeholders with information that fosters capacities for social learning. Here we put forward socially constructed risk-based analytical-deliberative platform that integrates weak environmental signals, thus better representing the uncertainty and complexity aspects of sustainability. An Australian case-study of irrigators is used to examine how our platform integrates weak environmental signals with BI's strong signals, and fosters capacities for social learning among decision-makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Kala Saravanamuthu & Carole Brooke & Michael Gaffikin, 2013. "The next phase in information management: using risk to integrate data and facilitate social learning about sustainability," International Journal of Business and Systems Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(3), pages 266-291.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijbsre:v:7:y:2013:i:3:p:266-291

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