Presenter/Author Information

Roman Lenz

Keywords

indicators, sustainable development, environment, assessment science, systems approach

Start Date

1-7-2002 12:00 AM

Description

It is stated, that ecological theories like the one of organizational levels in living systems, ifcombined with a general systems approach, can be useful also for understanding and manipulating socialsystems and its “hidden socio-cybernetic processes”.Especially in relation to trans-level phenomena affecting different organisational levels, different researchapproaches have to be introduced, showing that descriptive-observational (which also means more holistic)and quantitative-experimental (which also means more reductionistic) approaches are complementary.Therefore, to include all relevant information in delineation and description of systems at any integrationlevel, a ”staircase” or ”scaling” of research steps appears to be the most useful approach. This combinescomparative and quantitative research and is related to the various organisational levels and, also, takes intoaccount that there are continuous transitions between observations and experiments, and between structuresand processes.Landscape management already traditionally deals with practical problems and concepts for solutions.Hence, specific efforts like translating the scientific models and indicators into models and indicators peoplecan understand as well as evaluation procedures of the scientific outcome into a social and political contexthave to be provided. This approach is problem as well as data and knowledge driven, and similar to generalsystems approaches.To conceptually overcome these gaps of interfaces for integration, translation, and communication betweenscience and society we have worked out an Environmental Impact Assessment Multi-level Approach. It is acombination of the multi-level scaling and integration approach, and the environmental impact assessmentconcept.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

An integrated assessment framework for combining general systems and organizational levels

It is stated, that ecological theories like the one of organizational levels in living systems, ifcombined with a general systems approach, can be useful also for understanding and manipulating socialsystems and its “hidden socio-cybernetic processes”.Especially in relation to trans-level phenomena affecting different organisational levels, different researchapproaches have to be introduced, showing that descriptive-observational (which also means more holistic)and quantitative-experimental (which also means more reductionistic) approaches are complementary.Therefore, to include all relevant information in delineation and description of systems at any integrationlevel, a ”staircase” or ”scaling” of research steps appears to be the most useful approach. This combinescomparative and quantitative research and is related to the various organisational levels and, also, takes intoaccount that there are continuous transitions between observations and experiments, and between structuresand processes.Landscape management already traditionally deals with practical problems and concepts for solutions.Hence, specific efforts like translating the scientific models and indicators into models and indicators peoplecan understand as well as evaluation procedures of the scientific outcome into a social and political contexthave to be provided. This approach is problem as well as data and knowledge driven, and similar to generalsystems approaches.To conceptually overcome these gaps of interfaces for integration, translation, and communication betweenscience and society we have worked out an Environmental Impact Assessment Multi-level Approach. It is acombination of the multi-level scaling and integration approach, and the environmental impact assessmentconcept.