Advertisement

Temporal Strategies for Decision-making

  • Gertrude Hirsch HadornEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning book series (LARI, volume 10)

Abstract

Temporal strategies extend decisions over time, for instance by delaying decisions (postponement), reconsidering provisional decisions later on (semi-closure), or partitioning decisions for taking them stepwise (sequential decisions). These strategies allow the decision-makers to use further argumentative methods to learn about, evaluate, and account for the relevant uncertainties. However, temporal strategies also open up opportunities for eschewing the decision problem. I propose four general criteria that serve as a heuristic to structure reasoning for and against the application of temporal strategies to a decision problem: the relevance of considering uncertainties for taking a decision, the feasability of improving information on or evaluating relevant uncertainties; the acceptability of trade-offs related to the temporal strategy, and the maintenance of governing decision-making over time. These criteria need to be specified and weighted in each case of application. Instead of determining a temporal strategy, the criteria provide a framework for systematic deliberation.

Keywords

Closure Postponement Semi-closure Sequential decisions Great uncertainty Decision procedure Adaptive governance 

Recommended Readings

  1. Dietz, T., Ostrom, E., & Stern, P. C. (2003). The struggle to govern the commons. Science, 302,1907–1912. doi: 10.1126/science.1091015.
  2. Hammond, J. S., Keeney, R. L., & Raiffa, H. (1999). Smart choices: A practical guide to making better decisions. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  3. Parson, E. A., & Karwat, D. (2011). Sequential climate change policy. WIREs Climate Change, 2, 744–756. doi: 10.1002/wcc.128.
  4. Trigeorgis, L. (2001). Real options. An overview. In E. S. Schwartz & L. Trigeorgis (Eds.), Real options and investment under uncertainty (pp. 103–134). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Van Hoek, R. I. (2001). The rediscovery of postponement a literature review and directions for research. Journal of Operations Managment, 19, 161–184.Google Scholar

References

  1. Allenspach, U. (2013). Sequences of choices with multiple criteria and thresholds. Implications for rational decisions in the context of sustainability. Zurich: ETH. http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-009773097.Google Scholar
  2. Andreou, C. (2012). Dynamic choice. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2012/entries/dynamic-choice. Accessed 2 Jan 2015.
  3. Beauchemin, K. A., Kreuzer, M., O’Mara, F., & McAllister, T. A. (2008). Nutritional management for enteric methane abatement: A review. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 48, 21–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Betz, G. (2016). Accounting for possibilities in decision-making. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 135–169). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_6.
  5. Bratman, M. E. (2012). Time, rationality, and self-governance. Philosophical Issues, 22, 73–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Broome, J. (2008). The ethics of climate change. Scientific American, June 2008: 69–73.Google Scholar
  7. Brun, G., & Betz, G. (2016). Analysing practical argumentation. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 39–77). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_3.
  8. Brun, G., & Hirsch Hadorn, G. (2008). Ranking policy options for sustainable development. Poiesis & Praxis, 5, 15–30. doi: 10.1007/s10202-007-0034-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brunner, R. (2010). Adaptive governance as a reform strategy. Policy Sciences, 43, 301–341. doi: 10.1007/s11077-010-9117-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dietz, T., Ostrom, E., & Stern, P. C. (2003). The struggle to govern the commons. Science, 302,1907–1912. doi: 10.1126/science.1091015.
  11. Doorn, N. (2016). Reasoning about uncertainty in flood risk governance. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 245–263). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_10.
  12. Edvardsson, K. (2004). Using goals in environmental management: The Swedish system of environmental objectives. Environmental Management, 34, 170–180. doi: 10.1007/s00267-004-3073-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edvardsson Björnberg, K. (2008). Utopian goals. Four objections and a cautious defense. Philosophy in the Contemporary World, 15, 139–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Edvardsson Björnberg, K. (2016). Setting and revising goals. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 171–188). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_7.
  15. Elliott, K. C. (2016). Climate geoengineering. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 305–324). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_13.
  16. Folke, C., Hahn, T., Olsson, P., & Norberg, J. (2005). Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 30, 441–473. doi: 10.1146/annurev.energy.30.050504.144511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Forster, P., Ramaswamy, V., Artaxo, P., Berntsen, T., Betts, R., Fahey, D. W., Haywood, J., Lean, J., Lowe, D. C., Myhre, G., Nganga, J., Prinn, R., Raga, G., Schulz, M., & van Dorland, R. (2007). Changes in atmospheric constituents and in radiative forcing. In S. Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K. Averyt, M. M. B. Tignor, & H. L. R. Miller (Eds.), Climate change 2007: The physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (pp. 131–234). Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Fox, C. R., Bardolet, D., & Lieb, D. (2005). Partition dependence in decision analysis, resource allocation, and consumer choice. In R. Zwick & A. Rapoport (Eds.), Experimental business research (Vol. III, pp. 229–251). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Frederick, S., Loewenstein, G., & O’Donoghue, T. (2003). Time discounting and time preference: A critical review. In G. Loewenstein, D. Reid, & R. Baumeister (Eds.), Time and decision. Economic and psychological perspectives on intertemporal choice (pp. 13–86). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  20. Gregory, R., Ohlson, D., & Arvai, J. (2006). Deconstructing adaptive management: Criteria for applications to environmental management. Ecological Applications, 16, 2411–2425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gross, M., & Hoffmann-Riem, H. (2005). Ecological restoration as a real-world experiment: Designing robust implementation strategies in an urban environment. Public Understanding Science, 14, 269–284. doi: 10.1177/0963662505050791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grüne-Yanoff, T. (2016). Framing. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 189–215). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_8.
  23. Hammitt, J. K., Lempert, R. J., & Schlesinger, M. E. (1992). A sequential decision stategy for abating climate change. Nature, 357, 315–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hammond, J. S., Keeney, R. L., & Raiffa, H. (1999). Smart choices: A practical guide to making better decisions. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  25. Hansson, S. O. (1996). Decision making under great uncertainty. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 26, 369–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hansson, S. O. (2016). Evaluating the uncertainties. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 79–104). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_4.
  27. Hansson, S. O., & Hirsch Hadorn, G. (2016). Introducing the argumentative turn in policy analysis. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 11–35). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_2.
  28. Hirsch Hadorn, G., Brun, G., Soliva, C., Stenke, A., & Peter, T. (2015). Decision strategies for policy decisions under uncertainties: The case of mitigation measures addressing methane emissions from ruminants. Environmental Science & Policy, 52, 110–119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2015.05.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Holling, C. S. (1978). Adaptive environmental assessment and management. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  30. Hulme, M. (2009). Why we disagree about climate change: Understanding controversy, inaction and opportunity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kisperska-Moron, D., & Swierczek, A. (2011). The selected determinants of manufacturing postponement within supply chain context: An international study. Internationl Journal of Production Economics, 133, 192–200. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2010.09.018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Levi, I. (1984). Decisions and revisions. Philosophical essays on knowledge and value. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McClennen, E. F. (1990). Rationality and dynamic choice. Foundational exporations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Möller, N. (2016). Value uncertainty. In S. O. Hansson & G. Hirsch Hadorn (Eds.), The argumentative turn in policy analysis. Reasoning about uncertainty (pp. 105–133). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_5.
  35. Oenema, O., Wrage, N., Velthof, G. L., van Groenigen, J. W., Dolfing, J., & Kuikman, P. J. (2005). Trends in global nitrous oxide emissions from animal production systems. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 72, 51–65. doi: 10.1007/s10705-004-7354-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Oxford English Dictionary (OED). (2014). strategy, n. Oxford University Press. http://dictionary.oed.com/. Accessed 10 Sept 2014.
  37. Pahl-Wostl, C. (2007). Transitions towards adaptive management of water facing climate and global change. Water Resource Management, 21, 49–62. doi: 10.1007/s11269-006-9040-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Parson, E. A., & Karwat, D. (2011). Sequential climate change policy. WIREs Climate Change, 2, 744–756. doi: 10.1002/wcc.128.
  39. Schreiber, E. S. G., Berlin, A. R., Nicol, S. J., & Todd, C. R. (2004). Adaptive management: A synthesis of current understanding and effective application. Ecological Management & Restauration, 5, 117–182. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2004.00206.x.Google Scholar
  40. Singer, P., & Mason, J. (2006). The way we eat. Why our food choices matter. Emmaus: Rodale.Google Scholar
  41. Smith, P., Martino, D., Cai, Z., Gwary, D., Janzen, H., Kumar, P., McCarl, B., Ogle, S., O’Mara, F., Rice, C., Scholes, B., & Sirotenko, O. (2007). Agriculture. In B. Metz, O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave, & L. A. Meyer (Eds.), Climate change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of working group III to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (pp. 498–540). Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Steinfeld, H., Geber, P., Wassenaar, T., Castel, V., Rosales, M., & de Haan, C. (2006). Livestock’s long shadow: Environmental issues and options. Rome: FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/a0701e/a0701e00.pdf. Accessed 2 Jan 2015.Google Scholar
  43. Swanson, D., Barg, S., Tyler, S., Venema, H., Tomar, S., Badwahl, S., Nair, S., Roy, D., & Drexhage, J. (2010). Seven tools for creative adaptive policies. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 11, 924–939. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2010.04.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tigges, R. (2011). Moratorium 2011 – Das Schicksalsjahr für deutsche Atomkraftwerke: Aufbruch zu einer neuen Energiestrategie für unser Land? http://www.moratorium2011.de/. Accessed 10 Sept 2014.
  45. Tol, R. S. (2005). Adaptation and mitigation: Trad-offs in substance and methods. Environmental Science & Policy, 8, 572–758. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2005.06.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Trigeorgis, L. (2001). Real options. An overview. In E. S. Schwartz & L. Trigeorgis (Eds.), Real options and investment under uncertainty (pp. 103–134). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  47. UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (2008). Challenges and opportunities for mitigation in the agricultural sector (Technical paper no 8). http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2008/tp/08.pdf. Accessed 2 Jan 2015.
  48. Van der Pas, J. W. G. M., Walker, W. E., Marchau, V. A. W. J., van Wee, B., & Kwakkel, J. H. (2013). Operationalizing adaptive policymaking. Futures, 52, 12–26. doi: 10.1016/j.futures.2013.06.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Van Hoek, R. I. (2001). The rediscovery of postponement a literature review and directions for research. Journal of Operations Managment, 19, 161–184.Google Scholar
  50. Van Reedt Dortland, M., Voordijk, H., & Dewulf, G. (2014). Making sense of future uncertainties using real options and scenario planning. Futures, 55, 15–31. doi: 10.1016/j.futures.2013.12.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Walters, C. (1986). Adaptive management of renewable resources. New York: McMillan.Google Scholar
  52. Webster, M., Jabobovits, L., & Norton, J. (2008). Learning about climate change and implications for near-term policy. Climatic Change, 89, 67–85. doi: 10.1007/s10584-008-9406-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Systems ScienceSwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations