Advertisement

Adaptive Management in Social Ecological Systems: Taming the Wicked?

  • Asim ZiaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics book series (LEAF, volume 26)

Abstract

In many publications, Bryan Norton has proposed hierarchical systems theory to understand and manage complex environmental conservation and sustainability problems. In doing so, Norton drew from the decision science and planning theory literature to frame persistent environmental problems, ranging from Herbert Simon’s un-programmed decisions to Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber’s wicked problems. Norton pioneered the development of an adaptive management framework to guide a community and valued-based pragmatic and discursive approach for continually solving and re-solving the wicked environmental management problems. In this chapter, I highlight important ingredients of Norton’s adaptive management framework and synthesize some of the key findings that resulted from applying some of the key elements of Norton’s adaptive management framework in the field setting of addressing the “wicked” problem of tropical deforestation in Tanzania, Vietnam and Peru through a MacArthur Foundation funded project (2006–2011). The following specific problem formulation and valuation issues are explored in this chapter: space-time boundaries; identification of stakeholder values; weights on stakeholder values; and decision rule choice. We discovered that many wicked problems surrounding environmental management persist in the field settings due to the stakeholder power asymmetries, conflicting values, politics of scale across different space time horizons and institutional inertia. I propose that institutional designs and governance processes operating at different levels of the space-time hierarchy—ranging from a person’s ambit to their community, city, state, country and planetary scales—must also be examined and addressed for adaptive management in social ecological systems.

Keywords

Hierarchical systems theory Adaptive management Biodiversity conservation International development Social ecological systems Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 

References

  1. Abaulsamh, R.A., B. Carlin, and R.R. McDaniel Jr. 1990. Problem structuring heuristics in strategic decision making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 45 (2): 159–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderton, D.L., A.B. Anderson, M. Oakes, and M.R. Fraser. 1994. Environmental equity: The demographics of dumping. Demography 31 (2): 229–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andrews, C.J. 2002. Humble analysis: The practice of joint fact-finding. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  4. Bowen, W.M., and M.V. Wells. 2002. The politics and reality of environmental justice: A history and considerations for public administrators and policy makers. Public Administration Review 62 (6): 688–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buchanan, J.T., E.J. Henig, and M.I. Henig. 1998. Objectivity and subjectivity in the decision-making process. Annals of Operations Research 80: 333–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coenen, F.H.J.M., D. Huitema, and L.J. O’Toole (eds.). 1998. Participation and the quality of environmental decision making. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  7. Conklin, J. 2001. Wicked problems and social complexity. http://cognexus.org/wpf/wickedproblems.pdf. Accessed 21 Aug 2017.
  8. Corner, J., J. Buchanan, and M. Henig. 2001. Dynamic decision problem structuring. Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 10 (3): 129–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davidson, P., and D.L. Anderton. 2000. Demographics of dumping II: A national environmental equity survey and the distribution of hazardous materials handlers. Demography 37 (4): 461–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DeGrace, P., and L.H. Stahl. 1990. Wicked problems, righteous solutions. Prentice Hall: Yourdon Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gregory, R.S., and R.L. Keeney. 1994. Creating policy alternatives using stakeholder values. Management Science 40 (8): 1035–1048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gregory, R.S. 2002. Incorporating value trade-offs into community-based environmental risk decisions. Environmental Values 11: 461–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gregory, R.S., and L. Failing. 2002. Using decision analysis to encourage sound deliberation: Water use planning in British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 21 (3): 492–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gregory, R.S., S. Lichtenstein, and P. Slovic. 1993. Valuing environmental resources: A constructive approach. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 7: 177–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gregory, R.S., T. McDaniels, and D. Fields. 2001. Decision aiding, not dispute resolution: Creating insights through structured environmental decisions. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 20 (3): 415–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hanne, T. 2001. Intelligent strategies for meta multiple criteria decision making. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Henig, M.I., and J.T. Buchanan. 1996. Solving MCDM problems: Process concepts. Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 5 (1): 3–21. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hirsch, P.D., and B.G. Norton. 2012. Thinking like a planet. In Ethical adaptation to climate change: Human virtue of the future, ed. A. Thompson and J. Bendik-Keymer, 317–344. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  19. Hirsch, P.D., W.M. Adams, J.P. Brosius, A. Zia, N. Bariola, and J.L. Dammert. 2011. Acknowledging conservation trade-offs and embracing complexity. Conservation Biology 25 (2): 259–264.Google Scholar
  20. Hwang, C.L., and Yoon. K. 1981. Methods for multiple attribute decision making. In Multiple attribute decision making (pp. 58–191). Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Janis, I., and L. Mann. 1977. Decision making: A psychological analysis of conflict, choice and commitment. New York: Free.Google Scholar
  22. Kahneman, D., and A. Tversky. 1979. Prospect theory: Analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica 47 (2): 263–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kahneman, D., and A. Tversky. 1982. The psychology of preferences. Scientific American 246: 160–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kahneman, D., and A. Tversky. 1988. Risk and rationality: Can normative and descriptive analysis be reconciled?. College Park, MD: Institute of Philosophy and Public Policy.Google Scholar
  25. Kahneman, D., J.L. Knetsch, and V.K. Smith. 1992. Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 22: 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keeney, R.L. 1988. Building models of values. European Journal of Operational Research 37 (2): 149–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Keeney, R.L. 1992. Value focused thinking. Cambridge: Harvard.Google Scholar
  28. Keeney, R.L. 1996. Value-focused thinking: Identifying decision opportunities and creating alternatives. European Journal of Operational Research 92 (3): 537–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Keeney, R.L., and H. Raiffa. 1976. Decisions with multiple objectives. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  30. Leopold, A. 1949. A sand county Almanac. New York: Ballantine.Google Scholar
  31. McShane, T.O., P.D. Hirsch, T.C. Trung, A.N. Songorwa, A. Kinzig, B. Monteferri, D. Mutekanga, H. Van Thang, J.L. Dammert, M. Pulgar-Vidal, and M. Welch-Devine. 2011. Hard choices: Making trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and human well-being. Biological Conservation 144 (3): 966–972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mintzberg, H., D. Raisinghani, and A. Theoret. 1976. The structure of ‘unstructured’ decision processes. Administrative Science Quarterly 21 (2): 246–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moffett, A., and S. Sarkar. 2006. Incorporating multiple criteria into the design of conservation area networks: A minireview with recommendations. Diversity and Distributions 12 (2): 125–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Norton, B.G. 1994. Toward unity among environmentalists. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Norton, B.G. 2003. Searching for sustainability: Interdisciplinary essays in the philosophy of conservation biology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Norton, B.G. 2005. Sustainability: A philosophy of adaptive ecosystem management. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Norton, B.G. 2015. Sustainable values, sustainable change: A guide to environmental decision making. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Norton, B.G., and A. Steinemann. 2001. Environmental values and adaptive management. Environmental Values 10: 473–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Norton, B.G., and B. Hannon. 1997. Environmental values: A place-based theory. Environmental Ethics 19: 227–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Norton, B.G., and B. Hannon. 1998. Democracy and sense of place values in environmental policy. Philosophy and Geography 3: 119–146.Google Scholar
  41. Norton, B.G., and D. Noonan. 2007. Ecology and valuation: big changes needed. Ecological Economics 63 (4): 664–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Norton, B.G., and R.E. Ulanowicz. 1992. Scale and biodiversity policy: A hierarchical approach. Ambio 1992 (May 1): 244–249.Google Scholar
  43. Perry, W., and J. Moffat. 1997. Developing models of decision making. Journal of the Operational Research Society 48 (5): 457–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rittel, H.W.J., and M. Webber. 1973. Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences 4: 155–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sager, T. 1997. Planning and the liberal paradox: A democratic dilemma in social choice. Journal of Planning Literature 12: 16–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Simon, H.A. 1955. A behavioral model of rational choice. Quarterly Journal of Economics 69 (1): 99–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Simon, H.A. 1973. The structure of ill structured problems. Artificial Intelligence 4 (3–4): 181–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Simon, H.A. 1982. Models of bounded rationality. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  49. Taket, A., and L. White. 1997. Wanted: Dead OR alive—ways of using problem structuring methods in community OR. International Transactions in Operational Research 4 (2): 99–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Taquino, M.C., D. Parisi, and D.A. Gill. 2002. Units of analysis and the environmental justice hypothesis: The case of industrial hog farms. Social Science Quarterly 83 (1): 298–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. von Neumann, J., and O. Morgenstern. 1944. Theory of games and economic behavior. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Winterfeldt, D.V., and W. Edwards. 1986. Decision analysis and behavioral research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Wooley, R.N., and M. Pidd. 1981. Problem structuring—a literature review. Journal of the Operational Research Society 32 (3): 197–206.Google Scholar
  54. Wright, G., and P. Goodwin. 1999. Value elicitation for personal consequential decisions. Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 8 (1): 3–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yu, P.L. 1979. Second-order game problem: decision dynamics in gaming phenomena. Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications 27: 147–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zia, A. 2013. Post-kyoto climate governance: Confronting the politics of scale, ideology, and knowledge. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Zia, A., S. Kauffman, and S. Niiranen. 2012. The prospects and limits of algorithms in simulating creative decision making. Emergence: Complexity and Organization (E:CO)—An International Transdisciplinary Journal of Complex Social Systems 14 (3): 89–109.Google Scholar
  58. Zia, A., B.G. Norton, S.S. Metcalf, P.D. Hirsch, and B.M. Hannon. 2014. Spatial discounting, place attachment, and environmental concern: Toward an ambit-based theory of sense of place. Journal of Environmental Psychology 40: 283–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zia, A., P. Hirsch, H.V. Thang, T.C. Trung, S. O’Connor, T. McShane, P. Brosius, and B.G. Norton. 2015. Eliciting inter-temporal value trade-offs: A deliberative multi-criteria analysis of Vietnam’s Bai Tu Long national park management scenarios. IAFOR Journal of Sustainability, Energy and the Environment 2 (1): 41–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zia, A., P. Hirsch, A.N. Songorwa, D.R. Mutekanga, S. O’Connor, T. McShane, P. Brosius, and B.G. Norton. 2011. Cross-scale value trade-offs in managing social-ecological systems: The politics of scale in Ruaha national park, Tanzania. Ecology and Society 16 (4): 7.  https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-04375-160407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Development & Applied EconomicsUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations