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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Czesław Mesjasz

To present which properties of social systems can be used in studying and determining their broadly defined security. A core concept of security is to be developed into a…

Abstract

Purpose

To present which properties of social systems can be used in studying and determining their broadly defined security. A core concept of security is to be developed into a typology of attributes of security of social systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The interpretation of security has become one of the most important challenges of theory of international relations and of related areas. Unfortunately, theory only follows the processes and provides descriptions and interpretations. Explanations are rare or superficial. Predictions or normative approaches, essential for security considerations, are mainly embedded either in ideological discourse or in common sense conclusions. A broadly defined systems thinking is applied as an instrument allowing for enhancement of methodology of security research in dealing with complex social phenomena.

Findings

It may not be expected that systems thinking could provide all the answers to the questions arising in security theory and policy. At the same time, it can be shown how strongly the discourse on a broadly defined security, not only in international relations, has been influenced by systems thinking.

Research limitations/implications

It is but an introductory survey study and includes omissions and simplifications that have to be explained in detail in further studies.

Practical implications

An introduction to the further research on the links between systems thinking and discourse on broadly defined security of individuals and social systems.

Originality/value

Allows systems specialists to avoid simplifications in understanding social systems and at the same time helps security specialists to avoid abuses and trivialization of systems thinking.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 35 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2020

John Pike

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that property investors should engage with governments to influence outcomes. Global collaboration is required from the real estate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that property investors should engage with governments to influence outcomes. Global collaboration is required from the real estate investment community, working closely with governments and legislators, to provide a clear road map to zero carbon emissions. Covid-19 has shown how quickly governments around the world can react with draconian responses, including widespread lockdowns, when faced with an existential threat. What bigger existential threat is there than climate change?

Design/methodology/approach

Personal viewpoint from general research.

Findings

Three pillars of likely government and legislative interventions are identified; namely, increased and enhanced energy regulation and carbon pricing to force a rapid switch to green energy sources for buildings; an enhanced role for Energy Performance Certificates, standardised methodologies and strict enforcement; and mandatory reporting of financial and physical climate risks based on the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. It is suggested that property investors should now engage with governments to influence outcomes.

Originality/value

Personal viewpoint to encourage greater involvement of the real estate investment community in governmental and regulatory decision making.

Details

Journal of European Real Estate Research , vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-9269

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2019

Karan Narain, Agam Swami, Anoop Srivastava and Sanjeev Swami

The purpose of this paper is to address both the evolutionary and control aspects associated with the management of artificial superintelligence. Through empirical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address both the evolutionary and control aspects associated with the management of artificial superintelligence. Through empirical analysis, the authors examine the diffusion pattern of those high technologies that can be considered as forerunners to the adoption of artificial superintelligence (ASI).

Design/methodology/approach

The evolutionary perspective is divided into three parts, based on major developments in this area, namely, robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI). The authors then provide several dynamic models of the possible future evolution of superintelligence. These include diffusion modeling, predator–prey models and hostility models. The problem of control in superintelligence is reviewed next, where the authors discuss Asimov’s Laws and IEEE initiative. The authors also provide an empirical analysis of the application of diffusion modeling to three technologies from the industries of manufacturing, communication and energy, which can be considered as potential precursors to the evolution of the field of ASI. The authors conclude with a case study illustrating emerging solutions in the form of long-term social experiments to address the problem of control in superintelligence.

Findings

The results from the empirical analysis of the manufacturing, communication and energy sectors suggest that the technology diffusion model fits well with the data of robotics, telecom and solar installations till date. The results suggest a gradual diffusion process, like any other high technology. Thus, there appears to be no threat of “existential catastrophe” (Bostrom, 2014). The case study indicates that any future threat can be pre-empted by some long-term social measures.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the emerging stream of artificial superintelligence. As humanity comes closer to grappling with the important question of the management and control of this technology for the future, it is important that modeling efforts be made to understand the extant perspective of the development of the high-technology diffusion. Presently, there are relatively few such efforts available in the literature.

Details

Journal of Advances in Management Research, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0972-7981

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Nadine Andrews

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into psychosocial factors influencing sustainability professionals in their work to lead by influencing and improving…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into psychosocial factors influencing sustainability professionals in their work to lead by influencing and improving pro-environmental decision-making in their organisations and to increase understanding of psychosocial factors that affect their effectiveness in achieving desired results.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis as a framework, the study enquires into the lived experience of six research subjects. The participants are sustainability professionals and leaders from the UK and Canada. The primary data source is semi-structured interviews, analysed with micro-discourse analysis.

Findings

Key psychosocial factors involved in participants’ experience are identified, specifically psychological threat-coping strategies, psychological needs, motivation and vitality, finding complex interactions between them. Tensions and trade-offs between competency, relatedness and autonomy needs and coping strategies such as suppression of negative emotion and “deep green” identity are modelled in diagrams to show the dynamics. How these tensions are negotiated has implications for psychological well-being and effectiveness.

Practical/implications

The concepts and models presented in this paper may be of practical use to sustainability professionals, environmentalists and organisation leaders, for example, in identifying interventions to develop inner resources, support authentic and effective action and disrupt maladaptive responses to ecological crisis.

Originality/value

The study contributes insight to understanding of underlying processes shaping environmental cognition and behaviour, particularly in relation to psychological threat-coping strategies and interacting factors. With a transdisciplinary approach, the methodology enables nuanced interpretation of complex phenomena to be generated.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2020

Anna Molnár, Lili Takács and Éva Jakusné Harnos

Politicians' response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide relied on war scenarios having a tradition in disease management. The study contrasts…

Abstract

Purpose

Politicians' response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide relied on war scenarios having a tradition in disease management. The study contrasts how the political measures introduced during the state of emergency were presented by the Prime Minister of Hungary in his social media posts and his speeches and announcements broadcast by public media.

Design/methodology/approach

A computer-assisted content analysis was conducted to extract data on war and military metaphors, followed by a qualitative analysis of the metaphor scenarios used for explaining the situation and justifying action. The role of the prime minister (PM) indicated by the social media posts and by his transcripted speeches was compared with the suggestion of the visual illustrations.

Findings

The study’s findings were that verbal communication shifted between war-related metaphoric to military-related realistic. The third conceptual domain identified was fear. Messages were mostly about national cohesion, however, visually, the PM was the protagonist of the events. The communication proved efficient according to opinion polls.

Originality/value

The research revealed how the securitization of the pandemic took place via the political discourse constructed both for Internet users and traditional media consumers. Metaphors of fear, war and military action created the justification of the declaration of a state of emergency. The PM as a capable and responsible leader was placed in focus of the events. Although verbal messages by the PM were centred on a sense of community and joint action, the personalization of political action was remarkable by indirect means, such as visual messages. The personalization of politics throughout the period researched served the purpose of securitization of the pandemic with the PM as a charismatic leader attracting attention and giving credit to the severity of the threat along with the introduction of extraordinary measures.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 November 2020

J. Ian Norris, Mario P. Casa de Calvo and Robert D. Mather

The paper introduces a new model, the evolutionary-existential model of organizational decision-making. The purpose of the model is to provide an empirical framework for…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper introduces a new model, the evolutionary-existential model of organizational decision-making. The purpose of the model is to provide an empirical framework for understanding the context for decision-making under conditions of existential threat to organizations, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic during the year 2020.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is built on an extensive interdisciplinary literature review, drawing from research in social psychology, management, behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology and consumer behavior. In general, the authors follow Bargal's (2006) call for action research in the spirit of Lewin (1951).

Findings

According to the model, organizational decision-making during the pandemic threat is influenced by (1) existential threat and (2) an unprecedented macroenvironmental context for decision-making. The authors argue that these psychological and macroenvironmental forces may lead to suboptimal decision-making, based on (1) their basic cognitive architecture and (2) specific evolutionary triggers activated by the pandemic. The authors highlight how the interaction between these inputs and the decision context manifest in various social psychological phenomena that are known to impact judgments and decisions.

Practical implications

Simply put, the magnitude and the urgency of the global pandemic call for new and integrative ways of understanding organizational decision-making.

Originality/value

The model is new. Although the authors draw on prior research and theory, the model is uniquely interdisciplinary; further, the authors are able to make specific and unique predictions about the inputs, decision context and their social–psychological consequences for decision-making.

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2020

Wai Ching Choy

This paper explores how the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSARG) securitizes internal security, cultural identity and welfare system through…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores how the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSARG) securitizes internal security, cultural identity and welfare system through refugee policy instruments. It also aims to explore the roles of members of the Legislative Council (Legco) and Chinese newspapers in the securitization process.

Design/methodology/approach

The author analyzed 6 landmark verdicts, 342 related documents of the Legco, 2,386 news coverages and 408 editorials/ column articles from 6 selected Chinese newspapers from 2005 to mid-2019. While documents of the Legco were collected from the Legco archives, news reports, editorials and column articles were gathered on Wisenews with the keywords, namely, refugees, asylum seekers, torture claims and non-refoulement claims.

Findings

The author argues that the advanced comprehensive security approach helps to comprehend the securitization process in Hong Kong. The HKSARG, Legco members of the pro-government camp and pro-government Chinese newspapers perform as securitizing actors who regard refugees as an existential threat to the referent objects, i.e. internal security, cultural identity and welfare system.

Research limitations/implications

There are two significant limitations, namely, the coverage of newspapers and the absence of poll data. This paper merely selected six Chinese newspapers, which do not cover English newspapers and some other Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong. It may neglect some important data. Additionally, owing to the absence of longitudinal poll data, the author chose not to examine the related materials.

Originality/value

This paper intends to be the first study to provide a longitudinal examination of the transformations of current refugee policies in Hong Kong.

Details

Social Transformations in Chinese Societies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1871-2673

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Executive summary
Publication date: 31 May 2019

ISRAEL: Labour party faces existential threats

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-ES244261

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Executive summary
Publication date: 27 December 2018

SUDAN: Bashir will view protests as existential threat

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-ES240838

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Book part
Publication date: 7 September 2018

Dean Karalekas

The China threat is the first and most obvious answer when it comes to the question of threat perception in Taiwan, but the issue encompasses much more. The ruling elite…

Abstract

The China threat is the first and most obvious answer when it comes to the question of threat perception in Taiwan, but the issue encompasses much more. The ruling elite for years considered the subject population a threat, for example, and even the nature and severity of the China threat varies greatly depending on an individual’s identification. How do those who identify as Taiwanese see the consequences of an attack from China? There is a very different threat perception among the Taiwanese population, who view annexation by China in much the same way as their Mainlander counterparts would see annexation by Japan, for example. Persons self-identifying as Taiwanese do not view themselves as being culturally the same as the people across the Taiwan Strait, having grown apart from them (in a cultural sense) over the past 120 years that they have been separated. Moreover, after Taiwan’s long history of being colonized by one alien power after another – from the Dutch and Spanish, to Koxinga, and then the Manchu dynasty; by the Japanese; and finally by the KMT (for being colonized is how many Taiwanese perceive the ROC period) – finally the inhabitants of the island have the opportunity to chart their own future, and enjoy a newfound sovereignty and identity separate from that of any colonizing power: thus the prospect of being colonized by China is anathema, and therefore a much greater existential threat for them than for Mainlanders.

Details

Civil-Military Relations in Taiwan
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-482-4

Keywords

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