Managing Complex Systems: The Need to Structure Qualitative Data
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This chapter empirically shows how rigorous and transparent methods can be used to both maintain the integrity of 'softer' data while including it in 'holistic' assessments. It also shows that 'messiness' can be resolved adequately and structured so that qualitative data can be looked at more objectively. The chapter looks at the development of suitable methodologies to elicit such insight, culminating in the authors' own use of these methods to understand communities' responses to natural disasters. It then shows how qualitative data can be represented using structured methods while still retaining its veracity as qualitative data. The chapter explains how this approach can find some common language with best available scientific data, through the similar use of structured methodologies. Social networks play a critical role in resilience to disasters. Agent‐based modelling helps explore the complexity of the situation where social and natural systems are coupled.
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