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In-formation on the prairie: signs, patterns, systems and prairie dogs

Beynon-Davies, Paul ORCID: 2011. In-formation on the prairie: signs, patterns, systems and prairie dogs. International Journal of Information Management 31 (4) , pp. 307-316. 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2010.12.001

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The concept of information is clearly foundational to the ‘information’ disciplines but lacking in a clear conceptual foundation. In this paper we propose that the concept is clearly overloaded and suggest that a new vocabulary is needed to enhance our powers of understanding and explanation. We argue that information is better situated at the intersection of signs, patterns and systems, which involves the enactment of forma (the substance of a sign), informa (the content of a sign) and performa (the use of signs in coordinated action). Within this perspective ‘information’ is considered an accomplishment not only of humans but also of animals. This leads us to use a well-documented case from the animal kingdom, that of communication amongst Gunnison prairie dogs, to both ground and expand upon significant elements from our conceptual framework. This we believe helps shed new light on what the juxtaposition of information with behaviour actually means.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information ; Significance ; Signs ; Patterns ; Systems
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0268-4012
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 08:45

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