Integrating Big Data Analytics, Systems Thinking and Viable Systems Approach Towards a Shift from Individual to Collective Intelligence and Collective Knowledge Systems


  • Stefano Armenia Link Campus University
  • Francesca Loia University of Naples Federico II



big data, system thinking, collective knowledge system, collective intelligence, viable system approach


The growing complexity of social systems and the fast technology evolution make central the role of innovative information technologies in complex organisations geared towards collective intelligence processes among the various social actors and analytical tools. These are able to foster participants’ knowledge, manage the feedback through a holistic approach and, hence, shift organisations from a plurality of voices to an interactive intelligence representing the ultimate identity of the organisation itself. In this regard, this paper aims to offer a model for managing external and internal knowledge to support the viability of the organisation (system) in the longer term. The study adopts the interpretative lens provided by Systems Thinking, System Dynamics and Viable System Approach (vSa) to investigate the challenging domain of knowledge and information management for complex systems such as organisations. Therefore, a qualitative and interpretative approach has been chosen to reflect upon Big Data approaches and Collective Knowledge Systems (CKS), embracing a system perspective. The proposed conceptual model shows the crucial role played by the holistic managing of the external and internal knowledge that permits the alignment of the information variety of the organisation to the context and the entities that compose it in order to create harmonic relations. Leveraging on the concepts of vicariance, bricolage and exaptation, several advantages emerge that correlate to the complex system’s ability to reach a greater level of survival by adapting and dynamically evolving itself. The ensuing investigation shows how Systems Thinking and Viable System Approach can provide deep insights into the field of information technology, evidencing the systems thinking contribution in analysing, understanding and managing dimensions and paths of social dynamics. A contribution to previous studies is provided with reference to themes such as Big Data, information and knowledge management.


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How to Cite

Armenia, S., & Loia, F. (2022). Integrating Big Data Analytics, Systems Thinking and Viable Systems Approach Towards a Shift from Individual to Collective Intelligence and Collective Knowledge Systems. PuntOorg International Journal, 7(1), 62–83.