Exploring the Notion of Information: A Proposal for a Multifaced Understanding

  • Miranda Kajtazi School of Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics, Linnaeus University, Växjö/Kalmar, Sweden
  • Darek M. Haftor School of Business, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Keywords: Information notion, Information society, Literature survey, Content analysis


Man’s notion of ‘information’ is essential as it guides human thinking, planning, and consequent actions. Situations such as the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the financial crisis in Greece in 2010, and the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 are just a few instances of constant growing empirical dilemmas in our global society where information plays a central role. The meaning of what information is has clear implications for how we deal with it in our practical lives, which in turn may give rise to situations that we would prefer to be without. In this sense, the notion of information has evidently presented the need to question what it really means and how it dominates the functioning of our global society. To address this fundamental issue of information, two questions are explored and presented in this paper: What notions of information are dominating the scholarly literature? And what are the differences between these notions? To answer these questions, we have conducted a comprehensive literature survey of more than two hundred scholarly publications. Detailed analyses of the content of these publications identified four kinds of forms of information notions. The results show that these four forms present diverse and opposing views of the notion of information, labelled as the ‘quartet model of information’. These ad-dress different foci, contexts, and challenges. In addition, we propose an alternative and novel understanding of the notion of information, associated with how information functions in our global society. This understanding offers a new perspective intended to address significant needs of the information society.

Author Biographies

Miranda Kajtazi, School of Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics, Linnaeus University, Växjö/Kalmar, Sweden
Miranda Kajtazi is a PhD candidate in Informatics, at the School of Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics, at Lin-naeus University in Sweden. She received a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Växjö University and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from South East European University. Her research interest concerns one of the most crucial resources of our human and social affairs: information. Thus, Miranda explores the interplay of social dynamics and tech-nology by focusing on the causes and consequences of information inadequacy in our global society. She has also worked in industry as a software engineer and a database administrator.
Darek M. Haftor, School of Business, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Darek M. Haftor, PhD (prev. Darek M. Eriksson), is currently an associate professor at the Stockholm University School of Business, Stockholm, Sweden. He has studied the sciences and arts at various universities in Europe and North America, and received his doctorate in Industrial Organization at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. He has spent fifteen years in various managerial positions in the private industry sector, and has worked in Europe and the Middle East. Previ-ously, he has held several academic positions in Sweden, including at the Mid Sweden University, the Luleå University of Technology, and the Linnaeus University, where he is currently affiliated as a senior researcher. Darek is now mainly occu-pied with research and teaching, and is also the Director of Executive Education at the Stockholm University School of Business. His research addresses two main frontiers: the structure and dynamics of information-based organisations and their operations, and the normative conditions inherent in the design, development, and change of any human affairs.
Special Issue: Towards a New Science of Information