De Haan, J.; J.H. Kwakkel; W.E. Walker; J. Spirco and W.A.H. Thissen: Framing flexibility: Theorising and data mining to develop a useful definition of flexibility and related concepts, pp. 923-933. In: Futures, Volume 43, Issue 9 (November 2011). [s.l.]: Elsevier Science, 2011. ISSN: 0016-3287.
Flexibility is a term used in various fields with widely differing interpretations. Moreover, several related concepts, such as adaptability, exist that have an overlap in meaning or are simply used synonymously. This article presents a framing of flexibility, and three concepts with which it bears a close family resemblance, for the use in the context of infrastructure constellations. The definitions proposed in this frame draw inspiration from existing literature, though they are not based upon a classical literature review. Rather, a usable set of definitions is proposed for the intended context. The definitions all have the same structure to better appreciate how the concepts are related and how they differ. To verify whether the definitions correspond to their practical use, a data-mining exercise is performed on over 11,000 scientific articles that use the concepts of flexibility. After the corpus of articles is identified that is close to the intended field of application (infrastructure constellations), a co-occurrence analysis is carried out in order to clarify the differences between the concepts and to give nuance to the meaning conveyed in the definitions.