Wicked problems: Implications for policy and management

Head, Brian and Alford, John (2008). Wicked problems: Implications for policy and management. In: Proceedings of: Australasian Political Science Association 2008 Conference. Australasian Political Science Association 2008 Conference, Brisbane, Australia, (). 6-9 July 2008.


Author Head, Brian
Alford, John
Title of paper Wicked problems: Implications for policy and management
Conference name Australasian Political Science Association 2008 Conference
Conference location Brisbane, Australia
Conference dates 6-9 July 2008
Proceedings title Proceedings of: Australasian Political Science Association 2008 Conference
Publication Year 2008
Sub-type Fully published paper
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This paper has three sections. In the first section we examine the conceptual literature on ‘wicked problems’, noting the main dimensions of such problems, and indicating why these issues have been attracting more attention in recent times.

In the second section, we note that there has been very little attention to the implications for policy and public management of how ‘wicked problems’ are identified, understood and managed. We therefore elucidate some of the challenges for traditional approaches in some of the key functional areas of public management, including strategy-making, organisational design, people management, and performance measurement.

In the third section, we draw on public management theory and practice to examine some possible approaches to building a capacity to address complexity and to increase effectiveness in dealing with ‘wicked problems’. We group these approaches under three broad directions: systems thinking; collaboration, including joined-up government; and mobilising adaptive work. We also consider their implications for management structures and systems.
Subjects 1606 Political Science
1605 Policy and Administration
Keyword Organisational design
People management
Performance measurement
Systems thinking
Collaboration
Joined-up government
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

 
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Created: Thu, 04 Mar 2010, 11:26:38 EST by June Temby on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research