Multilingual AI translation:

Wicked problems: The “halting problem” in the social domain


In planning and policy, a wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. It refers to an idea or problem that cannot be fixed, where there is no single solution to the problem; and “wicked” denotes resistance to resolution, rather than evil. Another definition is “a problem whose social complexity means that it has no determinable stopping point”.Moreover, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems. Due to their complexity, wicked problems are often characterized by organized irresponsibility.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_problem


Lönngren, J., & van Poeck, K.. (2021). Wicked problems: a mapping review of the literature. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/13504509.2020.1859415
DOI URL
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Grewatsch, S., Kennedy, S., & Bansal, P.. (2021). Tackling wicked problems in strategic management with systems thinking. Strategic Organization

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/14761270211038635
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Alford, J., & Head, B. W.. (2017). Wicked and less wicked problems: A typology and a contingency framework. Policy and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14494035.2017.1361634
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Schiefloe, P. M.. (2021). The Corona crisis: a wicked problem. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/1403494820970767
DOI URL
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Termeer, C. J. A. M., Dewulf, A., & Biesbroek, R.. (2019). A critical assessment of the wicked problem concept: relevance and usefulness for policy science and practice. Policy and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14494035.2019.1617971
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Hoffman, J., Pelzer, P., Albert, L., Béneker, T., Hajer, M., & Mangnus, A.. (2021). A futuring approach to teaching wicked problems. Journal of Geography in Higher Education

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2020.1869923
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Walls, H. L.. (2018). Wicked problems and a “wicked” solution. Globalization and Health

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1186/s12992-018-0353-x
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Peters, B. G., & Tarpey, M.. (2019). Are wicked problems really so wicked? Perceptions of policy problems. Policy and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14494035.2019.1626595
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Peters, B. G.. (2017). What is so wicked about wicked problems? A conceptual analysis and a research program. Policy and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14494035.2017.1361633
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King, R.. (2021). On Europe, Immigration and Inequality: Brexit as a ‘Wicked Problem’. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/15562948.2020.1821275
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Dentoni, D., Bitzer, V., & Schouten, G.. (2018). Harnessing Wicked Problems in Multi-stakeholder Partnerships. Journal of Business Ethics

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/s10551-018-3858-6
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Niskanen, V. P., Rask, M., & Raisio, H.. (2021). Wicked Problems in Africa: A Systematic Literature Review. SAGE Open

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/21582440211032163
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Turnbull, N., & Hoppe, R.. (2019). Problematizing ‘wickedness’: a critique of the wicked problems concept, from philosophy to practice. Policy and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14494035.2018.1488796
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Head, B. W.. (2019). Forty years of wicked problems literature: forging closer links to policy studies. Policy and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14494035.2018.1488797
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Termeer, C. J. A. M., & Dewulf, A.. (2019). A small wins framework to overcome the evaluation paradox of governing wicked problems. Policy and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14494035.2018.1497933
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Head, B. W., & Alford, J.. (2015). Wicked Problems: Implications for Public Policy and Management. Administration and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0095399713481601
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Thollander, P., Palm, J., & Hedbrant, J.. (2019). Energy efficiency as a wicked problem. Sustainability (Switzerland)

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3390/su11061569
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Sediri, S., Trommetter, M., Frascaria-Lacoste, N., & Fernandez-Manjarrés, J.. (2020). Transformability as a wicked problem: A cautionary tale?. Sustainability (Switzerland)

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3390/SU12155895
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Frey-Heger, C., Gatzweiler, M. K., & Hinings, C. R.. (2021). No End In Sight: How regimes form barriers to addressing the wicked problem of displacement. Organization Studies

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/01708406211044869
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Mason, T. H. E., Pollard, C. R. J., Chimalakonda, D., Guerrero, A. M., Kerr-Smith, C., Milheiras, S. A. G., … Bunnefeld, N.. (2018). Wicked conflict: Using wicked problem thinking for holistic management of conservation conflict. Conservation Letters

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/conl.12460
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Daviter, F.. (2017). Coping, taming or solving: alternative approaches to the governance of wicked problems. Policy Studies

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/01442872.2017.1384543
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Crosby, A., Dunn, J. L., Aditjondro, E., & Rachfiansyah. (2019). Tobacco Control Is a Wicked Problem: Situating Design Responses in Yogyakarta and Banjarmasin. She Ji

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.sheji.2019.09.001
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Smith, K. J.. (2022). Wicked Problems in Pharmacy Education. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Plain numerical DOI: 10.5688/ajpe8491
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Zhang, J., & Kim, Y.. (2016). Digital government and wicked problems: Solution or problem?. Information Polity

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3233/IP-160395
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Jentoft, S., & Chuenpagdee, R.. (2009). Fisheries and coastal governance as a wicked problem. Marine Policy

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2008.12.002
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