Resolving Wicked Problems through Collaboration

Resolving Wicked Problems through Collaboration

Peter J. Denning (Naval Postgraduate School, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch515
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Wicked problems (messes) are tangled social situations that are too costly to stay in and too intransigent to get out of. Collaboration is essential to resolving them. This chapter examines five main ideas: (1) Messes and wicked problems are the most difficult in a hierarchy of difficult problems.(2) Why mess resolution usually involves disruptive innovation. (3) Why collaboration is essential and hard to achieve. (4) Collaboration is a practice generated in six kinds of conversations. (5) Someone who understands the practice of collaboration will find many information technology tools to help with the process: exchangers, coordinators, and games, and can design better tools.

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