Response to Wicked problems article Essay Example

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Brian W. Head and John Alford. (2015). Wicked Problems: implications of public policy and management. . 47 (6), 711-739.

In the Article “Wicked Problems” Head and Alford purposed to explore dimensions of literature research by other authors and point out the main ways of coping with Wicked Problems in Public organizations.

The article addressed a number of points outlined in this paragraph. The nature of Wicked in which they are described as complex in that they are hard to define. Their diversified and complex nature degree is directly proportional to their rate of wickedness.Secondly, the public management shortcomings in dealing with wicked problems entail rigid systems and structures in Public Sector organizations (Grint 2010, p 172). Poor decision making and weak implementation structures also fuel the inability of public sectors to address this issue.

The article proposed a number of strategies which can be applied by public sector leaders. The first one is incorporating adaptive leadership method as opposed to transformational one. It ensures that the leader is in the front role mobilizing other staff members to generate adaptive measures to the wicked problems at hand. Collaboration and coordination is the other main strategy (Grint 2010, p. 180). As addressed by Alford and Head, unified solutions to a problem lessen the friction of their implementation and are a prediction of success. Lastly, despite the fact that wicked problems tend to be beyond human knowledge, cracking a broad spectrum of dealing with the issue could at least a handful of the problems.

Understanding this article is of great relevance to me in regard to my professional development. This is because in future I would want to be a leader who handles wicked problems in a participatory manner in public sector to alleviate the citizens’ social burdens.


Grint, K., 2010. Wicked problems and clumsy solutions: the role of leadership (pp. 169-186). Palgrave Macmillan UK.