The Wicked Problem

Topics: Problem solving, Sustainability, Wicked problem Pages: 2 (580 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Wicked Problem – Consumption
It is crucial for any business that provides goods and services to have consumption. In today’s society, consumers have many different opinions when it comes to what products and services are delivered and how they affect the economy. Since consumption is vital in order for a business to keep running, disagreements amongst various stakeholders arise which can create a wicked problem. The wicked problem of consumption cannot be solved through one solution or be solved without being intertwined with other issues. Consumption is a big issue when it comes to businesses keeping sustainable. As consumption involves the usage of resources and depletion of materials, many businesses can find it difficult to keep a sustainable image while still providing goods. Peters (2011) mentions that consumers buy too much, and so sustainable consumption may either strike some as an oxymoron or imply that everyone will be purchasing less. These types of problems lead to organizations changing their aims and objectives to better image themselves by “creating a better future in which billions of people can increase their quality of life without increasing their environmental footprint” (Peters, 2011, p. 1). While developed nations desire to reduce consumption and business owners wanting consumption to grow radically, a wicked problem is created. Lee (cited in Peter 2011, p. 1) executive director of ‘SustainAbility’ worries about the term ‘sustainable consumption’ as the millions of people who are lacking goods and services deserve to consume more. As these issues arise, businesses work to improve the sustainability of their products while also ensuring consumers are aware of product lifecycles and their selections. With a wicked problem such as consumption, businesses take various approaches on what to achieve. Companies are called to become value creators that achieve “competitive advantage through the adoption and development of...
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