Free Essay Focusing on Strategy as a Wicked Problem

Published: 2022-10-20
Free Essay Focusing on Strategy as a Wicked Problem
Type of paper:  Critical thinking
Categories:  Business strategy
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1185 words
10 min read

Strategies are much vital to the success of every organization. However, today's organizations are facing significant challenges in their attempts to formulate and implement effective strategies. The need to meet the customers' needs plays a significant role in defining how companies create the strategy. Firms that fail to adopt better strategies cannot sustain their survival in today's competitive environment. Just like any other wicked problems, the problem of strategy has got not specific solutions. However, businesses have taken various attempts to tame the effect of the issue in the business setting. John C. Camillus is one of the scholars who have explored the concepts strategy problem as well as the efforts put in place to address the issue. According to his argument, many companies tend to ignore the complications that face them in their operations. They have not developed programs for the growing complexity environment where they are operating. Intensive competition leads to the need for breaking down the big wicked problems facing firms into small problems that can be handled. The degree of difficulty and lack permanent solution makes the issue be categorized as a wicked problem (Camillus 2018, 2). It also associated with frequent causes that cannot be easily described. Camillus used Wal-Mart's situation to create insight on the strategy as a wicked problem. However, there is nothing to indicate the right solution to the issue.

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The Efforts Available For Mitigating the Strategy Problem

As mentioned earlier, organizations have undertaken different initiatives to tame the strategy problem. First and foremost, is the shareholder's involvement through effective communication and consideration of their opinions in the decision-making process and strategy formulation (Camillus 2016, 115). Managing the strategy wickedness is not about being much systematic but with the application of social planning process. The management should organize and brainstorm to identify the critical aspects of the strategy problem and address it from the stakeholders' viewpoint. This will also help to avoid the agency problem which exists between the shareholders and the management where the managers put their selfish gains ahead of the shareholders' interests.

Adopting a participative culture is much essential in addressing the strategy problem even though it is not a permanent solution. Camillus (2018, 5) connotes that documenting ideas and concerns of the stakeholders continually is important for the success of the business. It helps in understanding their needs and paying attention to them during strategy formulation. However, the process is not smoothly applicable in all situations, and it depends on the urgency of the strategy. For example, it might be unrealistic to involve ideas of every stakeholder where urgent action is required to be taken. This acts as one of the major drawbacks of this attempt in mitigating the effect of this wicked problem.

The other option adopted to address strategy problem is by defining the corporate identity. The strategy should be guided by the organizational vision and vision (Clarke and Fuller 2010, 94). The identity of the organization is comprised of the values, competencies, and aspirations which provides the strategic direction for the company. Vision statement indicates the future intended state of the firm while the mission specifies the approaches to be adopted for attaining the anticipated vision. Adopting a strategy that is in line with the set vision and mission helps in minimizing the impacts of the problem. As much as this is one of the most effective ways of handling wicked strategies, not all organizations are capable of developing sound strategies to avoid such issues entirely.

The strategy for organizational success should clearly define the value proposition of the firm. Basing the company's strategic plan on the customers' needs helps in solving some of the strategies problems from the stakeholders' perspective. It is not necessarily essential to focus on the financial performance of the business than it is required in the creation of competitive advantage. Companies which are capable of aligning strategy with the vision and mission have sustained their survival in the market while those that fail are forced to quit operations.

Also, focusing on the action is another active attempt adopted by the organizations in trying to solve the strategy problem. Building an agile organization creates a ready-to-change entity which is useful to implement change with minimum resistance. Trott (2017, 310) asserted that organizational variations are inevitable. Hence, there is much need for establishing a conducive environment which accommodates the changes. Today's organizations operate in a diversified culture where conflict is likely to arise. The management is mandated to establish appropriate strategy focusing on possible consequences that may arise and result to a problem. For instance, effective measures need to be adopted to address employees resistant to change. This can be achieved through the application of proper leadership style. Research has shown democratic leadership is highly accepted, and it helps in mitigating the impacts of the strategy problems. However, the attempt may fail to work effectively as the leadership style does not apply to a given situation. Thus this may not be a solution to the strategy problem. However, it may help in mitigating the impact of the problem. The leaders and the managers ought to be a good role model by setting an example to their followers. This should be accompanied by the involvement of the employees in all levels for the decision-making process.

Novel Idea to Address the Strategy Problem

From the above analysis, it is clear that the strategy problem is a common issue in today's business social environment. The management is faced with numerous problems while trying to adopt effective strategies that address the existing challenges in the business set-up. Adoption of situational leadership creates a flexible organizational culture that allows the adoption of effective strategies for delivering better results. Strategy problem can be handled more conveniently with the application innovation and creativity. The leaders ought to be creative enough to mitigate the wicked strategy problem through the formulation of more effective policies that are highly acceptable. They are also required to embrace strategic thinking for solving the problem at hand (Primer, Meadows and Wright, 2018). Proper planning is a more effective idea of addressing the issue.

Organizations must acknowledge that strategy formulation is a systematic process which requires a step-by-step approach. This will create room for proper planning and paying attention to the possible issues that are anticipated to have a significant impact on organizational performance. The strategy should be accompanied with the evaluation techniques to access its success or ability to meet the intended goals and objectives. Where variations have been identified, proper measures are taken before the problem could become more intensive. These schemes will help in addressing the wicked problems facing today's organizations.


Camillus, J. (2016). Wicked strategies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Camillus, J. (2018). Strategy as a Wicked Problem. Retrieved from

Clarke, A., & Fuller, M. (2010). Collaborative Strategic Management: Strategy Formulation and Implementation by Multi-Organizational Cross-Sector Social Partnerships. Journal Of Business Ethics, 94(S1), 85-101. doi: 10.1007/s10551-011-0781-5

Primer, Meadows, D., & Wright, D. (2018). Thinking in Systems. Retrieved from

Trott, B. (2017). Operaismo and the Wicked Problem of Organization. Journal Of Labor And Society, 20(3), 307-324. doi: 10.1111/wusa.12291

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