Understanding Wicked Problems and Organized Irresponsibility: Challenges for Governing the Sustainable Intensification of Chicken Meat Production

21 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2015

Date Written: October 1, 2014

Abstract

Framing sustainable intensification as a wicked problem reveals how inherent trade-offs and resulting uncertainty and ambiguity block integrated problem solving as promoted by sustainable chain management approaches to production and consumption. The fragmented institutional set-up of the chains avoids that individual actors take responsibility for risks they helped to produce, resulting in ‘organized irresponsibility’. Governance arrangements for sustainable chain management focus especially on reducing risk and uncertainty and ignore trade-offs instead of acknowledging them. For the Dutch chicken meat chain, this article explores how wicked problems and organized irresponsibility influence governance opportunities for sustainable intensification.

Highlights: • Inclusive chain management only partially succeeds in sustainable intensification. • Uncertainties, trade-offs and organized irresponsibility are not considered. • Governance options for addressing these aspects are explored. • Governing sustainable intensification is explored for the Dutch chicken meat chain.

Keywords: wicked problems, organized irresponsibility, chain management, sustainable intensification, food production

JEL Classification: O00, L50, Q20

Suggested Citation

van Bueren, Ellen and Lammerts van Bueren, Edith and van der Zijpp, Akke, Understanding Wicked Problems and Organized Irresponsibility: Challenges for Governing the Sustainable Intensification of Chicken Meat Production (October 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2557295 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2557295

Ellen Van Bueren (Contact Author)

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

Edith Lammerts van Bueren

WU Plant Sciences ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

Akke Van der Zijpp

Wageningen UR ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

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