Wicked Problems and Social Professional Competence

Taylor, Mark. 2016. Wicked Problems and Social Professional Competence. In: Perry Share; Tamsin Cavaliero and Breda McTaggart, eds. Wicked Problems and Young People: Co-creative teaching for the social professions. Sligo, Ireland: Institute of Technology, Sligo, pp. 9-20. ISBN 9781907592058 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The main aim of this chapter is to speculate on the ‘know-how’ or competence that social professionals need to acquire so as to address wicked problems that involve marginalised young people. Originally, it was assumed that the chapter would be quite easy to write, as it was felt that Knight and Page’s (2007) ‘wicked competences’ framework could be extensively exploited. But this work, in fact, has a rather different emphasis. Attention thus returned to the original presentation of the characteristics of wicked problems (Rittel & Webber 1973); vignettes of these features likely to turn up in social professional work with marginalised youth were devised. Reflections on the social professional ‘know-how’ or competence needed to respond to these
features of wicked problems are offered. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the implications of the theory of wicked problems for competent social professional practice.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


15 June 2016Accepted
15 December 2016Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Mar 2017 14:10

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:25



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