How Concepts Solve Management Problems

How Concepts Solve Management Problems

Mike Metcalfe

This book offers a process for conceiving solutions to complex, wicked, messy, swampy or socio-technical problems. When charged with complex problem solving, a useful set of concepts needs to emerge, be agreed, and acted upon. Using relevant examples and solution mapping, Mike Metcalfe explains how pragmatic philosophy can be used as a process for solving such issues.

Chapter 3: Concerns as default concepts

Mike Metcalfe

Subjects: business and management, management education, research methods in business and management, strategic management


Participatory problem-solving requires consideration of stakeholders' concerns. The previous chapter recommended that this include identifying useful concepts to reflect on the problem situation. It is thought that a failure to do this forces us back on to our default concepts. These are our concerns. Unless explicit alternatives are provided, stakeholders can be expected to use their default concepts, their concerns, to solve whatever problems they encounter in the future. This chapter explains how and why stakeholders' concerns provide a starting point for problem-solving through identifying explicit appropriate concepts.

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