chapter  Case Study 2
10 Pages

Seas of energy

Using a systems research approach for a wicked problem
ByPatricia McHugh, Christine Domegan, Marzia Mazzonetto, Sinead Duane, John Joyce, Michelle Devaney, Michael Hogan, Benjamin J. Broome, Joanna Piwowarczyk

Interactive Management is a particularly valuable systems research approach in understanding wicked problems, as the group methodology involves stakeholders from the very beginning – getting them involved in the planning stages, inviting them to help co-define the problem and generating solutions. Despite the importance of Europe's sea area, it is under increasing threat from environmental pressures, including wind and ocean energy, aquaculture and the exploitation of mineral resources, all of which exert environmental pressure leading to the continued deterioration of seas. Warfield's Interactive Management (IM) was the chosen research methodology because of its theoretical basis in systems science and sophisticated problem-solving techniques for wicked problems. The stakeholder consultations consisted of several steps, assisted by interpretative structural modelling software. Idea generation continued until no new barriers were identified by the stakeholders. Value can also be derived from the idea categorisation stage of the IM process where top-voted categories perpetuating energy problems across Sweden, Italy and France/Belgium were identified through voting.