This chapter develops a model of strategic problem-solving in public agencies, generalizing from work on policing, regulation, and organizational problem-solving. Pragmatism adopts an ecological approach to public problems, understanding them as complex, interdependent, and only partially decomposable into simpler and more tractable problems. In response, agency problem-solving must begin in a focused way by identifying areas of tractability, but must build towards more holistic solutions. Pragmatism also supports more proactive problem-solving, in which agencies adopt a preventive stance towards public problems. Strategic problem-solving requires agencies to develop specific competencies for problem analysis and for collaboration with other stakeholders.
Keywords: problem-solving; Herbert Simon; wicked problems; decomposability; strategic management; problem-oriented policing; problem-solving courts
Chapter. 8180 words.
Subjects: Political Theory
Full text: subscription required