Iceland: how social mechanisms drove the financial collapse and why it’s a wicked problem

Published on Aug 7, 2017in Journal of Social Marketing
· DOI :10.1108/JSOCM-12-2016-0079
Sarah Duffy5
Estimated H-index: 5
(USYD: University of Sydney),
Gavin Northey11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Auckland),
Patrick van Esch11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Moravian College)
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to extend the macro-social marketing approach by detailing a framework to better understand the driving forces of wicked problems. Design/methodology/approach This is a conceptual paper that uses the financial crisis in Iceland as a demonstrative example to show how social mechanism theory can help social marketers and policy makers overcome complexity and strive for the social transformation they seek. Findings This paper suggests the utility of social mechanism theory for understanding wicked problems, how they came to be and how social marketing practices can be applied to resolve market complexities. Research limitations/implications Social marketers need to identify what is driving what, to plan and implement interventions that will lead to the social change desired. This paper presents a framework that guides the analyst through this social change process. Originality/value This work provides social marketers with the means to understand the “moving parts” of a wicked problem to identify where an intervention is required to achieve the social change sought.
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