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A decision theory perspective on wicked problems, SDGs and stakeholders: the case of deforestation

Alexander, Anthony, Walker, Helen ORCID: and Delabre, Izabela 2022. A decision theory perspective on wicked problems, SDGs and stakeholders: the case of deforestation. Journal of Business Ethics 180 , pp. 975-995. 10.1007/s10551-022-05198-8

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an opportunity to address major social and environmental challenges. As a widely agreed framework they offer a potential way to mobilise stakeholders on a global scale. The manner in which the goals, with time-based targets and specific metrics, are set out within a voluntary reporting process adopted by both governments and business, provides a fascinating and important case for organisational studies. It is both about advancing performance measurement and evidence-based policy-making for sustainable development, and also participation and consultation at a wider, more global scale, than has ever been possible before. This paper contributes to the notion of SDGs as a wicked problem, answering calls for deeper theorisation, via synthesis with core ideas in the management field of decision theory. A case study on the wicked problem of deforestation and its links to supply chains, multi-stakeholder initiatives and SDG reporting, provides an illustration of the relevance of the application of decision theory to wicked problems, presented using a novel conceptual framework. This helps to illustrate new avenues for research and practical application regarding the balance of technocratic and participative approaches for sustainable development.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0167-4544
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 July 2022
Date of Acceptance: 21 June 2022
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 04:08

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