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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Christine Domegan, Patricia McHugh, Brian Joseph Biroscak, Carol Bryant and Tanja Calis

The purpose of this paper is to show how non-linear causal modelling knowledge, already accumulated by other disciplines, is central to unravelling wicked problem scoping and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how non-linear causal modelling knowledge, already accumulated by other disciplines, is central to unravelling wicked problem scoping and definition in social marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an illustrative case study approach, highlighting three real-world exemplars of causal modelling for wicked problem definition.

Findings

The findings show how the traditional linear research methods of social marketing are not sensitive enough to the dynamics and complexities of wicked problems. A shift to non-linear causal modelling techniques and methods, using interaction as the unit of analysis, provides insight and understanding into the chains of causal dependencies underlying social marketing problems.

Research limitations/implications

This research extends the application of systems thinking in social marketing through the illustration of three non-linear causal modelling techniques, namely, collective intelligence, fuzzy cognitive mapping and system dynamics modelling. Each technique has the capacity to visualise structural and behavioural properties of complex systems and identify the central interactions driving behaviour.

Practical implications

Non-linear causal modelling methods provide a robust platform for practical manifestations of collaborative-based strategic projects in social marketing, when used with participatory research, suitable for micro, meso, macro or systems wide interventions.

Originality/value

The paper identifies non-linear causality as central to wicked problem scoping identification, documentation and analysis in social marketing. This paper advances multi-causal knowledge in the social marketing paradigm by using fuzzy, collective and interpretative methods as a bridge between linear and non-linear causality in wicked problem research.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Josephine Previte and Linda Brennan

Abstract

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

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