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Open Access Developing a Social Marketing Plan to Address Wicked Problems: A Tool for Transforming Learning

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Today's healthcare leaders are grappling with wicked problems, difficult or impossible problems to solve because of incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of the problem with other problems (Lefebvre, 2013). Problems are not wicked in the sense of evil, but rather in the sense of the higher-order thinking skills required to tackle them. To develop these higher-order thinking skills, curriculum needs to balance traditional lecturestyle knowledge transfer with experiential-style pedagogy providing students with the opportunity to synthesize and make meaning out of complex issues and to draw conclusions amid uncertainty. This article presents the process of effecting a social marketing plan project with the objective of developing healthcare leaders with the appropriate competencies to address the wicked problems they will face throughout their careers. This high-impact learning exercise translates easily into the marketing class through the introduction of social marketing concepts and the development of a social marketing plan addressing a wicked healthcare problem. Provided are the details to implement the project and a discussion of the impact and engagement of this pedagogy.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: December 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Health Administration Education (JHAE) is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal which chronicles research, case studies, and essays by leading health administration educators and professionals.
    The Journal addresses key policy issues in health administration management nationally and internationally and is the foremost authoritative guide on the latest academic and professional developments in the field.
    As one of the only professional publications in the field, the Journal sets a standard in health administration education research.

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