Fostering constructive thinking about the 'wicked problems' of team-work and decision-making in tourism and geography

Şeremet M., Haigh M., Cihangir E.

JOURNAL OF GEOGRAPHY IN HIGHER EDUCATION, vol.45, no.4, pp.517-537, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03098265.2020.1869924
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Geobase
  • Page Numbers: pp.517-537
  • Keywords: "Wicked problems", "Prisoner's Dilemma", tourism Education, teamworking, education for Sustainability, decision Making, online teaching
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Geocapabilities developed during team project-based fieldwork add value to Tourism Geography service modules in professional Tourism and Hospitality Management curricula. This article is based on a case-study in Turkish Higher Education. Here, variations on the Prisoner's Dilemma were used to confront learners with some 'wicked problems' they may face in their professional careers. Comments on their decision processes are compared with those in individual reflective essays. Responses to the Prisoner's Dilemma exercises demonstrate optimism and idealism toward: team cooperation, prioritising sustainability, and investing in people. Reflective essay comments were less optimistic and more coloured by personal experience. Evaluation returns suggest most found these decision-making games helpful in clarifying personal priorities, concerns and values. This heightened self-awareness may be key to helping them to tackle the wicked problems they will face in their future careers.