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2018/2019 Technology, Policy and Management Master Complex Systems Engineering and Management
Managing Multi-actor Decision Making
Module Manager
Name E-mail
Dr.ir. B.M. Steenhuisen    B.M.Steenhuisen@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Prof.mr.dr. J.A. de Bruijn    J.A.deBruijn@tudelft.nl
Dr. M.L.C. de Bruijne    M.L.C.deBruijne@tudelft.nl
Prof.mr.dr. E.F. ten Heuvelhof    E.F.tenHeuvelhof@tudelft.nl
Dr.ir. B.M. Steenhuisen    B.M.Steenhuisen@tudelft.nl
Dr. W.W. Veeneman    W.W.Veeneman@tudelft.nl
Responsible for assignments
Name E-mail
Dr.ir. B.M. Steenhuisen    B.M.Steenhuisen@tudelft.nl
Co-responsible for assignments
Name E-mail
Dr. M.L.C. de Bruijne    M.L.C.deBruijne@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Course Contents
Previous courses have focused on, first, diagnosing the complexity of systems and problems and, then, designing for systems and their institutions in the midst of this complexity. This course on multi-actor decision-making goes one step further: realizing change.

We focus on the actors in the system. How do they behave, individually and collectively? What does the system look like from an actor perspective? Why does intentional change often appear so hard? What limits the designability of systems?

By studying how actors are organized collectively, their interdependencies and plurality, we identify key factors that may trouble intentional change, i.e. the wickedness of problems, strategic behaviour of actors and dynamics of the system. How do these factors, in different degrees, influence decision-making and change? For example, what happens when a complicated, expert-based design process takes place in a heavily politicized arena in which power and negotiation skills play important roles? How can we anticipate this decision-making complexity and nevertheless intervene in these systems in deliberate and responsible ways?

In this course, we identify process managerial tactics that may help to manage multi-actor decision-making with its plural rationalities and dynamics of negotiation and design. Next, we learn to use these process managerial tactics from an engineering perspective. How can we incorporate process managerial tactics in our design processes and our interventions?
Study Goals
At the end of this course, students will be able to
explain why actors in networks behave as they do, and how their behaviour evolves
describe different network structures and their practical implications
assess the designability of institutions, systems, policies and technologies
argue why certain process managerial tactics might work under which conditions
create case-specific process managerial tactics to anticipate complex decision-making
integrate process managerial tactics in a design process
manage a design process in a real-life negotiation situation
assess the quality of process designs
reflect on multi-actor decision-making in light of broader scientific and public policy trends and debates
Education Method
design assignment in a group (1/2)
individual argumentative essay (1/2)