Towards understanding and supporting complex decision-making by using game concepts

A case study of the Dutch railway sector

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Decision-making on large infrastructural projects is complex. The complexity arises from the interdependencies within and between technical and social systems. The dynamic environment in which the decision-making takes place adds to this complexity. In this dissertation, we use game concepts to understand complex decision-making processes, and to support these processes. Game concepts describe decision-making situations as a game in which decision makers make (strategic) choices that lead to outcomes. They are particularly useful for addressing the agency of actors, i.e., their responsibility, and the dynamics of the process. Different decision-making processes of the Dutch railway sector are described and interpreted by using game concepts. The game concepts explain a large part of the process and analyses reveal a classification of game concepts over time, decision levels, and interactions. Additionally, this thesis has shown that game concepts are valuable for decision makers themselves to gain insight in the actor complexity of the process and to formulate next steps. To model these decision-making situations, one of the game concepts, the Multi-Issue game, has been formalized.