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Actor and Strategy Models

ISBN: 978-1-119-28470-3
416 pages
January 2018
Actor and Strategy Models (1119284708) cover image


A practical how-to guide for more effective rational planning through multi-actor modelling

Rational planning is the cornerstone of a successful initiative, and any plan, policy, or business strategy can only be successful if it has the support of different actors. These actors may be actively pursuing their own agendas, so the plan must not only offer an optimal solution to the problem, but must also fit the needs and abilities of the actors involved. Actor and Strategy Models: Practical Applications and Step-wise Approaches provides a primer on multi-actor modeling, based on the fundamental premise that actor strategies are explained by investigating what actors can do, think, and want to achieve.

Covering a variety of models with detailed background and case examples, this book focuses on practical application. Step-by-step instructions for each approach provide immediately actionable insight, while a general framework for actor and strategy modeling allows the reader to tailor any approach as needed to optimize results in terms of situation-specific planning. Oriented toward real-world strategy, this helpful resource:

  • Provides models that shed light on the multi-actor dimensions of planning, using a variety of analytical approaches
  • Includes literature, theoretical underpinnings, and applications for each method covered
  • Clarifies the similarities, differences, and suitable applications between various actor modelling approaches
  • Provides a step-wise framework for actor and strategy modelling and interactions
  • Offers guidance for the identification, structuring, and measuring of values and perceptions
  • Examines the challenges involved in analyzing actors and strategies

Even before planning begins, an endeavor’s success depends upon a clear understanding of the various actors involved in the planning and implementation stages. From game theory and argumentative analysis, through social network analysis, cognitive mapping, and beyond, Actor and Strategy Models provides valuable insight for more effective planning. 

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Table of Contents



List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Textboxes


Chapter 1: The need for actor and strategy models         

1.1 Actors and decision making 

1.2 Applications of actor and strategy models    

1.3 Scope and structure of this book      


Chapter 2: A framework for actor and strategy modelling            

2.1 What are strategic actors?   

2.2 Conceptual framework for strategic actor interactions            

2.3 Overview of actor and strategy models         

2.4 Step-wise approach for actor and strategy modelling              

2.5 Challenges in modelling strategic actor interactions

2.6 Summary and further reading



Chapter 3: Scanning your actor network as part of problem diagnosis

3.1 Diagnosis for strategic interaction problems

3.2 Stakeholder analysis and actor network scanning      

3.3 Step-wise approach for actor network scanning        

3.4 Case application: Offshore wind energy        

3.5 Summary and further reading



Chapter 4: Identifying, structuring and measuring values: Value-focused thinking          

4.1 Values as fundamental drivers of actor processes

4.2 Value-focused thinking for multi-actor issues

4.3 Step-wise approach for value-focused thinking for multiple actors

4.4 Case application: Rural livelihoods in Tanzania

4.5 Summary and further reading



Chapter 5: Making a move: Analysis of options and conflict graphs         

5.1 Strategic use of resources to shape environments

5.2 Analysis of options

5.3 Step-wise approach for analysis of options

5.4 Case application: Volunteered geographical information

5.5 Case application: Solar power

5.6 Summary and further reading


Chapter 6: Appraising the strategic value of information: Extensive games        

6.1 The role of resources and information in strategic games

6.2 Game theory and social dilemmas

6.3 Step-wise approach for extensive games     

6.4 Case application: Supply chain management

6.5 Summary and further reading


Chapter 7: Looking for coalitions: Cooperative game theory      

7.1 Group capability and cooperation

7.2 Cooperative game theory

7.3 Step-wise approach for analyzing cooperative potential        

7.4 Case application: Renewable energy

7.5 Summary and further reading


Appendix: R Code to Support Cooperative Analyses       

Chapter 8: Identifying opportunities for exchange: Transactional analysis          

8.1 Multi-actor decision making as an exchange of control over resources            

8.2 Transactional analysis

8.3 Step-wise approach for transactional analysis

8.4 Case application: Rural water management in the Netherlands          

8.5 Summary and further reading


Appendix A: Calculation of dependencies

Appendix B: Calculation of equilibrium control


Chapter 9: Capturing problem perceptions: Comparative cognitive mapping

9.1 How perceptions can help explain (in)activity in multi-actor settings

9.2 Comparative cognitive mapping        

9.3 Step-wise approach for comparative cognitive mapping

9.4 Case Application: Pollution control for urban public spaces

9.5 Summary and further reading


Chapter 10: Reconstructing debate: Argumentative analysis

10.1 Debates fuelled by competing claims

10.2 Argumentative analysis

10.3 Step-wise approach for argumentative analysis

10.4 Case application: Watershed protection in the Philippines

10.5 Summary and further reading



Chapter 11: Scrutinizing relations that shape actions: Social network analysis

11.1 The importance of relations between actors             

11.2 Social network analysis       

11.3 Step-wise approach for social network analysis       

11.4 Case application: Innovation network for Internet video services

11.5 Summary and further reading



Chapter 12: Actor models: Comparison and reflection

12.1 When to use what model?

12.2 Illustrative comparison of the use of models for a single case

12.3 Revisiting the challenges involved in analyzing actors and strategies

12.4 Next steps in the future of actor and strategy models          



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Author Information

Leon M. Hermans is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management at Delft University of Technology. His research focuses on the use of actor analysis methods to support public policy analysis and evaluation.

Scott W. Cunningham is an associate professor at the Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management at Delft University of Technology. He combines work in actor modelling and game theory with research in data mining, technology forecasting, and innovation.

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