In the field of the physical environment, public managers perceive fragmentation between projects and policies as problematic. This fragmentation leads to complexity and coherence challenges for program management. This PhD thesis analyses how program management uses its connective capacities to cope with such complexity. The cases Policy with Citizens and Amsterdam Metropolitan Region show how program managements’ connective capacities evolve in relation to projects and strategic networks. It then concludes that program management continuously searches for a temporal equilibrium in managing interdependencies. This means that e.g. in project selection strategies, program management balances between 1) relating to a high variety of projects and 2) connecting with major projects to create impact. The effect of each strategy depends on the interaction of fragmented elements in governance processes. Finally, this thesis provides recommendations for public managers coping with complexity. Public managers need to consider program management as a distinctive approach and an adaptive arrangement in complex governance processes. Program managements’ connective capacities can deliver added value in these processes through e.g. reciprocal disciplining and adaptation between multiple actors in regional development. It is also recommended to program management to vary leadership styles to match the need for connective capacity.

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G.R. Teisman (Geert) , J. Edelenbos (Jurian)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

Buijs, J.-M. (2018, November 30). Capacity for Complexity : Evolving connective capacities of program management in complex governance processes. Retrieved from