Learn and adapt, or perish: The case of the F35 lightning II

Lasse Gerrits*, Peter Marks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We assess to what extent a (co)evolutionary macro level approach enhances our understanding of learning in governance processes. We ask the question: in what ways do actors learn to improve their chances of long-term survival in complex governance processes? We deploy a model of collective decision making moulded upon fitness landscapes to analyze a longitudinal case study of collective (political and administrative) decision making, namely the process of developing and acquiring the F35 Lightning II fighter jet. The study demonstrates that actors learn how to ensure survival over time but create a failing megaproject in the process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1357-1378
Number of pages22
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number7
Early online date8 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Loránd Bodó at the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg (Germany) for collecting the data for this research, as well as the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

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