Benefits are intrinsic to infrastructure and the public sector, yet these remain a problem for many infrastructure sectors (including transportation), organizations and countries. Much of the focus upon benefit management targets project delivery; by contrast, this study considers system-level benefit management using a transportation case study from New Zealand. In so doing, it investigates why the matter of benefits might be so problematic, and in what way this might affect the integration of projects into the extant system.
The research shows system-level coordination and integration are being lost within the ‘tactical strategy’ of programmes and initiatives. In turn, this is creating a ‘red queen’-like busyness without a real understanding of whether anything has been achieved relative to the intended or necessary outcomes being sought. System stewardship has therefore been advanced as an appropriate response to system- level complexity and a potential enabler of strategic agility and adaptive capacity.
benefit realization, integration, stewardship, system thinking, transportation
 Blom, C. & Guthrie, P., Towards an Investigation of Long-Term Infrastructure Performance [online ahead of print]. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers –EngineeringSustainability, 2016.
 Auckland Transport. 2012-2041 Integrated Transport Programme, Auckland: NewZealand, 2013.
 Breese, R., Benefits Realisation Management: Panacea or False Dawn? InternationalJournal of Project Management, 30(3), pp. 341–351, 2012. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2011.08.007.
 Tillmann, P., Tzortzopolous, P., Sapountzis, S., Formoso, C. & Kagioglou, M., A casestudy on benefits realisation and its contributions for achieving project outcomes.Proceedingsof the 20th IGLC, San Diego: USA, 2012.
 May, D., Sapountzis, S., Yates, K., Kagioglou, M. & Aouad, G., Realising benefitsin primary healthcare infrastructures. Facilities, 27(3/4), pp. 74–87, 2009. DOI:10.1108/02632770910933116.
 State Services Commission, Gateway Review Process Best Practice – Gateway toSuccess(Vol. 0-5). Wellington: New Zealand Government, 2010 (Vol 2), 2013 (Vol.0–1, 3–5).
 NZTA, Economic Evaluation Manual, Wellington: New Zealand, 2013.
 NZTA, Assessment Framework for 2015-18 NLTP, Wellington: New Zealand, 2015.
 Resource Management Act, Pub. L. No. 1991 No 69, Wellington: New Zealand, 1991.
 Oxford English Dictionary (online version), available at http://www.oed.com/, 2016(accessed 10 June 2014).
 Blom, C. & Guthrie, P., Infrastructure Outcomes: What New Project OperationalExpenditureReveals as Missing. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers –MunicipalEngineer, 2016, available at http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/abs/10.1680/jmuen.16.00025.
 Flyvbjerg, B., Skamris Holm, M. & Buhl, S., How common and how large are costoverruns in transport infrastructure projects? Transport Reviews, 23(1), pp. 71–88,2003. DOI: 10.1080/01441640309904.
 Quinet, E., Cost–benefit indicators and transport programming. Fiscal Studies, 32(1),pp. 145–175, 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5890.2011.00130.x.
 Thiry, M. & Deguire, M., Recent developments in project-based organisations. InternationalJournal of Project Management, 25(7), pp. 649–658, 2007. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2007.02.001.
 Lenfle, S. & Loch, C., Has Megaproject Management Lost Its Way? Lessons fromHistory,2015.
 Auckland Council, The Auckland Plan, Auckland: New Zealand, 2012.
 Auckland Transport, Asset Management Plan 2015-2018, Auckland: New Zealand,2015.
 Auckland Transport, Auckland Regional Land Transport Plan 2015-2025, Auckland:New Zealand, 2015.
 Auckland Transport, Regional Public Transport Plan, Auckland: New Zealand, 2015.
 Auckland Transport, Parking Strategy, Auckland: New Zealand, 2015.
 Auckland Transport, Statement of Intent 2014-2017, Auckland: New Zealand, 2014.
 Auckland Transport, Statement of Intent 2015/16- 2018/19, Auckland: New Zealand,2014.
 Mitchell, R., Agle, B. & Wood, D., Toward a theory of stakeholder identification andsalience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of ManagementReview, 22(4), pp. 853–886, 1997. DOI: 10.5465/AMR.1997.9711022105.
 Nadler, D. & Tushman, M., A model for diagnosing organizational behavior. OrganizationalDynamics, 9(2), pp. 35–51, 1980. DOI: 10.1016/0090-2616(80)90039-X.
 Grant, R., Butler, B., Hung, H. & Orr, S., Contemporary Strategic Management: AnAustralasian Perspective. Australia: John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd, 2011.
 Carroll, L., Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. London:J M Dent & Sons Ltd, 1954.
 Damart, S. & Roy, B., The uses of cost–benefit analysis in public transportationdecision-making in France. Transport Policy, 16(4), pp. 200–212, 2009. DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2009.06.002.
 OMEGA Centre., Lessons for Decision-Makers: An Analysis of Selected InternationalLarge-scale Transport Infrastructure Projects Mega Projects, (Vol. Executive Summary).London: Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, pp. 52, 2012.
 Doz, Y. & Kosonen, M., Governments for the Future: Building the Strategic and AgileState, Helsinki: Sweden, 2014.
 Blom, C. & Guthrie, P., Surveying customer perceptions of road infrastructure comfort.Journal of Infrastructure Asset Management, 2(1), 2015. DOI: 10.1680/jinam.15.00007.
 Auckland Transport, Business Case for Construction: C. 100300 AMETI Package 1Panmure Phase 1: To Proceed from Design to Construction, 2013.
 Ackoff, R., Towards a system of systems concepts. Management Science, 17(11),pp. 661–671, 1971. DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.17.11.661.
 Newig, J., Günther, D. & Pahl-Wostl, C., Synapses in the Network: Learning inGovernanceNetworks in the Context of Environmental Management. Ecology &Society,15(4), pp. 1–16, 2010.
 Box, R., Running government like a business implications for public administrationtheory and practice. The American Review of Public Administration, 29(1), pp. 19–43,1999. DOI: 10.1177/02750749922064256.
 Metcalfe, L., Public management: from imitation to innovation. Australian Journalof Public Administration, 52(3), pp. 292–304, 1993. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8500.1993.tb00281.x.
 Zimmerman, R. & Sparrow, R., Workshop on Integrated Research for Civil Infrastructure,1997.
 Senge, P., The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization(Second ed.). New York: Currency, 2006.
 Alvarez-Rosete, A., Hawkins, B. & Parkhurst, J., Health System Stewardship andEvidenceInformed Health Policy. London: GRIP-Health Programme, London Schoolof Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2013.
 Hallsworth, M., How Complexity Economics Can Improve Government: RethinkingPolicy Actors, Institutions and Structures. Complex new world: translating new economicthinking into public policy, IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research): London,pp. 39–49, 2012.
 Snowden, D., Complex acts of knowing: Paradox and descriptive self-awareness.Bulletinof the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 29(4),pp. 23–28, 2003. DOI: 10.1002/bult.284.