Inderscience Publishers

Participative development and training for business processes in industry: review of 88 simulation games

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A tool for participative business process development is the so-called social simulation game method. The social simulation game method is like a "role-play" but is tailored to an organisation's own business processes. The main purpose is to develop business processes, i.e., to analyse present processes, to test alternative process modes and to train employees. The authors have carried out and studied simulation games in different industrial organisations over the past ten years, though these have been more focused during the last four years. According to these research results, the participative simulation game method has proven to be an effective facilitator in business process development and training in industrial organisations. This article is based on 32 case studies, including 88 simulation games, which are briefly described. Our primary aim is to describe how the social simulation game method is used in training and participative development for different processes and purposes. Results indicate that the method enables individual learning as well as promotes both single-loop and double-loop types of organisational learning. The simulation game method underscores the problems and development needs of the simulated business processes. The short-term and long-term qualitative (soft) and quantitative (hard) as well as the so-called future results and implications of the cases in implementation are reported and discussed. The concept of tacit and explicit change as a result of the interplay of tacit and explicit knowledge and soft, hard and future results has been created.

Keywords: simulation game, business process, participative development, business process development, organisation development, change management, employee and management training, industrial organisation, action research, tacit and explicit knowledge, tacit and explicit change

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