AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Extensive evaluations of simulation/games for policy development and organizational change are not very common. Usually, surveys and interviews with participants are carried out to judge the successfulness of a simulation/game. Normally, participants are satisfied with the game results and are enthusiastic about the 1 or 2 days they spent together in playing the game. In general, they report that they learned about other players' behavior and increased their understanding of the policy issue or organizational problem. Furthermore, new ideas or options may be generated. Additionally, communication and relationships among participants may be improved (e.g., Klabbers, Bernabo, Hisschemoller, & Moomaw, 1996; Klabbers & Gust, 1998; Klabbers, Swart, van Ulden, & Vellinga, 1995; Mastik, Scalzo, Termeer, & in't Veld, 1995; Valens & van Kuppevelt, 1998).
Policy and organization scientists have good reasons for being less enthusiastic about simulation/gaming than participants, because the effectiveness of simulation/games is difficult to prove. For example, De Caluwe (1997) studied the effects of a large-scale culture intervention in which a simulation/game formed an integral part. On the basis of five measurements carried out over a period of 18 months, a learning curve was discovered showing an extremely positive effect in the short term, which diminished after a year but returned again later as positive. However, even if the effects can be visualized, they can be questioned if they are due to the simulation/game. Moreover, other, less expensive methods may be more effective than simulation/games in a particular situation. Especially for purposes of policy development and organizational change, games are required to be tailor made (Joldersma, Geurts, & van't Spijker, 1995, p. 152).
The next sections give an impression of the theoretical backgrounds and objectives of simulation/games for policy development and organizational change. The results are obtained from an analysis of papers submitted for the proceedings of the 1997 ISAGA conference. Also, some papers on policy development and organizational change in former proceedings are studied.
Training and Education Versus Policy Development and Organizational Change
Papers for the 1997 ISAGA proceedings came from authors in many different countries. Whereas approximately 40% were produced by Dutchmen, 20% of the authors are from other European countries. Another 20% are from Japan, 10% from the United States, and 10% of the papers were written by authors of East-European countries and Russia.
A third of the papers deal with simulation/games for training and education. Many of these simulation/games are management games that focus mainly on improving management competencies. In these games, for example, participants deal with a fictitious company that has to strengthen its market position. The market is characterized by fierce competition. Participants must maximize the company's profit in a more or less static environment by searching for efficiency gains.
Also, a third of the papers concern simulation/games for policy development and organizational change. To some extent, these games are comparable to management …