Modelling for Learning Organizations

There is growing interest in combining computer simulation models with conventional case studies to create learning environments for management education. ‘Model’ here denotes an endogenous theory of business dynamics, a simulation microworld, and not merely a spreadsheet or multimedia computer environment. Model-supported case studies promise improvement in strategic thinking skills and better integration of modeling with policy and strategy formation. Two examples are presented (People Express Airlines and the Intecom PBX) to show explicitly how cases and system dynamics models are combined and used. Finally, we explore research questions that arise in conjunction with such work: 1) how to teach effective inquiry skills, 2) how to teach conceptualization skills, and 3) how to enhance the ability to transfer insight to new situations.

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Special Issue of European Journal of Operational Research Vol. 59, No. 1 (1992): 137-150.

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