For a practice field to be of greatest value in developing global leadership capability, it needs to be constructed so as to combine meaningful cultural and national issues with realistic interpersonal dynamics. Examines how two practice fields designed to facilitate systems thinking and organizational learning – Foodcorp International and Globalcorp – accomplish this task. Both are behavioural simulations (not computer simulations) and each creates a realistic context, a microworld, for people to interact on business and global issues. Both can be used to: (1) bring to the surface cultural assumptions in a social‐business context where they can be observed, tracked and discussed relative to various effectiveness criteria; (2) create a team capable of performing with a shared vision and common mental models; and (3) develop leaders who can create as well as accommodate microcultural norms. Preliminary results using this practice field approach are supportive of these objectives. A growing number of organizations (e.g. Apple Computer, Citicorp, American Express, AT&T, Northern Telecom, Glaxo) and educational institutions (e.g. University of Michigan, Dartmouth College, Indiana University, New York University, the University of Tampa) use such tools in their educational efforts. This permits a rigorous examination of the utility of these tools in management development. Describes the approach, provides two examples of how microworld practice fields are used, and shares the results of the research under way.
Journal of Management Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 1994
Keywords: Globalization; Organizational behaviour; Simulation; Systems management
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