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EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF USING COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING SIMULATIONS TO DEVELOP MANAGERIAL COMPETENCY

EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF USING COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING SIMULATIONS TO DEVELOP MANAGERIAL COMPETENCY

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Published by Dr John Kenworthy
Computer-based simulations and games are powerful tools to support learning
environments (Swanson and Holton, 1999) and Gartner research suggests that simulations
may be e-learning’s ‘killer application’ (Lundy et al., 2002). The multi-billion dollar
business and management training industry and management education are beginning to
turn more attention to using simulations and games but there are doubts about even the
most fundamental claims of the efficacy of simulations (Feinstein and Cannon, 2002).
This study tests a model in comparing a training programme using three different
experiential activities, a simulation, a business game and case studies using Kirkpatrick’s
(1959/60) familiar and ubiquitous (Russ-Eft and Preskill, 2001) four levels as a guiding
model for evaluation. In particular, the study focuses attention on the development of
managerial competencies and the differences in demonstrated competency before and after
(May, 1993) a strategic management training programme (Baker et al., 1997).
Computer-based simulations and games are powerful tools to support learning
environments (Swanson and Holton, 1999) and Gartner research suggests that simulations
may be e-learning’s ‘killer application’ (Lundy et al., 2002). The multi-billion dollar
business and management training industry and management education are beginning to
turn more attention to using simulations and games but there are doubts about even the
most fundamental claims of the efficacy of simulations (Feinstein and Cannon, 2002).
This study tests a model in comparing a training programme using three different
experiential activities, a simulation, a business game and case studies using Kirkpatrick’s
(1959/60) familiar and ubiquitous (Russ-Eft and Preskill, 2001) four levels as a guiding
model for evaluation. In particular, the study focuses attention on the development of
managerial competencies and the differences in demonstrated competency before and after
(May, 1993) a strategic management training programme (Baker et al., 1997).

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Published by: Dr John Kenworthy on Oct 12, 2011
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EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF USINGCOMPUTER-BASED TRAINING SIMULATIONS TODEVELOP MANAGERIAL COMPETENCY
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment for the degreeof Doctor of Business Administration
byJohn KenworthyHenley Management College/Brunel UniversitySeptember 2005
 
2
Abstract
Computer-based simulations and games are powerful tools to support learningenvironments (Swanson and Holton, 1999) and Gartner research suggests that simulationsmay be e-learning’s ‘killer application’ (Lundy et al., 2002). The multi-billion dollar  business and management training industry and management education are beginning toturn more attention to using simulations and games but there are doubts about even themost fundamental claims of the efficacy of simulations (Feinstein and Cannon, 2002).This study tests a model in comparing a training programme using three differentexperiential activities, a simulation, a business game and case studies using Kirkpatrick’s(1959/60) familiar and ubiquitous (Russ-Eft and Preskill, 2001) four levels as a guidingmodel for evaluation. In particular, the study focuses attention on the development of managerial competencies and the differences in demonstrated competency before and after (May, 1993) a strategic management training programme (Baker et al., 1997).The literature on management learning provides insights into the multi-disciplinarynature of the research highlighting the many factors considered to influence and shape theway people learn and transfer their learning to the workplace. The literature includesconsideration of enjoyment of the learning event (Prensky, 2000, Schank, 1997) andmotivation (Holton, 1996), learning style (Kolb, 1976) and personality type (Patz, 1990,1992), the potential effect of team working (Higgs, 1999) and personal background suchas age, gender, cultural heritage and prior academic achievement (Sternberg, 1997).Managerial competency models are discussed and compared to establish the most fittingmodel for the location of the research and to provide a measure of change in behaviour and individual competencies, these are linked to organisational competence and performance – providing the links across the four levels of evaluation.An appropriate research methodology is discussed and the chosen quasi-experimental design fits the scientific research tradition demands for robust methodologyand the pragmatic demands of research conducted in the business training world(Easterby-Smith et al., 1991). Operationalisation of suitable constructs and processes provide the empirical evidence repeatedly called for in previous studies.Data was collected from 266 participants working for private companies inMalaysia and Singapore. The results detected significant differences between bothsimulation and game groups and the case study groups in reaction, learning and learningtransfer and business impact and, as implied by Kirkpatrick (1959/60), significantcorrelations between the different levels are observed but the strength of the relationship
 
3falls well short of sufficiently explaining the results. Both programmes including thesimulation or the game show higher levels of learning, change in demonstrated managerialcompetencies and in business performance than the case study based programme groups providing strong evidence that simulations and games are effective tools to employ withinan experiential learning intervention. The continued importance of human tutors or facilitators to provide useful feedback and debriefing from the activities is stronglyindicated.From the literature, factors that may influence learning are considered but theresults failed to detect any differences between learning styles or personality type.However, some influence was detected with the age of participants with younger managers as suggested by Aldrich (2002), significantly enjoying the computer-basedactivities over older managers. The impact of team working and enjoyment of teamworking within the activities is discussed suggesting that the composition of the team(Belbin et al., 1976, 1981), the task and the context, whether competitive or collaborativemay impact which competencies are developed. As suggested by previous research in thisfield (Wolfe and Guth, 1975, Keys and Wolfe, 1990, Brenenstuhl and Catalanello, 1979,Gopinath and Sawyer, 1999, Hannafin, 1992, Hannafin et al., 1996), the results provideempirical evidence that computer-based simulations and games are significantly moreuseful for learning and competency development than case studies.

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Dear sir, I like this thesis, so can you send it to me? My email is: tathanhtunb88@gmail.com Thanks you!
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