بازی و آموزش مدیریت عملیات
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 105, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 134–149
There is a well established tradition of teaching operations management (OM) via various kinds of production game: real players making real decisions in a practical, albeit simulated, situation. Surprisingly, there has been much less conceptual reflection on the process and content of this approach to OM education, something this paper aims to begin to rectify. The first section clarifies terminology and defines the game concept in terms of a transformation process. The second section reviews the extant population of teaching games and deploys the conceptual model to generate a number of specific observations that underpin a discussion about the content and process of OM-related game playing. In the conclusions, particular attention is drawn to (1) the predominant content of OM-related games has not developed with the same emphasis as the taught subject with manufacturing planning and control still dominating (2) the tendency to produce complex OM games requiring IT support, and (3) the removal of competition in gaming in favour of facilitating experimentation by players. The paper finishes with a discussion of potential further work.
Operations management (OM) education employs a wide variety of games (Riis and Mikkelsen, 1995), ranging from simple ‘tabletop’ (Robinson and Robinson, 1994) and ‘red bead’ experiments (Deming, 1986), to system simulations like the Beer (Forrester, 1961; Senge, 1990) and Cuppa Manufacturing games (Ammar and Wright, 1999), to much more complex interactive environments such as a ‘training factory’ (Haapsalo and Hyvönen, 2001). This interest in ‘playing’ can be explained in a number of ways. Games and simulations address specific OM concerns that the “…interesting and challenging issues … are difficult to convey effectively in a purely theoretical setting [because] students need some way to directly experience the issues involved in operating a production system” (Ammar and Wright, 1999, p. 183). This can be particularly important when the taught course represents a student's first exposure to operations management practice but experienced students can also find their own knowledge a barrier to new concepts. More generally therefore, gaming promotes ‘experiential learning’ by providing a shared ‘concrete experience’ (Kolb, 1985) that many argue allows the student to explore theory and practice more critically and (hopefully) memorably (McKenney, 1962 and McKenney, 1967, McKenney and Dill, 1966; Haapasalo and Hyvönen, 2001). Additionally, some authors (e.g. Smeds, 1997) have argued that there is potential to use gaming as a form of ‘co-production’ of knowledge that might overcome traditional barriers to academic–practitioner knowledge transfer. This paper was motivated in large part by the authors’ practical experiences of game playing in an educational context. Both felt that they had developed ‘experiential’ insight into a range of specific games but lacked (1) a conceptual schema for understanding the educational process involved and (2) a comprehensive guide to both the educational content and playing process of OM-specific games. The paper begins by discussing the general historical and conceptual antecedents of teaching with ‘organisation-themed’ games. Concepts are extracted from existing definitions of games and a generic transformation model of game playing in OM is proposed. Then using a range of secondary data, specifically a survey of 222 OM-specific and OM-related games derived from published gaming texts and references, two empirical research questions are tackled. Firstly, what is the content of OM games? This is an important question as the nature of OM has changed significantly in the recent past, and we need to establish whether the games’ content has kept pace with this change. Secondly, what is the process for the games? Specifically, how long do they take, how many people are involved and what is the level of complexity and the physical requirements? The paper concludes with recommendations for further work.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The development of games has been the focus of practitioner and academic interest for more than fifty years and this review has attempted to summarise some of the breadth and depth of gaming practice in OM education. This was prompted by the authors’ own extensive and very positive experience with using games as a core part of OM courses. Two areas of interest were identified for this paper. The first was to consider the content of OM games. The second was to consider the process. The whole discussion was framed by a transformation model of gaming, which allowed the process of playing the game to be analysed. The market offering for games was based on a database of 222 games collated from three secondary sources. The games were divided into those that were OM specific and OM relevant. The OM specific games were further analysed to determine their nature and usefulness in teaching OM. The conclusion was drawn that although OM issues were present in many of the OM relevant games, the content was such that the role of OM was not given sufficient prominence to be classified as anything more than introductory. This was contrary to expectations—we had expected the gaming market to have progressed in a manner consistent with the development of OM in both theory and practice. Similarly in the market for OM specific games, it was noted that there is a preponderance of quantitative manufacturing-oriented games, against a trend to more qualitative service-based subjects in OM content. When compared with the concerns of OM publications, the levels of occurrence of particular topics had some similarity, yet the preponderance of an ‘outside-in’ view of strategy was noted. However, it was noted that the games were a better representation of the current industrial context than the incidence of published research. In further examining the nature of the games, it became clear that there was a preponderance of highly complex games, with a significant role for the umpire. In terms of educational utility, this was questioned, as the abstracted reality was being made complex as a surrogate for being close to reality. In addition, it does need to be considered if these are indeed what instructors need or whether the development of less complex, short scenarios would be pedagogically beneficial. In considering the role of IT in the games, there is a long tradition of IT being used in the support of games. We note that this support has changed over time, with the games from the early data set using IT as number-processing support, whereas today such support would be fairly trivial, compared to the dynamic multi-media possibilities that exist. Despite concerns that all games would require IT interaction, there is still a significant number of games that require little or no IT input. The numbers of competitive games on offer to the OM educator has decreased significantly over the past 35 years. This is not completely explained by the data nor by the experience of running competitive games by the authors. This does inform the debate on the definition of game (e.g. McKenny, 1967) and shows that ‘play as experimentation’ is now the predominant mode of gaming.