Developing Organizational Simulations: A Guide for Practitioners and Students

Developing Organizational Simulations: A Guide for Practitioners and Students

Developing Organizational Simulations: A Guide for Practitioners and Students

Developing Organizational Simulations: A Guide for Practitioners and Students

Synopsis

This book provides a concise source of information on effective and practical methods for constructing simulation exercises for the assessment of psychological characteristics relevant to effectiveness in work organizations. Simulation exercises present the examinee with descriptions of complex situations that stimulate aspects of real-world settings and problems. Examinees are required to demonstrate overt behavior in handling the problems presented. The process and/or products of this behavior are observed by trained assessors who observe behavior, classify behaviors into relevant dimensions, and evaluate effectiveness. Simulations can provide assessments of abilities, skills, and competencies not readily measured by other testing techniques. Developing Organizational Simulations provides practical guidance for defining the attributes to be assessed, constructing the stimulus material, and designing methods for administration and scoring. Several different situational exercises are presented, including business games, leaderless group discussions, in-baskets, one-on-one interaction simulations, and case studies/presentations. Steps to ensure the reliability, validity, and legal defensibility of assessments from simulations are described. In addition, the book presents the use of simulation exercises for the purposes of personnel selection, training, development, and certification. Professional standards and guidelines relevant to the construction of simulation exercises are also covered.

Excerpt

Over the years, many people have asked us in classes, seminars, workshops, and consulting engagements: “What can I read to help me develop simulations?” We have not had a good answer. Aside from a short article by Ahmed, Payne, &. Whiddett (1997) summarizing a few past practices, to our knowledge, there are no good sources for constructing simulation exercises. Although there are many fine books on psychometric principles (e.g., Crocker & Algina, 1986; Ghiselli, Campbell, &Zedeck, 1981; Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994) and old standbys in the field of educational achievement testing (e.g., Adkins, 1974; Gorow, 1966; Gronland, 1982), these sources do not provide direct help in constructing simulation exercises.

When people seek advice on how to build simulations for assessment, development, and research purposes, they find that much of the literature sounds like Steve Martin's advice on how to become a millionaire and not pay taxes: “First, make a million dollars … then don't pay taxes. ” Books and articles on test construction say little more than “To build a simulation, write a scenario to resemble the target job and situation. ” We believe that professionals who wish to build simulation exercises will benefit from a more thorough guide to develop simulations based on test construction principles and practices in this field.

Thus, in this volume we provide three levels of guidance: (1) a conceptual model for the exercise construction process, consisting of six general phases and four types of analysis, (2) eleven steps that include the preparation, construction, and evaluation of simulations, and (3) separate chapters on seven common types of simulation exercises giving detailed procedures for analyzing the target situation, writing exercise material, training assessors, and evaluating simulation effectiveness.

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