The bikestuff simulation: Experiencing the challenge of organizational change

  • Rollag K
  • Parise S
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This article describes a 2-hour experiential simulation that helps students understand (a) the challenge of even simple organizational changes, (b) the importance of communication between change agents and organizational members, and (c) the source of resistance to organizational change efforts. Teams of students compete to process the most customer orders at a bike shop. Although some team members process orders using paper-based catalogs and reference materials, other team members develop and implement a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to automate and speed up their teammates’ order completion process. The simulation produces change agent and worker behaviors similar to those seen in real organizational improvement efforts, and can be used to introduce a variety of organizational behavior concepts related to organizational change, including organizational analysis, group communication, participatory design, resistance to change, organizational inertia, and sociotechnical systems theory.

Author-supplied keywords

  • implementation
  • organizational change
  • simulation

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