EIS was adapted for deployment in Higher Education contexts by modifying the mission, the characters, the formal and informal relationship networks, the culture, the interventions, and the unplanned events to reflect specific features of change dynamics in academia. We named this adaptation EduSynergy. The EduSynergy mission. The mission can be briefly summarized as follows: Humfeld University wants to implement a university-wide quality assurance system called AcadQual.
The implementation process has successfully evolved so far, apart from one exception. Humfeld University’s Graduate School of Management (GSM), a successful and highly renowned business school, is reluctant to adopt the new system. The president of Humfeld University has now selected a number of faculty members and high-level administrative personnel (i.e. your group) to undertake a challenging mission:
persuade the Dean as well as the academic and administrative staff of GSM to adopt the new quality assurance system within the next six months. The characters. The 24 simulated characters represent various stereotypical personalities found in academia to increase the possibility that players will recognize themselves or their collaborators. Profile descriptions provide hints about the individual’s history, motives, habits and opinions.
These profiles are only available if players choose to spend some of their simulated time getting them. The relationship networks. Formal relationships among characters can be seen in an organizational chart. However, in order to gather information about informal social networks players must spend some of their simulated time. Informal social networks include people who meet regularly at bridge club, tennis club, local political events, or who are members of various academic committees.
The culture. Universities have a very distinctive culture compared to the corporate sector. Permanence, rather than change readiness, appears to be one key characteristic. According to Kerr , universities are among the few organizations which have remained pretty much unchanged since medieval times.
Other key characteristics are participation and shared governance , autonomy , and the diversity and coexistence of discipline-specific subcultures . This cultural dimension leads to a high degree of change resistance .