First Competence Development Framework for System Dynamics published

Schaffernicht and Groesser published the first competence development framework for the system dynamics methodology. Even though the article is published in the System Dynamics Review (peer-review, ISI journal), it is available via open access to anyone (

For the interested reader, here is the abstract:

Current teaching and learning of system dynamics are based on materials derived from the expertise of masters. However, there is little explicit reference to neither the stages which beginners go through to become proficient nor what is learned at each of these stages. We argue that this hinders cumulative research and development in teaching and learning strategies. We engaged 15 acknowledged masters in the field to take part in a three-round Delphi study to develop an operational representation of the competence development stages and what is learned at each stage. The resulting system dynamics competence framework consists of a qualified, expert-evaluated, empirically based set of seven skills and 265 learning outcomes. The skills provide a common orientation, in the language of current educational research, to facilitate research, course design and certification efforts to ensure quality standards. To conclude, this paper provides avenues for future work.

You can access the list of learning outcomes on a specific part of my webpage here.


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New insights about using strategy tools at the Academy of Management Conference #AOM

Stefan Groesser represented the Strategy and Simulation lab at the Academy of Management Conference 2016 in Anaheim, USA. He presented joint projects with colleagues Adrian Stettler and Claus Jacobs on the actual use of strategy tools employing the eye-tracking methodology. The research reveals the learning behavior of users and presents insights about the decision making process while using strategy tools. The findings indicate that different representations of the same tool can influence how the tool is learned and that the gaze data can be used to predict the actual decision made.


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Reframing the relevance of research to practice

New publication in the European Management Journal on the theory-practice debate:

Collaborative work with my colleague Stephen Fox from VTT. We explain that the extant framing of research relevance is skewed because it is centred upon irrelevance of much research knowledge to practitioners, while excluding or under emphasising the irrelevance of much practice knowledge to practitioners. Moreover, the current framing is skewed because the extant literature disregards the very common collaboration between researchers and practitioners. In addition, we explain that the current framing of research relevance is indistinct because theory, practice, and relevance are discussed in vague terms rather than specific terms. Furthermore, the current framing of research relevance is indistinct because there is little reference to theory knowledge. We argue that current skewed and indistinct framing obscures the complexity of relevance. As a result, overly simplistic assertions have been made about how relevance can be increased. We broaden and balance the framing of research relevance. We provide greater specificity in the explanation of factors that contribute to the complexity of relevance. We provide recommendations for addressing the complexity of relevance. The article is available here at the journal’s webpage.


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Member Stefan Groesser Appointed Visiting Professor at Heilbronn University Graduate School, Germany

Member Stefan Groesser has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at Heilbronn University Graduate School (HUGS), starting September 2016. At the HUGS, he will be lecturing on research methods and research designs. Stefan is currently a professor of Strategic Management and Organization at the Bern University of Applied Sciences and a senior lecturer at the Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen. He applies System Dynamics to his research on business model, strategy, and technology management. Stefan holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He is an author of articles and peer-review journals, including the System Dynamics Review, and books with, for example, Wiley and Springer. (Source)

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Prof. Dr. Stefan Groesser präsentiert Forschung zu Smart Grids an der GWS-Konferenz 2015 an der WHU

Prof. Dr. Stefan Groesser präsentierte an der Konferenz der Gesellschaft für Wirtschafts- und Sozialkybernetik (13. und 14. Oktober 2015) an der Wirtschaftshochschule WHU in Vallendar seine aktuelle Forschung. Die Präsentation mit dem Titel „Kybernetische Betrachtungen im Schweizer Strommarkt: Ansatz zur Integration von Smart Grids“ stellt ein konzeptionelles Simulationsmodell vor, wie Probleme der Koordination von Verteilnetz und Strommarkt im Schweizer Strommarkt adressiert werden könnte. Durch die Anwendung von z.B. einer Leistungstarif-Policy wäre es möglich, die aktuell unsymmetrische Koordination von Verteilnetz und Strommarkt zu verbessern (siehe Abbildung). Die Leistungstarif-Policy müsste dabei, im Kontext spezifischer Kundengruppen, mindestens die Schnelligkeit, Stärke und Kontinuität der Koordination beider Einheiten berücksichtigen.


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Strategy tools and eye tracking study

Prof. Dr. Stefan Grösser and Adrian Stettler presented their recent work on strategy tools at the conference of the Strategic Management Society (SMS) on the 5th October 2015. The paper is based on an explorative design, which uses eye tracking technology to investigate individual interpretation of strategy tools. The contents presented were preliminary results since the project is still ongoing at the Strategy and Simulation Lab at the Institute for Corporate Development. The paper which was nominated for the Best Conference Paper Award by SMS, got positive feedback from the attendees at the presentation.

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Präsentation zu Geschäftsmodellen mit System Dynamics

Prof. Dr. Stefan Grösser, Berner Fachhochschule Wirtschaft, präsentiert im Rahmen des SGO-Circles „VSM“ am 09.03.15 seine Tätigkeiten zu System Dynamics, Simulation von Geschäftsmodellen und Komplexitätsmanagement. IMG_4452Geschäftsmodelle sind von grosser Bedeutung für Unternehmen – unabhängig davon, ob es sich um ein Einzelunternehmen oder einen globalen Konzern handelt. Innovationen von Geschäftsmodellen sind kostenintensiv was eine detaillierte Analyse umso dringender und wichtiger macht. Simulationsbasierte Experimente unterstützen Entscheidungsträger wirkungsvoll um nachhaltige und erfolgreiche Entscheidungen zu treffen. Im Vortrag thematisiert Prof. Dr. Grösser Design und Analyse von Geschäftsmodellen mittels computerbasierten Simulationsexperimenten.


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EU-Project „Use-it-Wisely“ presented at the Business School of the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH)

Prof. Dr. Stefan Groesser and Stefan Katz held a presentation on the Use-It-Wisely (UIW) project last Wednesday, March 4th. The objective of the UIW project is to support small and medium enterprises in innovation of capital-intensive products and services. UIW is supported by the EU as part of the 7th framework program.

Assets lose value over time as shown in the green area in Figure 1. This devaluation happens through wear and tear of components as well as changing requirements for the asset. This will be eventually corrected by upgrading or replacing the asset. Upgrading, however, is infrequently done on capital intensive assets because the upgrade is costly and often does not allow for the use of the asset for the duration of the upgrade.

If the value of the asset is compared to the value expected by stakeholders, which for example factors in the technological development, then the gap between current value and desired value is continually increasing. This is the red-white striped field in Figure 1. As part of the UIW project, the Strategy and Simulation Lab of the BFH provides SMEs with tools to shorten the upgrading cycles in capital-intensive assets and reducing the lost value to stakeholders. The UIW hypothesis can be seen in Figure 2.


Figure 1: Showing the loss of value due to infrequent upgrading


Figure 2: Showing the increase in value due to more frequent upgrading

More information on the project can be found here

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Kausales Smart Market Modell als Basis für Interventionen : Abschlussbericht 2014 der Arbeitsgruppe Smart Market des Vereins Smart Grid Schweiz

Die Arbeitsgruppe „Smart Market“ des Verein Smart Grid Schweiz (VSGS) beschäftigt sich mit der Frage, wie ein zukünftiger Elektrizitätsmarkt Schweiz ausgestaltet werden könnte, damit er die Ziele der Schweizer Energiewende unterstützt. Ein so ausgestalteter Elektrizitätsmarkt ist „smart“. In Kooperation mit dem Strategy und Simulation Lab der Berner Fachhochschule wurde dazu ein „kausales Smart Market Modell“ (kSMM-CH) erarbeitet. Das Modell zeigt wichtige Zusammenhänge und Wirkungsmechanismen zwischen Energiemarkt und Netzauslastung auf und zeigt deren kausale Auswirkungen auf Zielgrössen der Energiewende. Zudem wurden erstmalig aktuelle markt- und netzrelevante Trends wie die Zunahme dezentraler Produktion, steigende Anforderungen an die Energieeffizienz und Demand Side Management in einem kausalen Modell abgebildet. Der Abschlussbericht 2014 dokumentiert eine erste qualitative Version des kausalen Smart Market Modells. Diskussionen zu Herausforderungen und möglichen Entwicklungen im Elektrizitätsmarkt können nun anhand eines kausalen Modells erfolgen. Die wesentliche Erkenntnis ist, dass die Kopplung zwischen Elektrizitätsnetz und –markt aktuell zu schwach ausgeprägt ist. Es ist vorgesehen, das gegenwärtige kSMM-CH in einem nächsten Schritt zu simulierbar zu machen und zu verfeinern, um Gestaltungs- und Einflussmöglichkeiten zur besseren Kopplung von Elektrizitätsnetz und –markt zu beurteilen.

Den Report können Sie hier herunterladen.

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Prof. Dr. Grösser presents „Blue Enterprise“ at a leading cybernetics conference at the RWTH Aachen University

ev2012logoComplexity within companies and between companies and the market has increased drastically over the past few years. A proposal to deal with this challenge has been presented in a keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Stefan Grösser at the interdisciplinary conference “Exploring Cybernetics 2014”.

“We are unable to comprehend complexity using the current management practices”, he said. “Leaders have to learn to accept and cope with a higher degree of complexity.”

Prof. Dr. Grösser suggested to use company simulation to analyze business models and include the higher degree of complexity in these simulations. “Cybernetic simulations of companies offer the opportunity to improve the development of business models as well as evaluate their short and medium term performance ahead of their implementation.”

The conference “Exploring Cybernetics 2014” took place on October 12th to 14th in Aachen, Germany.

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