Sheila Serafim Da Silva
Doctorate – Blended Learning with business games to develop soft skills in executive and management education: a quasi-experiment
Advisor: Profª Drª Renata Giovinazzo Spers
Comission: Profs. Drs. Paulo Roberto Feldmann, Murilo Alvarenga Oliveira and Marco Antônio Silva
Link youtube: https://youtu.be/ao6hftiIe3A
The technologies that support the fourth industrial revolution are having a major impact on business. With artificial intelligence, roles and responsibilities in organizations are being redefined. As a result, soft skills are becoming crucial in organizations. On the one hand, companies demand professionals with soft skills in addition to hard skills. On the other hand, business schools have the challenge of finding the most appropriate methods to create practical environments, stimulate the development of these skills, and prepare professionals to work in organizations. This study analyzes the contributions of a blended learning model, a global trend in education, with active methods, specifically, business games (BGs), to develop soft skills in managerial and executive education. A quasi-experiment was carried out in crossed blocks through which it was possible to verify: (i) the alignment between the skills considered the most important for the market and the skills developed in the BG; (ii) the relationship between the profile of the participants and the development of skills in the BG; (iii) the differences between the skills developed online and in person and their relationship with modality. Using mixed methods, this study combines structural equations modeling, factorial, trajectory, regression and variance analyses with the results of categorical-thematic analysis. The data were compiled before, during and at the end of the BG with students from a Brazilian business school and a Spanish public university. The participants, through self-assessment and peer assessment, indicated the soft skills developed in the BG. The results indicated that the skills developed in the BG are aligned with those considered most important for the market. We demonstrated that playing business games is the most effective way to develop skills with participants who have less work experience, since their potential was reinforced through a learning strategy to develop executive skills. The main contribution of this study is that regardless of the mode, online or personal, the participants developed all the analyzed skills to high levels. Finally, we make recommendations to professionals, researchers, business schools and companies and show how different programs can create practice environments to stimulate the development of soft skills through a blended learning model with business games.
*Abstract provided by the author