Serious Play Research

According to Wikipedia

Johan Roos and Bart Victor created the “serious play” concept and process in the mid-1990s as way to enable managers to describe, create and challenge their views of their business. Dr. Roos is now President of Copenhagen Business School and Dr. Bart Victor is Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership at Vanderbilt University but when they created serious play they were both professors at IMD in Switzerland. The conceptual foundation of serious play combines ideas from constructivism (Piaget 1951), its subsequent version constructionism (Harel and Papert 1991), complex adaptive system theory (Holland 1995) and autopoietic corporate epistemology (von Krogh and Roos 1994; 1995) applied to the context of management and organizations.

The empirical foundation of the concept of serious play stems from Roos and Victor’s experiments with leadership teams in Tetra Pak, Hydro Aluminium and TFL and during an IMD program for the top 300 leaders in LEGO Company. They presented their early ideas in a short article published by IMD in 1998 entitled “In Search for Original Strategies: How About Some Serious Play?” and in the 1999 article “Towards Model of Strategy Making as Serious Play” published by European Management Journal. In 2004 the journal Long-Range Planning published their article “Playing Seriously with Strategy” (with Matt Statler), which serves as the foundation for the concept and practice of LEGO Serious Play.

Academic Publications

  • Statler, M., Roos, J., and B. Victor, 2009, ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’: Taking Play Seriously in Organizations,’ Journal of Change Management , 9(1): 87-107.
  • Statler, J., Jacobs, J. and J. Roos, 2008, ‘Performing Strategy: Analogical Reasoning as Strategic Practice’, Scandinavian Journal of Management, 24: 133–144
  • Roos, J., ‘Transformative Management Education,’ 2008, in Teaching and Learning at Business Schools: Transforming the Delivery of Business Education, Bild, M., Mårtensson, P. and K. Nilsson (eds.), Gower: 63-76.
  • Oliver, D., and J. Roos, 2007, ‘Constructing Organizational Identity,’ British Journal of Management, 18(4): 342-358.
  • Roos, J., 2006, Thinking From Within: A Hands-On Strategy Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (ISBN 1-4039-8670-3).
  • Roos, J., and R. Said, 2005, ‘Generating Managerial Commitment and Responsibility,’ European Management Review, 2: 48 – 58.
  • Oliver, D. and J. Roos, 2005, ‘Decision Making in High Velocity Environments: The Importance of Guiding Principles,’ Organization Studies, 26(6): 889-913.
  • Bürgi, P., and Jacobs, C., and J. Roos, 2005, ‘From Metaphor to Practice in the Crafting of Strategy,’ Journal of Management Inquiry, 14(1): 78-94.
  • Roos, J, Victor, B., and M. Statler, 2004, ‘Playing Seriously with Strategy,’ Long-Range Planning, 37(6): 549-568.
  • Roos, J., 2004, ‘Sparking Strategic Imagination,’ Sloan Management Review, 2004, 46(1): 96.
  • Grey. F., and J. Roos, ‘Playing Seriously with Strategy,’ Physics World, 2005, 18(2): 18-19.
  • Bürgi, P., and J. Roos, 2003, ‘Images of Strategy,’ European Management Journal, 2003, 21(1): 69-78.
  • Oliver, D., and J. Roos, 2000, Striking a Balance: Complexity and Knowledge Landscapes, McGraw-Hill, Maidenhead (ISBN 0 07709 556-1).
  • Roos, J., and B. Victor, 1999, Towards a Model of Strategy Making as Serious Play,’ European Management Journal, 17(4): 348-355.
  • Roos, J., and D. Oliver, 1999, ‘From Fitness Landscapes to Knowledge Landscapes’, Systemic Practice and Action Research, 12(3): 279-293.
  • Lissack, M., and J. Roos, 1999, The Next Common Sense: Mastering Corporate Complexity through Coherence, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London (ISBN 1 85788 240-7). Translated into Japanese (2001) and Estonian (2002).
  • Roos, J., and B. Victor, ‘In Search Of Original Strategies: How About Some Serious Play?’ IMD Perspectives for Managers, 1998, (26) 15.
  • von Krogh, G., and J. Roos, 1995, Organizational Epistemology, Macmillan, Oxford (ISBN 0-312-12498-8).
  • Holland, J., 1995, Hidden order: How adaptation builds complexity. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
  • von Krogh, G., Roos, J., and K. Slocum, 1994, ‘An Essay on Corporate Epistemology’, Strategic Management Journal, Special Issue on ‘Rethinking Strategy – The Search for New Strategy Paradigms’, 15: 53-71.
  • Harel, I. and Papert, S. 1991, eds. Constructionism, Ablex Publishing Corporation, Piaget, Norwood, NJ.
  • Piaget, J, 1951, The Child’s Conception of the World, Routledge, London.
1 Comment
  1. […] originally developed the methodology for Lego® and in collaboration with organisational theorists Johan Roos and Bart Victor (both proponents of complexity theory). The extra effort was well worth […]

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