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’Schulen ohne zu schulmeistern’ : Unternehmensplanspiele in den 1960er-Jahren

Journal article
Authors Rolf F. Nohr
Theo Röhle
Published in Zeithistorische Forschungen
Volume 13
Issue 1
Pages 38-60
ISSN 1612-6033
Publication year 2016
Published at
Pages 38-60
Language de
Links https://zeithistorische-forschungen...
Subject categories Media and Communications, History


Business simulation games emerged in the USA around 1956 amidst a range of impacting factors such as military simulations, case studies at business schools, and war games. Situated at the intersection of corporate management, increasing computerisation and shifting paradigms in economics, the field of business simulation games provides an exceptional opportunity to trace the transformations of the logics of social control in the post-WWII era. These early ›serious games‹ were sites where practices of decision-making, changing concepts of rationality and the challenges of adapting to a new medium were explored in a playful manner. In this article, the field is approached from a media and cultural studies perspective. The focus is on the early 1960s, when business simulation games were first introduced in West German companies for the purpose of management training. Special attention is paid to the deployment of the IBM-developed business simulation game TOPIC 1 at the chemicals company Hoechst AG.

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