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A Trajectory for Validating Computational Emulation Models of Organizations

TitleA Trajectory for Validating Computational Emulation Models of Organizations
Publication TypeTechnical Report
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsThomsen, J, Levitt, R, Kunz, J, Nass, C, Fridsma, D
Date Published11/2003
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCenter for Integrated Facility Engineering, CIFE, Computational Organizational Simulation Models, Contingency Theory, Information Processing, Intervention, Organizational Design, Stanford University, Validation
AbstractValidation of complex simulation models is a challenging problem in computational organization theory research. In this paper, we describe a validation strategy suitable for emulation simulation systems, and show how a comprehensive validation consists of a sequence of steps that evaluate different aspects of a computational organizational simulation model. We demonstrate how this strategy can be applied to the evaluation of the Virtual Team Alliance (VTA), an emulation simulation system designed to guide managers charged with organizational change. VTA required a "trajectory" of successive validation experiments, before managers were willing to follow the recommendations of VTA. Ultimately, we believe this validation approach can be applied to a wide range of different simulation systems, and will make identification of the strengths and weaknesses of organizational simulations easier.
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