Science Mapping the Knowledge Base on Simulations and Serious Games in Management Education, 1960-2018

Philip Hallinger, Ray Wang


This review of the research used science mapping to analyze the knowledge base on the use of simulations and serious games in management education from 1960 to 2018. The authors used bibliometric tools to analyze 1,156 Scopus-indexed documents that describe simulation- and game-based learning in management education. This quantitative review of the literature revealed a rapidly growing publication trajectory with 80% of the documents published since 2000 and 55% since 2010. The review empirically affirms the broad, long-term use of simulations and serious games in management education and highlights connections between this literature and related literature in education, psychology and other professions. Citation analyses highlighted the role of the journal, Simulation & Gaming as the single most influential journal in this literature. Empirical analysis of publications led to the identification of Joseph Wolfe, Albert Faria, and Eduardo Salas as ‘canonical’ authors whose scholarship has shaped discourse in this field of inquiry. While this is a global literature, scholars located in Anglo-American-European societies contributed for 85% of the relevant documents. This finding suggests a need for programmatic research that examines both the design and instructional use of simulations across different cultural contexts. In a global management education context, greater attention needs to be given to the ‘portability’ of the underlying theories and decision rules that underlie simulations.

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