Abstract for: Evaluation of group model building in a strategy implementation context: a New Zealand government case study

This paper presents the results of a group model building intervention to support the implementation of an organisation strategy in a New Zealand government department. Four separate three-hour ‘qualitative system dynamics’ workshops were conducted with department employees. Many authors have advocated the use of systems thinking in strategy development, but few have specifically explored its use to support strategy implementation. The strategy implementation literature reports similar success factors to the outcomes reported in group model building, suggesting potential applicability. A range of survey methods were used to evaluate changes in communication quality, insight, consensus and commitment to conclusions, which are associated with effective strategy implementation. Post-workshop survey results showed significant increases in all four outcome areas. Comparing work samples from before and after the workshops showed new insights and increased consensus. This paper represents work in progress, as not all of the survey tools used have been fully validated. Further research on the study cohort at the later date may provide insight into the longevity of the reported changes.