Abstract for:Group model building in cross-cultural context: Unit testing for GMB workshop design and adaptation
Group model building research has historically focused on the group model building project as the primary unit of analysis with more recent efforts focused on specific group model building scripts and how they fit into a workshop design. This paper takes the approach a step further and considers variations in group model building workshop design in cross-cultural settings and presents a case of group model building in China to understand the social determinants of health affecting migrant workers and their families. The results highlight how small variations in workshop design, facilitation, and setting can lead to different outcomes and renew concerns about the potential threats to internal validity in using participatory systems methods such as a group model building. The paper argues that despite these concerns, we must find ways to address these threats. The paper concludes by proposing the concept of units and of unit testing as a way to efficiently refine the design of specific components of group model building scripts and inform the design and adaptation of group model building workshops in cross-cultural settings.