29 Aug 2019 16:00 IST

Indian prof’s family biz simulation to be marketed by Harvard Publishing

Rajiv Agarwal conceptualised and developed the model as a pedagogical tool for B-schools

Dr Rajiv Agarwal, Professor of Family Business, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, SPJIMR, authored a simulation on family businesses, which will be marketed by Harvard Business Publishing (HBP), the publishing arm of Harvard Business School (HBS). This is the first time that a professor from an Indian B-school has created a simulation that will be marketed by HBP.

The simulation, titled ‘Honey Heritage’, is designed around a family business, where the player has to take decisions based on the challenges that a typical business family faces, over three generations. The learnings from the simulation are impactful, and participants have reportedly been more engaged and have had greater involvement in understanding the problems family businesses face. The simulation is superior to case studies and videos currently used in b-school classrooms, because it is interactive, and the participants have to make decisions and face the subsequent implications.

This simulation can be used as a base for the entire course on family business.

One of its kind

Agarwal said, “Simulations are becoming a new pedagogical tool for b-schools. These offer a more interactive way of learning and ensure better outcomes in classrooms than the case method. While many vendors offer simulations, those offered by the Harvard Business Publishing are renowned for their academic rigour. These have been authored by HBS faculty and are quite popular around the world since they represent state of the art technology used in classrooms. They are usually based on some paper-based games or are an electronic version of paper-based games. However, for the first time, this simulation on family businesses, which has been tested at HBS, has been developed, conceptualised, designed and developed from scratch. There was no precedent or paper-based game, prior to this.”

“This simulation represents an interactive method of training the next generation family members and current founder/entrepreneurs, a safe environment to test their management practices on. This simulation has had very positive reviews from both faculty and participants and we are excited to offer this new tool for training family businesses,” he said.