Reciprocity and resilience: Teaching and learning sustainable social enterprise through gaming

Stephen Dobson, Arun Sukumar, Rory Ridley-Duff, Chris Roast, Benjamin Abell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Against a backdrop of increased global environmental and economicuncertainty, the resilience and sustainability of urban communities is aparamount concern for decision makers. The work presented here aims toexplore how teaching and learning around transition initiatives, based uponsocial enterprise and reciprocity, might be supported by game theory andstrategy simulation environments. Key elements for this are the coevolutionarynature of internal and external organisational contexts. Thegaming prototype developed here (Exploring Community Resilience, ExCoRe)is based upon an extension of the Prisoner’s Dilemma as a medium for activelearning, but is enacted through a multi-player and dynamic environment. Thekey learning objectives for the game are to introduce a broad concept ofreciprocity and collaboration on a systems level, and the importance of anemergent and responsive ‘learning strategy’ for new start-ups and enterprises.The static nature of the traditional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, andthreats (SWOT) approach is challenged and students are encouraged toappreciate, through establishing game strategy, a much more fluid anddynamic relationship between internal and external environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-56
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Complexity
  • Crowd behavior
  • Evolutionary approaches
  • Game theory
  • Prisoner’s dilemma
  • Reciprocity
  • Resilience
  • Social enterprise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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