Habilitation by Dr. Zoltan Buzady

Scientific achievements and academic findings
Dr. Zoltan Buzady

Prof. Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management
Founder, Co-Director, Quality of Life Research CenterPortrait of Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Chicago,
  • Creativity and innovation, Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is Claremont Graduate University’s Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management. He is also the founder and co-director of the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC). The QLRC is a nonprofit research institute that studies positive psychology, the study of human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility.

Csikszentmihalyi received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Chicago. Since receiving his doctorate, he has served as the head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago and of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College.

Csikszentmihalyi is known for his research on the experience of flow, a psychological concept he introduced in his best-selling book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial, 1990). The book has received much praise and attention, being described by the Library Journal as “…an intriguing look at the age-old problem of the pursuit of happiness and how, through conscious effort, we may more easily attain it.” Though published in the early 1990s, Flow has continued to draw attention from both researchers and the general public and has been translated into more than 20 languages. Since then, Csikszentmihalyi has written numerous books and articles on managing flow. In 2004, Csikszentmihalyi delivered a TEDTalk titled “Flow, the Secret to Happiness,” which has more than 5.5 million views.

He has been the principal investigator on eight grants in the last 10 years, receiving funding from the Public Health Service, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Getty Trust, the Sloan Foundation, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation, for a total of over $10 million. He is a member of the American Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Leisure Studies.


Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology: The Collected Works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. New York: Springer, 2014.

Co-authored with Sami Abuhamdeh. “Attentional involvement and intrinsic motivation.” Motivation and Emotion 36, no. 3 (2012): 257–67.

Donaldson, S.I., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Nakamura, J. (Eds.). (2011). Applied Positive Psychology: Improving Everyday Life, Health, Schools, Work, and Society. London: Routledge Academic.

Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper Perennial, 1990.

Prof. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management

Founder, Co-Director, Quality of Life Research Center

Subj: Recommendation to 2nd edition of our book on Flow-Leadership and FLIGBY: Missing Link Discovered (2019)

Dear Colleagues,

Let me introduce myself briefly, even though this may not be necessary to colleagues in Hungary, the country of my birth, which I had visited on numerous occasions, for professional reasons, in recent years, too. I am usually identified as a Hungarian-American psychologist, recognized for naming and writing dozens of books and articles on the psychological concept of Flow, a highly focused mental state conducive to productivity. I recently retired as a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management from Claremont Graduate University in California, and am the former head of the psychology department at the University of Chicago.

I met with Dr. Zoltán Buzády in 2013, more than 7 years ago. We worked together in pioneering the practical application of my Flow concept to his field of expertise: management and leadership, and also in creating new academic materials and publications.

Also, Zoltan has worked closely with another leading disciple of mine in Hungary, Zsadány (Zad) Vécsey, President of the ALEAS Simulations group. As an intellectual and entrepreneur, together we have ventured, more than 15 years ago, to develop the top international award-winning Flow-management serious game for executives: FLIGBY (Flow is Good Business for You), a unique pedagogical innovation, to which Zoltan has helped Zad and me to develop and to continuously improve ever since. Fligby received global awards on various occasions already.

Furthermore, Zoltán has made numerous contributions to the game itself, in particular, related to the measurement of the 29 leadership skills. He is the co-author of our joint book (Missing Link Discovered(2015; 2019),  in which we explore and present the managerial-leadership implications of the Flow concept – a book to which I am also a contributor.

In my view, professor Buzády’s most important contribution is his practical application of the FLIGBY game, in his university courses, as well as in the business community, teaching the game – with a view to improving business effectiveness and competitiveness – around the world.

His hard work is reflected and documented in many impressive academic outlets: His winning of a prestigious international award for pedagogical innovation (CEEMAN 2018), joint conference presentations (European Conference of Positive Psychology; A major joint event, which he had co-organized at the Sapientia Egyetem in Csíkszereda; Corporate key-note speeches), academic publications related to Flow theory, the process of Leadership Development and the applications of modern Serious Games.

Most notably Zoltán has been leading our ‘Leadership & Flow Global Research Network’ since 2015, which is currently hosted at Corvinus University of Budapest. I am a major sponsor of this network and I am very impressed with Zoltan’s global outreach and academic contributions. He is a key member and driver of our quest to bring more meaning to people’s lives in general, to create workplaces that are sustainable for humanity, in short, to find ways to bring more Flow and more creativity to future generations of leaders and managers.
I am proud that his knowledge dissemination role also made him commit to becoming our Academic Ambassador of the ‘Fligby for the Russian-speaking countries.
He is an academic-pedagogical innovator with international-global outreach and impact, and also a very reliable friend to me. 

I am fully recommending you to read Missing Link Discovered (Buzady, Marer, Vécsey, 2019, 2nd edition) which includes a special essay contribution by me.

Prof. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


The current organizational chart of the ‘Leadership & Flow Global Research Network’  https://flowleadership.org/research-program/

I) Introduction

I will present my intellectual-academic development and my major-related publications in the following structure:

  • The evolution from my Ph.D. in Strategic Management to my interest in Leadership theory and practice. (Section II)
  • How the concepts of Flow and psychological capital can form the scientific and academic basis for a new theory of Flow-promoting Leadership and what is the role of modern Serious Games. (Section III)
  • A brief overview and a few concrete samples of my research findings on how Serious Games can be used successfully for leadership and management development. (Section IV)
  • An outline of how my work in leadership development was applied in the international and cross-cultural academic context, in particular, my new focus on Central-Asia (Section V)
  • An indication of my most actual (2021) academic projects (research, teaching and development), with an outlook for the next few years to come. (Section VI).

II) My Intellectual/Academic Evolution from Strategic Management to the Theory and Practice of Leadership

My 2001 Ph.D. dissertation in Strategic Management and my earlier academic publications were on the typologies and taxonomy of strategic alliances and the dynamic evolution of various configurations in the post-transition years of Hungary. I have shown in various publications (#38.-54.)) how the success or failure of Strategic Alliances in Hungary was strongly influenced but the strategic choices as well as the factors prevailing in the post-transition economies, coupled with the new trend of internationalization (1989 onwards).

However, one of the most important new insights I drew from my own research work was the importance of management and in particular the role of good leadership to the success and failure of strategy and business concepts. Good and even the most brilliant plans for profitable business can only be turned into long-term success if the ‘broader leadership and management’ of any organization is appropriate to its goals and creates the right work environment for its organizational members. 

So as a consequence of these experiences, insights and reasons, I began to write and publish: 

  • My own teaching case studies and teaching notes. (items #31, #37). I won twice a global award by CEEMAN-Emerald Publisher’s award, in 2011 and in 2014.
  • International publications on pedagogical tools and their effectiveness, such as about case teaching methods in a handbook on case teaching as a teaching tool in management education (book chapters, items #19 and #27).
  • First articles on the concept of what is good leadership, what are the dynamics of leadership and how to take the best interventions in order to increase employee engagement and team performance (items #29, #30, 34.).
  • I joined international research teams focusing on comparative aspects of leadership and organizational behavior. Our 2013 joint Q1 publication (MTM list item #28) on workplace bullying has 100+ citations on MTMT and 192+ on Google Scholar.

My research-based finding and postulations:

Thesis #1: The effectiveness and success of corporate and competitive strategies, as well as of strategic alliances, are highly correlated with the quality of good leadership and management.

Thesis #2: The Harvard Business School-style case method is still a contemporary, valid, and effective tool for teaching good leadership and management practices. Further, it is applicable also in the context of post-transition economies of the Central-European region.

My related publications from the attached MTMT list are numbers: 19., 20., 27., 29., 30., 31., 35., 36., 37., 38., 39., 40., 41., 42., 43., 44., 46., 47., 48., 49., 50., 51., 52., 53., 54.

III) From the ‘Good Business’ Principles to the New Theory and Practice of Flow-promoting Leadership Development via Modern Serious Games

Prof. Mihaly Csíkszentmihalyi, the founder of creativity and happiness research, and thus also the founder of the new science branch, notably that of positive psychology, published in 2003 ‘Good Business’, a seminal book for leadership thought. (Csíkszentmihályi, 2003). In his research project which he conducted with over a dozen of CEO’s of major US and global corporations, he and his team investigated what were the foundations of organizational success. They came to the conclusion that the principles of ‘Good Business’ were: 

  1. Business Excellence – Process, Products and Profitability.
  2. Employee Engagement, TeamWork and Creativity (“Flow”).
  3. Sustainability in Environment and Contribution to Society.
  4. The leaders of these observed corporations used a set of 29 leadership skills, in varying degrees and combinations.

Following Csikszentmihalyi’s 3rd global bestseller book, he and his team have developed a digital solution to train the management principles and values of Good Business to the future generations of leaders in business, NGOs, and in society. I joined this team in 2013. Since then I have committed myself to the scientific, academic and pedagogical-professional development of FLIGBY, our global award-winning simulation and my leadership development pedagogical program. 

The following key concepts have been published in my co-authored book, Missing Link Discovered – Integrating Csíkszentmihályi’s Flow Theory into Management and Leadership Practice by using FLIGBY – the Official Flow-Leadership Game (2015, 2019, MTMT List items #9) with a special essay contribution by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Focusing here on Csikszentmihalyi’s value system which is especially relevant for improving organizational performance, we described an ethical responsibility framework, for individuals, and a leadership responsibility framework that suggests additional value propositions for those managing/leading a team, a business unit, or an organization, summed up in three recommended ethical principles of behavior: (see next Illustration #1)


Illustration #1:  An Individual Ethical Responsibility Framework. In: “Missing Link Discovered”( Buzady,2019)

Everyone is a leader in his or her own way. Within and around us there are countless challenges and opportunities each and every day. As long as we are guided by “do no harm for selfish reasons”, we can and should learn from our successes and mistakes so that we gradually become better persons and, at the same time, more effective, “value-guided” managers/leaders.Every one of us is a part of several “teams” – from our family to our social group, and in the workplace. It is our responsibility to bring out the best in our team members, especially our co-workers and subordinates, realizing that our decisions affect their professional as well as personal lives. Extending this to organizations, knowledge workers (especially) increasingly choose workplaces that offer more than just a paycheck. Organizations that “help others to experience Flow” are proven to be more successful on many performance dimensions than others that do not. As individuals, while we enjoy doing our best, at the same time we should also “contribute to something beyond self”. Examples from the world of business would be working toward the real sustainability of our goods and services, our business model, and the environment. In more and more societies, such issues are moving from the periphery to the center of concerns; all stakeholders of organizations are expected to be in the forefront of solving the problems of the “commons”.

The concept and theory of Flow is well documented in contemporary research (Fong et al. 2014.). In 2004 Luthans et al., identified psychological capital to be the 4th driver of competitiveness. This concept is now widely accepted in management literature and positive psychology. It must be noted that Hope, Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism, can now be measured with objective, scientific research scales, it is particularly important to emphasize, that both Human capital and Positive psychological capital are created while experiencing the Flow mental state –  see next Illustration #2, below:

Illustration #2: Drivers of Competitiveness – Author’s own illustration

Given the relevance of and the importance of Flow for competitiveness, business, organizations and management practitioners, my research focus was on the identification of which of the 29 leadership skills which Csikszentmihalyi had originally described in Good Business (book) were those key skills through which a leader could imbue and stimulate more Flow experiences to her employees, team members and colleagues? A key task in order to build scientific measures relating to Flow-based leadership competencies was to identify those management/leadership skills that facilitate the creation and maintenance of a Flow-based organizational culture

Illustration #3:  29 Leadership Skills by FLIGBY in: “Missing Link Discovered” (Buzady, 2019):

The 29 leadership skills can be sorted, in several ways, into just a handful of skill categories, as will be shown below. It is important to stress that – see Illustration #3 –  approximately 25 skills can be found in most theoretical and empirical descriptions of what leadership is about. Generating Flow is not something that is apart from those well-known practices that good managers/leaders are expected to follow as a matter of course. The newly-emphasized leadership skills, which can generate a Flow-promoting work environment (defined in the footnotes) are:

  • Balancing skills; Feedback; Recognizing personal strengths; Strategic thinking

The 29 skills can also be grouped into the five categories which the most widely-used such frameworks employ, the so-called Executive-Core-Qualifications (ECQ) system, see Table #1. The ECQ system happens to be the standard for measuring the skills and competencies of applicants for high-level positions in the US federal government. The EQC system thus defines the competencies supposedly needed to build an organizational culture that drives for results, serves customers well, and builds successful teams and coalitions within and outside the organization. Similar grouping we have published with the Gallup/Clifton Strength’s Finder.

Table #1: The 29 skills grouped into ECQ categories (Own compilation, In: Missing Link Discovered 2019.

Given the high relevance of leadership skills for Flow and organizational competitiveness, and considering the fact that skills can be measured, are dynamic, and can be developed, have developed a Serious Game (Badibanga, 2019). Illustration #4 shows the positioning of serious games.

Illustration #4: Defining Serious Gaming, In: Missing Link Discovered (Buzady, 2019)

A serious game is typically an online application that makes use of the mechanisms of video games to communicate specific information (knowledge) that helps introduce relevant concepts and the application of those concepts to solve problems. Serious games differ from classical video games in that their primary objective is not entertainment but effective learning. A well-constructed serious game can also be fun to play. The terms game-based learning (GBL) and serious games are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there is a difference: serious games usually have as one of their purposes the behavioral change of the players – in education, in industry, in business, in marketing/advertising, in the military, in government, and in the nonprofit sectors – whereas in GBL the emphasis is more on the retention of knowledge, less on inducing behavioral change. Serious games often involve the simulation of real-world events or processes designed for the purpose of solving a problem. Simulation is also known as problem-based learning, or whole-task learning, that puts the player into the role of a problem solver, responding to realistic workplace scenarios. The lessons are built around a series of progressively more complex situations. A scenario-based game is somewhat similar to a decision-dilemma-driven teaching case study which I have described in Thesis #2 and Thesis #3

FLIGBY, the official Flow-Leadership Development Program and Game by Csikszentmihalyi, has been applied around the world by over 25000 players in 2021. I personally have applied it to all my courses since 2015 around the globe (Hungary, Poland, Czechia, Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong).  I have presented it to major Education Technology events and conferences (Prague, Wroclaw, Moscow, Nur-Sultan, Istanbul, Barcelona, Tallinn, Hangzhou). 

Most importantly for our Hungarian academic community, I have co-organized and co-presented on academic events with Prof. Csikszentmihalyi in Csíkszereda, Sapientia University, and I am the Academic Director and International Academic Ambassador of our ‘Leadership & Flow Global Research Network’ hosted at Corvinus University since 2017.

My research-based finding and postulations / Tézisek:

Thesis #3: We postulate that the Individual Ethical Responsibility Framework, which ought to guide the decisions and actions of managers and leaders, the concept of promoting Flow to others is a key pillar.

Thesis #4: Much in line with the works of Luthans et al. (2004), who identified that experiencing Flow is the source of building up positive psychological capital – we propose to create more Flow experiences to employees is a core task of competitive, contemporary leadership. This is our (my) new leadership theory of ‘Flow-promoting Leadership’.

Thesis #5: We postulate that in order to maximize the benefits of Flow, organizations must develop the competencies of their leaders, ie. leadership development, and in particular the awareness and application of the 4 core ‘Flow-Leadership Skills’. (Strategic Thinking, Giving Feedback, Balancing Skill and Recognizing Personal Strengths).

Thesis #6: I have shown that the 29 FLIGBY skills can be well integrated into other common frameworks and leadership skill categorization.

Thesis #7: We postulate that Serious Games, a combination of theory-based content, gamification processes and simulation technology, are ideal, contemporary tools for Flow-promoting Leadership Development.

My related publications from the attached MTMT list are numbers: 9.,10.,11.,16., 24., 25.

My related “TOP 5” publication from the attached MTMT list is number: 

#9. Zoltan, Buzady ; Paul, Marer ; Zad, Vecsey Missing link discovered: Integrating Csikszentmihályi’s Flow Theory into Management and Leadership Practice by using FLIGBY – the Official Flow-Leadership Game, Budapest, Magyarország : Aleas Group (2019) , 189 pages. ISBN: 9789631254907 BCE katalógus, Közlemény: 30789668 Egyeztetett Forrás Könyv (Szakkönyv)

Other related publications (selection):

Badibanga, Junior, “Leadership Skills, Promoting Flow and Generating Profit: A Study of Millennial Managers Through Gamification” (2019). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 924. https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/924

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2003). Good business: Leadership, flow, and the making of meaning. New York: Viking.

M. Crooke, M. Csikszentmihalyi, R. Bikel, Leadership in a Complex World, Organ Dyn (2015), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orgdyn.2015.02.00

Fong, C. J., Zaleski, D. J., & Leach, J. K. (2014). The challenge–skill balance and antecedents of flow: A meta-analytic investigation. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 10(5), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2014.967799

Luthans, Fred; Luthans, Kyle W.; and Luthans, Brett C., “Positive psychological capital: Beyond human and social capital” (2004). http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/managementfacpub/14

IV) The New World of Serious Games for Leadership Development- A Brief Overview of My Key Research Findings 

The 2017 special issue of the ‘World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development’ focuses on new, computer-based and/or online learning tools with the aim to present current trends and innovations to professionals, consultants, instructors and academics. In it, (Article publication #16 on my MTMT list), I have presented as a researcher and professor of leadership, who has co-created a truly innovative leadership development simulation game -FLIGBY. More importantly, also I outlined its relevance for management education and for practitioners in management and training. In this work, I began to show that our serious game helps players to transpose abstract, theoretical concepts into daily management practices:

We have shared our experiences about using this particular serious game as a blended learning tool for effective training and development of Flow-based leadership and management skill (Marer et al., 2016 – MTMT item #27). The topics covered in the decision dilemmas during the Game make it an appropriate teaching tool in a variety of courses, such as: Leadership – Managing People (Human Resources), Leadership Development – Self-Management, Business Strategy and Business Development, Marketing in the Context of General, Organizational Behavior and Managing Change, Managing Agricultural Enterprises, especially Wineries, Leading Teams, Entrepreneurship, Cross-cultural Management, Sustainability in Business, Business Ethics, Applied Psychology.

For an effective, meaningful, and yet entertaining leadership development process we recommend following these phases or stages when using FLIGBY as a training tool:

1. The Briefing Session – What to tell players before the game. The preparation and implementation requirements fall into two major categories: Personal preparation by the instructor: The instructor herself or himself should be playing FLIGBY first, completing the Game. It is essential that a teacher play FLIGBY so as to experience the Game’s potential, to be prepared to understand students’ comments later and be ready to conduct stimulating debriefing third phase. (2) Introducing FLIGBY to the participants: We suggest that during the introductory session, the instructor summarize the key features of the Game and indicate where and how FLIGBY fits into the course material. 
2. Intermediate Sessions & Continuous FeedbackIntermediate sessions between the briefing and debriefing session of FLIGBY are valuable opportunities to enhance the learning and personal development process.
C:\Users\User\Documents\My Documents\Google Drive\Leadership and Flow Research\Teaching FLIGBY\fligby_instructors_guide\illustrations\9_2_cmyk-02.png
Illustration #5: Teaching with FLIGBY, blended learning approach of “flipped” classroom (Marer, Buzady et al. 2016). Illustration #5) shows how teaching with the Game is most effective via a blended learning approach. The drawing depicts a so-called flipped classroom, a pedagogical model where the typical “lecture”, followed by “homework”, is reversed. Video lectures are viewed or serious video games are played by students at home (out of class), while class time is devoted to discussion, exercises, and projects. De Freitas and Routledge (2013) write “… the aspect of feedback in games lends well to monitoring performance and building up the acquisition of soft skills (…) but game-based feedback is formative and continuous (…) and has positive benefits for learning”. Providing frequent, specific, and actionable feedback is one of the most important features of FLIGBY and also of the Flow-promoting leadership practices – crucial also for learning and enjoyable gaming. 
3. The Debriefing Session: Review the Game, Proceed to ImplementationDebriefing sessions are a vital part of the overall learning and training process: participants explain their thinking and reasoning on decision dilemmas, and debate with each other. This additional learning is especially useful because everyone will hear that there are numerous plausible and defensible ways to think about a problem or to react to a situation (in the case study, the simulation game etc.). Some differences will reflect varied cultural backgrounds.
4. Follow-up Options: Skills Evaluation and Sustainable DevelopmentUpon finishing the Game, each player receives a detailed, benchmarked report on his or her 29 managerial/leadership skills, as well as areas suggested for further development. The report shows relative strengths and weaknesses within each individual’s own skills profile. At the same time, each skill and group of skills is automatically benchmarked against the average of the player’s cohort (for example, employees of an organization who played the Game at the same time, or that of a class whose instructor assigned FLIGBY). 

In addition to employing FLIGBY for its intended purpose, namely, to help individual managers/leaders and organizations to create a Flow-friendly workplace, the further value of a game like FLIGBY is its ability to measure, without bias, the leadership skill set of prospective (to be hired) managers or that of its current management group (Ihsan, Z., & Furnham, A., 2018). An organization may rely on FLIGBY’s skill set  (which overlaps a great deal with other, frequently used, leadership skill set classifications) if it does not have its own so-called “competency system”. FLIGBY’s skill set can be readily translated into any organization’s own leadership competency system. Either way, the skill feedback a company obtains at the conclusion of the Game about its own personnel can be benchmarked, in various ways, within and outside the organization. The results can serve as the basis for a company to establish personal development plans for each participant.

In ‘Assessment of Entrepreneurship Competencies Through Use of FLIGBY’, 2019, (MTMT list item #6) We have shown a stable sample size (50+) via questionnaires and interviews the following outcomes, and based on the in-depth interviews it was possible to conclude:

Student players with more professional experience considered that the FLIGBY learning and development experience was relevant to them so as to make more precise and correct decisions because many of the situations exposed in the game scenarios are fully reflecting those real situations which they had already experienced in their own companies too. Their past experiences allowed these students to be better prepared for the challenges posed by FLIGBY. However, it was not possible to identify the reasons for the poor performance of these students in the skills dimension ‘prioritization of activities’; Students without relevant professional experience (PE < 1) indicated that the game experience was very important in understanding and experiencing the challenges of running a business. For these students, it was a surprise that many of the main challenges are in managing people and processes. They also mentioned difficulties in realizing that decisions taken in one area of ​​the company have an impact on other areas. They also found it difficult to make the best decisions when dealing simultaneously with several people that request immediate action. In fact, making important decisions is not easy, especially when both alternatives have positive and negative impacts. Additionally, the study conducted by De Paola & Gioia (2014) suggests greater difficulties of undergraduate students when exposed to time-pressure decisions with a significant impact on students’ performance both verbal and at numerical tasks. This situation was also confirmed in the FLIGBY game for students without relevant professional experience. Conclusions: The results of this present study also result in relevant practical implications, because it allowed demonstrating the viability of adopting FLIGBY as a complementary training tool to the traditional models and methods of teaching entrepreneurship, which are based on theoretical expositions and applied projects. 

In our article ‘Learning entrepreneurship in higher education via the concept of Flow and serious games’ (2019, MTMT list item #4), we have extended our research beyond the assessment of skills to the question whether the learning of entrepreneurship can also be enhanced by use of serious games as part of a wider portfolio of teaching tools at higher education (Ponce & Pagán-Maldonado 2015). 

Five research questions (RQs) were established in order to analyze the potential of FLIGBY as a serious game platform to help students acquire entrepreneurship competencies:
RQ1 – What is the perception of the students about the FLIGBY experience?
RQ2 – What are the main benefits offered by FLIGBY?
RQ3 – Do the benefits experienced by students are different considering their course profile?
RQ4 – Do the benefits experienced by students are affected by their professional experience in the IT or Management fields?
RQ5 – What are the main limitations of FLIGBY?

The study follows a mixed-method approach in which we adopt a sequential explanatory design strategy. In the first place, we started by accessing the student’s performance of the students that took part in the focus group. Posteriorly, in the second phase, we used a survey that was distributed among the seven students of our focus group. This technique allows us to quantitatively explore several dimensions related to the experience of using the FLIGBY game, its main benefits and limitations. Next, we organized four follow-up sessions over a period of one month to track the progress and difficulties experienced by students throughout the game. This technique allows an informal follow-up of the dynamics and priorities established by each individual, and it is important that the interviewer allows the conversation proceeds with fluency and high interactivity. In this case, the role of the interviewer was played by the teacher. Table #2 (below) presents summary information on the key statistics associated with the benefits offered by FLIGBY. Three benefits among the twelve initially considered stand out:
(i) improve knowledge in the leadership field;
(ii) improves knowledge in the management field; and
(iii) helps them to try out new approaches.

On the opposite side, the benefits considered less relevant are: (i) improves their self-esteem; and
(ii) enhances their motivation.

In fact, through the analysis of the mode, we can conclude that most of the students consider that the use of FLIGBY provides an increase of knowledge in the field of ​​leadership. This is a theme that is often underdeveloped in the context of the lecture sessions since this is a field that needs high experimentation. Only the knowledge of the various types of leadership can be clearly insufficient if the entrepreneur does not have the practical skills to motivate his team in the field. 

Benefits’ dimensionsMeanMedianModeStd. dev.Asymmetry
Improves knowledge in the management field4,375440,518PositiveImproves knowledge in the leadership field4,54,550,535NegativeImproves knowledge in the entrepreneurship field4,25440,463PositiveHelps students to be more aware of skills and actions at work/univ.4,125440,641~SymmetricHelps them to try out new approaches4,375440,518PositiveHelps them to have new attitudes to people4,25440,707PositiveImproves their self-esteem3,375330,518PositiveImproves collaborative learning4,125440,641~SymmetricEnhance their motivation3,53,540,535NegativeHelps to know more about themselves3,875440,641~SymmetricApplicable to real world4,125440,641~SymmetricImproves to establish new social connections3,75440,463Negative
Table #2: Descriptive statistic: FLIGBY benefits  (Authors’ compilation, 2019, MTMT list item #4).
Our findings were that the use of the FLIGBY game in the context of entrepreneurship classes was received with enthusiasm by the students who took part in the focus group. Students stated that the experience of using FLIGBY was clearly worth the time. At this level, students emphasized the realism, interactivity and immediate feedback provided by the game. 

My academic research continued with the exploration of the question whether – beyond the functions of (1) assessment of skills and (2) the motivation of learning of entrepreneurship – serious games can also be used effectively for developing and enhancing participants’ current level of leadership skills (Bucic, T., Robinson, L., & Ramburuth, P. 2010)? 

We have published an article in 2019 ‘FLIGBY – A Serious Game Tool to Enhance Motivation and Competencies in Entrepreneurship’ (MTMT list item #7) and our contribution was subsequently also published as a peer-reviewed journal book chapter (MTMT list item #3). In that study we aimed to present and explore a case study of a higher education institution that adopts FLIGBY as a serious game, which allows students to develop entrepreneurship skills in an immersive way and based on real challenges that can be found in business environments. The findings indicate that FLIGBY offers relevant potentials and new possibilities in the development of management, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills.

Our conclusions were: Entrepreneurship is a standard of living that includes a set of behaviors and skills that can be developed and applied not only when launching a new business but also to enhance the performance of any job activity. The mission of universities, in addition to preparing students for the job market, is to form critical and aware citizens who can contribute as agents of change in society. In this sense, the inclusion of entrepreneurship in the formal university education system is relevant. FLIGBY presents itself as a technological tool that through a serious game allows the acquisition and development of competencies through a powerful, immersive, and personalized learning space.The use of FLIGBY in the context of an entrepreneurship course involving students with multidisciplinary skills in management and computer science was received very positively by students. (Motivation)The students mentioned the usefulness of the game in the development of management, leadership and entrepreneurship skills that will be essential to them throughout their academic career and in the labor market. By using FLIGBY, students were able to train their skills in a wide range of domains like gathering information, motivating employees, training their emotional intelligence, and establishing social dynamics in a corporate environment. Furthermore, the use of FLIGBY allowed these students to better understand their skills and explore how they interact with individuals that have very distinct and often conflicting characters. These skills are fundamental in the labor market and are typically not included and addressed in the context of a higher education degree.FLIGBY offers both summative and formative assessment components. For one side, the FLIGBY personal report is a fundamental element in the analysis of the player’s performance in the game considering the 29 MAP dimensions. This report also allows a comparative analysis of the benchmarking obtained by players in each of these dimensions. Despite the importance of summative elements, the potential of FLIGBY is revealed in the inclusion of several formative elements that support and evaluate the player in a non-intrusive way throughout the game. These formative elements are essential in the development of student’s skills while they are playing.

Our study has unequivocal theoretical and practical potentialities and benefits. From the theoretical point of view, a new informal teaching method based on a serious game is presented that allows students to increase technical skills in the field of management and entrepreneurship and also allows them to develop essential soft-skills (e.g., leadership, group work, emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills, among others) that are crucial when launching a new venture. On the other hand, in practical terms, this study seeks to arouse in other higher education institutions the desire to include serious games as a complementary activity to formal teaching methods in an entrepreneurship course, highlighting these game’s relevance. It is intended that this case study serve as a reference for other higher education institutions to adopt serious games in the context of an entrepreneurship course.

Based on these finding we have already identified our research for 2021:

Focusing on the impact on skills development by replaying Fligby during a second or more game rounds, our future research is to to increase the number of those involved in this initiative. Also, entrepreneurship being a multidisciplinary theme, it is pertinent to involve other engineering and social sciences courses in this discipline. Another aspect to be assessed is the impact of the use of FLIGBY on students’ academic performance. To this end, it is important to explore how performance in each of the 29 MAP dimensions has an impact on students’ academic success through the use of non-parametric and parametric statistical techniques. Finally, it is also relevant to explore the use of FLIGBYi in which students can practice the development of skills in which they experience greater difficulty.

My research-based finding and postulations:

Thesis #8: We have shown that, by now,  Serious Games are a recognized subject area of academic research. Pedagogical learning processes need to be applied for achieving expected developmental results.

Thesis #9: We postulate that Serious Games are a recognized tool for the assessment of entrepreneurial competencies.

Thesis #10: Serious Games are a recognized tool also for the teaching and effective learning of entrepreneurship as part of a wider portfolio of teaching tools at higher education. 

Thesis #11: Serious Games are a recognized tool which de facto allows students to develop entrepreneurship skills in an immersive way and based on real challenges that can be found in business environments.

Thesis #12: Serious Games offer the option of replay and dynamic learning via the simulation function. Thus positive results are expected if using serious games for impacting skills development by replaying Fligby for a second game round or even more frequently.

Thesis Sub-Summary: The extension of classic Flow-theory into the domain of management science and entrepreneurship research as well as into the theory & practice of leadership development via modern gamification technologies has been successful and remains a future trend.
Thus, I have not only pioneered a new leadership theory but also created a new practice category: Flow-promoting Leadership Development via Serious Gaming

My related publications from the attached MTMT list are numbers: 3., 4., 6., 7.

My related “TOP 5” publications from the attached MTMT list are numbers: 

#4 Almeida, Fernando ; Buzády, Zoltán. Learning Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Through Flow Theory and FLIGBY Game. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments 9 : 1 pp. 1-15. , 15 p. (2019) DOI Közlemény:30371743 Egyeztetett Forrás Idéző Folyóiratcikk (Szakcikk) Folyóirat szakterülete: Scopus – Computer Science Applications Helyzete: Q4 DOI: 10.4018/IJVPLE.2019010101

#6  Buzády, Zoltán Assessment of Entrepreneurship Competencies: Through the Use of FLIGBY DIGITAL EDUCATION REVIEW 35 pp. 151-169. , 19 p. (2019) WoS Scopus Közlemény:30731462 Egyeztetett Forrás Folyóiratcikk (Szakcikk) Folyóirat szakterülete: Scopus – Computer Science Applications Helyzete: Q2  Pedagógiai Tudományos Bizottság II. FTO PedTB [1901-] A

Other related publications:


Bucic, T., Robinson, L., & Ramburuth, P. (2010). Effects of leadership style on team learning. Journal of Workspace Learning, 22(4), 228-248.

de Freitas, S. and Routledge, H., (2013), “Designing leadership and soft skills in educational games: the e-leadership and soft skills educational games design model ELESS”, British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 44 No. 6, pp. 951-968

De Paola, M., & Gioia, F. (2014). Who performs better under time pressure? Results from a field experiment. IZA,Research Series. Retrieved from http://ftp.iza.org/dp8708.pdf

Ihsan, Z., & Furnham, A. (2018). The new technologies in personality assessment: A review. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 70(2), 147–166. https://doi.org/10.1037/cpb0000106

Ponce, O., & Pagán-Maldonado, N. (2015). Mixed Methods Research in Education: Capturing the Complexity of the Profession. International Journal of Educational Excellence, 1(1), 111-135

V) Flow-promoting Leadership Development in the International and Cross-cultural Academic Context – A Special Focus on the Hungarian Eastern-Partnership Foreign Policy

Background information: My favorite subjects on my MBA in International Business at the CASS Business School were Strategy, Organizational Behaviour and Managing Across Cultures, which, back in 1994, was one of the first such courses in the U.K. The theme of intercultural communication and leadership differences across nations and regions was also part of my own, original Ph.D. research (2001). I have shown how the success or failure of Strategic Alliances in Hungary was strongly influenced but the strategic choices as well as the factors prevailing in the post-transition economies, coupled with the new trend of internationalization (1989 onwards).

This academic interest of mine, to explore the international, cross-cultural dimensions of strategy, has further developed into exploring and studying also HRM, Talent Management and most recently Leadership Development and Leadership Skills in the international context:

In 2015, under my academic guidance and supervision, together with TARGET Executive Search and  GfK, we conducted an extended “Follow up” of our earlier study from 2009 in which the Henley Business School had been the main lead. Both studies (2009 and 2015) cover the management and managers in six Central and Eastern European countries and are based on the opinions of 1100+ (!) expatriates and local managers from the following countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.  (MTMT list item #26).

The book contains 75 pages of data and analysis and we give cross-cultural recommendations on 47 different questions, grouped in Sociability and the unexpected, Customer orientation, Organization, responsibility and leadership, Bureaucracy and corruption, Female managers, Working with other cultures. Illustration #6 shows: Expatriates perceived strong interpersonal skills in managers as highly valued mainly in Romania and Hungary.           Question #27. Strong interpersonal skills in managers are highly valued hereIllustration #6:: Question 27 from Target Study (Buzady, 2015).In the 2015 study we showed considerable variation and commonalities among the different CEE countries: CEE managers work very hard and are ambitious
Foreigners clearly enjoy living and working in CEE countries
Strong interpersonal skills of managers are highly valued
Good personal relationships are essential to good business in CEE
Women are definitely more effective managers than men 
Managers in the CEE region do place much value on the company they work for
In most CEE countries, managers prefer working in a planned, structured manner

In another academic study (2016, MTMT list item #21.) I have developed my framework on Talent Management & Staffing in Central and Eastern Europe. My book chapter contribution was published in ‘Global Talent Management and Staffing in MNEs (Multinational Enterprises)’ by Emerald Publishers, 2016. The concrete research data is taken from the above-mentioned regional study, but in it I presented a new intellectual framework for better understanding the driving forces behind Talent Management and Staffing decisions made in the CEE region. Quote from (2016, MTMT list item #21.):

At the individual level Csikszentmihalyi et al. (1997) state that if talent is seen as an exceptional ability to show high performance and outputs, the question arises: how can it be developed even further? How to nurture talent, what educational and learning requirements are needed? In a corporate environment, the role of HR then is to adjust the organizational skills and the talent pool in such a way as to maximise performance. The second possible approach is to develop talent by influencing the field’s ability to stimulate and to reward higher performance. This can be achieved by increasing the budget allocated to a particular talent development program. The third direction is to develop the talent by developing the individuals themselves. After all, it is the individual who ultimately has to carry out the task, that is: how best to manage talented people in the given national cultural contexts? Employees have to be recognized as important assets and people full of potential, in order to develop a talent. Therefore, it is important to know what talents are important for an organization and its performance and vice versa people must also be considered as having skills that are useful for organizational performance. Second, talent development is more efficient, if people have learned the routine of cultivating talent; this means talent development becomes more dynamic and more effective each time the process is repeated. Third, the role of top management in talent development is crucial, by providing support and challenge to enhance the development of talent. To emphasize the third point, we need to further sketch out of the wider, organizational aspects of why talent management and staffing policies are particularly important in the international business context. Sparrow, Scullion and Tarique (2014) explain that the current trend is for MNEs to develop and use a global pool of talent, and become less dependent on sending expatriates around the global to local businesses to execute organizational coordination. 

The next Illustration #7 (see, below, taken from my MTMT list #21, page 193.) depicts the organizational framework of the leadership and management challenge of MNEs related to finding the best talent management and staffing:

Illustration #7: Org’l framework of talent management &  staffing at MNEs in CEE (Buzady, 2016). This talent gap, however, is often interpreted as a negative factor for lower organizational performance or agility. Global strategy, set at HQ-level, directs the overall business strategy goals, but it also closely directs the overall global HRM strategy element, including any aspects of the talent strategy. Global HRM and talent strategy have the purpose of furthering and supporting the global business strategy. It is typical for MNEs to show a clear operational linkage and influence between its overall global strategy, their global HR strategy and the various elements of the talent strategy. This calls our attention to the importance to take local variations into account. Central and Eastern European countries are often emphasizing to multinational/global HQ and their expatriate managers how different each country’s socio-economic and national cultural heritage and ways of doing business are (Buzady, 2014). By integrating those differences into the talent and staffing strategies, MNEs will be more likely to capitalize on the value-added potential of their investments in the CEE region.Third, we also wish to draw the reader’s attention to the contextual implications of good talent management and staffing practices in the even wider, more macroeconomic perspective. For this, we will briefly present the regional and international competitiveness view on talent management and staffing. 

The Non-Intrusive Measurement and Global Benchmarking of 29 Management and Leadership Skills via FLIGBY in Central Europe, Ukraine and Kazakhstan’ (2019, MTMT list item #5).

Since 2015 I have been using FLIGBY on executive training and MBA education programs in the CEE and CA region. The table below lists the global average benchmark top and least used leadership skills. We have calculated and listed also for 4 Central Eastern European and Central Asian countries our findings about which particular skills are Top and Low and indicate the deviation to the Global Average in total percentage points. Data in Table #3:Table #3: Comparison of 29 Leadership Skills’  Extreme Score Deviations of 4 Countries (Author’s own compilation, 2019, MTMT list item #5)

Earlier, in 2014, I was invited to join the ‘Central and Eastern European International Research Team CEEIRT’ focusing on comparative HRM studies in CEE The Hungarian Government’s new economic development strategy: “Opening towards the East / Keleti Nyitás”, led me to build up the research leg for the Republic of Kazakhstan our network.

In this field of research, we have published our studies and our book (See: MTMT publication list item numbers #8 & #15). Our Q1-rated journal article (2020, MTMT list item #2, 2020) in brief:

In that article, we explored the effects of three organizational variables (country of origin of the multinational company (MNC), the timing of entry into the European Union and the mode of establishment of the MNC subsidiary unit) on the human resource management (HRM) practices being pursued by subsidiaries of large MNCs operating in selected countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Former Soviet Union. Furthermore, we examine whether the degree of autonomy afforded to the subsidiary over its preferred HR recipes is related to overall local unit performance. We profiled the HRM practices of 379 foreign-owned subsidiaries located in Bulgaria, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. Using descriptive statistics, we present the general characteristics of the sample and we then use bivariate statistical analysis to test our hypotheses relating to the impact of different organizational factors on the HR practice mix implemented in the MNC subsidiaries covered in our survey.Our research calls attention to the issue of balancing the efficiencies of standardization with the local tastes, preferences and traditions of customization which results in more successful MNC control and ultimately higher levels of performance. It also calls attention to the challenges in pursuing research of this nature over time in the CEE region, especially given the dynamic nature of the MNC mix in each of the countries. Our findings serve to reduce the information gap on foreign-owned companies in CEE and the Former Soviet Union. Despite some 30 years of transition, there remains a paucity of empirical research on the HR practices of MNCs across a number of countries in the CEE region. For a decade and a half, the CEEIRT group has been systematically gathering empirical evidence. The combination of the breadth (10 countries) and depth (numerous items related to MNC subsidiary relationships with corporate HQs and patterns of HR practices and roles) characterizing the ongoing research effort of the CEEIRT collaboration serves as a mechanism for augmenting the empirical base on HRM in the region.

As a consequence of my own academic-professional motivation and personal interests (having grown up and lived in the Western-Europe for my first 25 years) in trends and development of leadership and management research in the former-Soviet Union countries, I have also fully supervised a doctoral candidate, defense in 2021, at the Almaty Management University. Together, we have published in 2020 a Q3-rated article (Lipovka-Buzady, 2020, MTMT list item #1.) – which I will be quoting in the following section below.

Relevance of the study and problem statement is: Notwithstanding the positive impact of women’s representation on management boards and extensive research of non-significant differences in women’s and men’s management effectiveness, the percentage of women among managers shows a low positive dynamic worldwide. CEE and Central Asia (CA) represent the post-communist countries with transition economies. In CA patriarchal traditions affected the women’s societal roles. Nonetheless, Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan have been included in the Very High Human Development Group by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The study used a part of the my own survey “Can Central and Eastern Europe Compete?” initially utilized in Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria by the TARGET Executive Search, Gfk (Buzady et al. 2015) and further adapted to Kazakhstan. The sample included 1100 respondents from CEE and 551 respondents from Kazakhstan. The results have shown that in the Kazakhstan sample perceptions of women managers are more negative compared to the CEE sample. However, within the CEE sample views on women managers significantly vary, including rather positive opinions in Bulgaria and Romania and more negative in Czechia and Poland.  Illustration #9:  Level of agreement with the statement “On the whole women tend to be more effective managers than their male counterparts” (Source: MTMT list #1, 2020)
In accordance with data in Illustration #9 above, the agreement with the statement by the Kazakhstanis constituted 49%. Meanwhile, the average agreement in CEE equaled 64%, including Romania – 77%, Bulgaria – 76%, Hungary – 62%, Slovakia – 58%, Poland – 55% and Czechia – 53% (Buzady et al. 2015).
The difference between Kazakhstan and Europe of 15% represents a serious discrepancy in opinions about women managers: generally, all CEE countries agreed with the statement, while Kazakhstan respondents disagreed. The present research has confirmed the previous cross-cultural study of the World Values Survey (WVS) where respondents from Kazakhstan demonstrated stronger male/female stereotypes than their CEE counterparts. The present findings enrich the cross-cultural differentiation of CEE and CA, which still is a  largely unexamined area still to date. These states have much in common – the ex-communist history, transition economies, close level of human development and similar challenges of gender equality – but demonstrate rather different perceptions of women managers as shown in our research contribution. 

My research-based finding and postulations :

Thesis #13: My study on the managerial and leadership realities in 6 countries of the CEE region, have shown dynamics and changes between 2009 and 2014. International managers confirmed the importance of great leadership and organizational skills for business success in CEE.  

Thesis #14: In the context of the CEE region, the trend for MNEs to develop and to use a global pool of talent, and become less dependent on sending expatriates around the globe to execute local business operations is clearly detectable. However, it also creates new tensions on how to execute a coherent strategy across various countries in an integrated yet sufficiently differentiated way.

Thesis #15: We postulate that leadership skills increasingly matter the success or failure of international companies but also in the case of local companies, who are exposed to international trends and globalized forces.

Thesis #16: Human Resource Management across the CEE and former-Soviet Union countries undergo dynamic adjustments. Training budgets were significantly linked to the timing of EU accession, and we found that HQ’s intention in HRM practices is strongly influencing local HR practices in the 10 countries of our study.

Thesis #17: Exploring, measuring and analyzing leadership and managerial attitudes, perceptions and skills in the Central Asian and CEE region is a fruitful area for academic research in general, and in particular to explore the differences between male and female manager-leaders. 

Thesis Sub-Summary 2: Cross-cultural, national and international differences still matter in the context of successful HRM and leadership practices. The development of intellectual exchanges and of the best practices in leadership development via serious games (measurement function and development function) accelerate the convergence thereof in the future. I have produced unique and new academic discoveries, which are also in support of the Hungarian foreign policy of Eastern Partnership ( ‘Keleti-Partnerség’’).

My related publications from the attached MTMT list are numbers:   1., 2.,  5., 8., 13., 14., 15., 21., 22., 23., 26.

My related “TOP 5” publications from the attached MTMT list are numbers: 

#1.  Anastassiya, Lipovka ; Buzády, Zoltán. Gender Stereotypes about Managers: A Comparative Study of Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia. JOURNAL FOR EAST EUROPEAN MANAGEMENT STUDIES 2020 : Special Issue pp. 15-36. , 22 p. (2020) Folyóirat szakterülete: Scopus – Business and International Management Helyzete: Q3, Gazdaságtudományi Doktori Minősítő Bizottság IXGJO GMB [1901-] DOI: 10.5771/9783748907190-15

#2. József, Poór ; Allen, D. Engle ; Ildikó, Éva Kovács ; Michael, J. Morley ; Kinga, Kerekes ; Agnes, Slavic ; Nemanja, Berber; Timea, Juhász ; Monica, Zaharie ; Katerina, Legnerova ; Zoltán, Buzády et al.  Multinationals and the evolving contours of their human management practices in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union   IN: EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 42 : 3 pp. 582-608. , 27 p. (2020) DOI Kiadónál WoS Scopus. Közlemény:31278956 Egyeztetett Forrás Idéző Folyóiratcikk (Szakcikk ). Folyóirat szakterülete: Scopus – Industrial Relations Helyzete: Q1 Gazdaságtudományi Doktori Minősítő Bizottság IXGJO GMB [1901-] C Állam- és Jogtudományi Bizottság IXGJO ÁJB [1901-] C. Szociológiai Tudományos Bizottság IXGJO SZTB [1901-]  C   DOI: 10.1108/ER-01-2019-0082

Other related publications:

Csikszentmihalyi, M., Rathunde, K., & Whalen, S. (1997). Talented teenagers. Cambridge: Cambridge. University Press.

Sparrow, P., Scullion, H., & Tarique, I. (2014). Strategic talent management: Literature review, integrative framework, and suggestions for further research. Cambridge: Cambridge. University Press.

VI) New Vistas of Leadership Development Research and Education in the Digital Era – Outlook into Future Academic Projects

Knowledge of the skill levels of employees obtained during a serious game can be especially useful for predictive-HR-analysis. This new, analytical approach is employed when an organization faces (or might soon be facing) a new challenge, which requires certain managerial/leadership/strategic skills. One of the most useful applications of predictive analysis is in the case of planned mergers and acquisitions, where the incompatibility of organizational cultures can be – and often is – a fundamental cause of failure. In sum, game-based learning used appropriately, can help corporations build strategic skills in a timely, cost-effective and focused manner – a critical capability in today’s dynamic business environments (Salisbury, J., & Tomlinson, P., 2016).  

Furthermore, serious games can create an experiential, interactive and common understanding of key management/leadership/ strategy concepts at a low cost and in an easily scalable manner across the entire organization. Games can be rolled out easily to all relevant managers and key staff members. Whereas conferences, seminars and coaching practically limit the number of participants. 

In addition to FLIGBY’s credentials as a game-based leadership teaching and training tool, the Game also offers a unique database, generated by thousands of player decisions linked to skill measures, ready to be exploited for academic research purposes. About 25000 persons (Dec. 2020) have played FLIGBY to date, generating more than three million data points, a number that is expected to increase ten- to hundred-fold in the coming years. The accumulated Big-Data available for research purposes are anonymous in that the identity of the players is protected in a foolproof way. At the same time, the replies can be sorted by age bracket, experience level, gender, nationality, work culture, economic sector the player works in at the time of playing the Game. Given the large size and the uniquely unbiased properties of the FLIGBY databank, it obviously represents a great empirical resource for leadership research. 

See next Illustration #8 for the wider, international context of Flow-Leadership via Serious Games:

Illustration #8: The Wider Context and Environment of FLIGBY – Flow-promoting Serious Game Research (Author’s own compilation).

My/Our new, future research question is the following: 

  • Are measured management skills and in particular the four Flow-Leadership skills consistent across national cultures or can significant differences be traced (Kannegieser & Atorf, 2020)? 
  • What is the relationship between the 29 leadership skills measured during the game and the other independent variables of the players, such as their organizational hierarchical position, their professional identity, their age, the number of years and industry of their work experience? 
  • How can the many behavioral data gained during gameplay be best used for supporting HR and strategic planning of organizations? 
  • Can managers trained with this serious game become better in leading with Flow and thus creating more effective and more successful organizations in the long run. 

The concrete outlets and contact points for the national (Hungarian) or global research community to reconnect to this research quest are the following:

  • The official page of the ‘Leadership & Flow Global Research Network’, currently hosted at Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary: https://flowleadership.org/research-program/.
  • Via the upcoming CEEMAN Annual Conference in Trieste, Italy, in September 2021.
  • Via continued research publications in collaboration with Fernando Almeida, University of Porto, Portugal.
  • Via Erasmus+ teaching and research cooperation in Almaty, Kazakhstan, KIMEP University, June-July 2021.
  • Continuing education on Corvinus University of Budapest Executive MBA (with Maastricht School of Management, February 2021;  with Fudan University, November 2021), on Skolkovo-USTHongKong Global MBA (December 2021) and on CEMS Global Leadership (February-April 2021).
  • Via annually approximately 4-10 MBA, EMBA and Master-level thesis supervisions in Flow-Leadership with subsequent publications in Blogs and articles.
  • Via new Ph.D. course at Corvinus:  ‘Experiential Learning & Serious Games’ (Dec 2020 – Jan 2021). 
  • Via continued activities as Academic Director of our Research Network and Ambassador for Former-Soviet Union country markets and academic ecosystem such as video seminars on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Q00ZLdpZmvM (Turkey) https://youtu.be/gO5j_MB6-wo?t=288 (Russia) https://youtu.be/9L-bafOBO2w (Kazakhstan)  https://youtu.be/Nn5ochRSVJ4?t=61 (Georgia).
Overall Summary of my Habilitation thesis work:
Living a ‘‘Meaningful Life’ in all spheres of life is a universal human, psychological trait. Flow theory is a universally applicable model. Bringing more Flow-experience to all employees in organizations is vital for competitiveness, growth and happiness. This is the most important feature and goal, which makes great leaders also turn into really great human beings – for themselves and for others. The theory of Flow, the concept and values of the “Good Business” principles described by Prof. M. Csíkszentmihályi, the practice of Flow-promoting Leadership Development and the application of FLIGBY Serious Game for leadership development processes and programs are the basis of my future professional and academic work as a researcher and educator. My personal mission is to take these foundations further into the international arena and to explore its validity in yet more national and global context settings.  I hope that my own academic community can appreciate, value, support and enhance my academic-professional mission in the next decade to come! 

My related publications from the MTMT list are numbers: 12., 17., 18.

Other related publications:

Kannegieser, E., & Atorf, D. (2020). A Study to Further Understand the Link Between Immersion and Flow. In Isaias, P., & Blashki, K. (Ed.), Interactivity and the Future of the Human-Computer Interface (pp. 114-122). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-2637-8.ch006

Salisbury, J., & Tomlinson, P. (2016). Reconciling Csikszentmihalyi’s Broader Flow Theory: With Meaning and Value in Digital Games. Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association,2(2) https://doi.org/10.26503/TODIGRA.V2I2.34

May the Flow be with you!  

Budapest, 2021. January 10.