List of Our Most Important Academic Publications

The Leadership & Flow Global Research Network promotes academic cooperation, research, and publication in the broader fields related to Flow and Leadership theory, as well as the usage of Serious Games in teaching and training, skills measurement and HR predictive analytics.

Most publications below are also enabled and driven by FLIGBY, Prof. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s official Flow-promoting Leadership Development On-Line Simulation Game.

For private academic use contact the authors  or Dr. Zoltan Buzady, Director of the Leadership & Flow Global Research Network via:

We update this list regularly.


Missing Link Discovered – Integrating Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow-theory into Management and Leadership Practice by using FLIGBY –  the Official Leadership Flow Game.

With a special essay contribution by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

1st edition 2016, 2nd edition: 2019 (see below)
By: Buzády, Z., Marer, P., Vecsey, Z.
Publisher: ALEAS Inc., Los Angeles & ALEAS Hungary Kft., Hungary. ISBN 978963-12-5491-4  164. pages

Download the introductory section and TOC here.

Download the introductory section and TOC here.

2016 B)

The Theory of “Flow’ and Its Relevance for Organizations

By: Zoltan Buzady and Paul Marer, March 2016
In: CEU Working Paper Series
Download full working paper here.

Abstract: The objective of this essay is to identify how leadership based on the principles of Flow theory, if applied, helps create a Flow-promoting work environment and lead to better organizational performance.
Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of Flow – globally known, appreciated, and applied in many fields, ranging from psychology, to education, to sports – is explained and illustrated here in considerable detail. The essay shows how a value-based and Flow-promoting approach to dealing with colleagues and subordinates will enhance the effectiveness of management and leadership.
We take side on the controversy on whether managers and leaders are of the same or different species. We try to persuade the reader that the sharp distinction that is often made between managers versus leaders is unnecessary and counterproductive.
The essay then focuses on those dramatic technological and demographic changes that are occurring all around us, in nearly all societies – changes that make the introduction of a value-based and Flow-promoting management not a nice luxury but, increasingly, an essential tool for surviving or leapfrogging our business competitors – be they large, formal organizations or the mushrooming number of start-ups and SMEs.

Download full working paper here.


Flow, leadership and serious games – a pedagogical perspective

By: Zoltan Buzady (Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary)
In: World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development
Vol. 14 Issue: 2/3, pp.204-217, DOI: 10.1108/WJSTSD-05-2016-0035
Download here.

This paper briefly outlines the relevance of flow, a core concept of positive psychology increasingly applied in leadership development and in serious gaming revealing that the quality of leadership across various cultures can be improved.

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to briefly outline the relevance of flow, a core concept of positive psychology increasingly applied in leadership development and in serious gaming. The author presents an innovative simulation game designed to teach and train how to manage and lead people based on the principles of “flow-based leadership.”
Design/methodology/approach: This paper briefly describes the flow theory; it relates to leadership theory and why it is increasingly applied in the context of serious games. Then an extensive review and presentation of the features of an innovative serious gaming solution is presented to demonstrate that simulations are a fruitful area into which positive psychology and leadership science are being extended now.
Findings: Despite the growing market segment and various areas of training applications of serious games, very few games have been developed for leadership development. A detailed report presented the conceptual and practical aspects of such a new serious game.
Research limitations/implications: The author’s contribution did not focus on testing a particular framework nor did it aim at exposing new numeric data findings. Instead, the author presented an in-depth case study as an inspiration for future, similar developments. Also, research questions for future analysis of data collected during the leadership development game were outlined.
Practical implications: Readers were informed about a new, innovative serious game application, which is successfully used for leadership development, and in particular to teach the practice of flow-based management concepts. Flow is a concept applied in many fields of life such as sports, music, arts, recreation and work-life. The positive benefits of happiness, creativity, outstanding performance and joy can lead to a fulfilling life which is a paramount value, across all cultures globally. This leadership development game can be applied in other countries and cultures. As a result, the quality of leadership across various cultures can be improved. Researchers are invited to join the outlined new research network and program.
Originality/value: Flow theory is probably the best-known concept of positive psychology across related scientific domains such as management, arts, sports, education, and spirituality. Professor Csikszentmihalyi – a global figurehead – laid the scholarly foundations decades ago, but now the concept is constantly evolving and being adopted into new and changing environments. This necessitates a review – such as this contribution – where the theoretical elements also apply in the new areas of application.
Keywords: Creativity, Learning and development, Leadership development, Positive psychology, Skills development, Happiness, Serious games, Leadership theory, Flow theory, Big data applications, Leadership ethics, Management theory

Download here.


Flow-promoting Leadership Development via Serious Games  – Conference Presentation

By: Zoltan Buzady
Presented at the 9th European Conference on Positive Psychology (ECPP), Budapest, June 27–30, 2018.
Download here.

Download here.


Learning Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Through Flow Theory and FLIGBY Game

By: Fernando Almeida (Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Porto, Portugal) and Zoltán Buzády (Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary)
In: International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE)9(1)  2019 |Volume: |Issue: |Article: |Pages: 15
ABSTRACT This article performs an exploratory study of the potential of flow theory and FLIGBY game to contribute to developing entrepreneurship competencies among higher education students. For this purpose, this study considers the use of a focus group consisting of eight students enrolled in the entrepreneurship course in a higher educational institution in Portugal, in which students for two months explored FLIGBY.
The results obtained allowed us to conclude that FLIGBY was also suitable to be explored in the context of entrepreneurship classes. Students emphasized the potential of the game to be applied for training of management skills, the recognition of their leadership skills, and the exploration of new approaches to the management challenges. Finally, it should be noted that the benefits offered by FLIGBY were experienced differently by students with professional experience in IT and management fields. Those students emphasized the application of the game to the real world and the potential offered for FLIGBY for allowing students to explore new skills and actions.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship Education, Flow Theory, Leadership Development, Learning and Development, Positive Psychology, Serious Games.

2019 B)

Assessment of Entrepreneurship Competencies Through the Use of FLIGBY

By:  Zoltán Buzády (Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary) and Fernando Almeida (Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Porto, Portugal) 
In: Digital Education Review, 35, 151-169. (19 Pages)
ABSTRACT: Serious games are increasingly being used as an innovative tool for developing entrepreneurial skills, such as strategic management, leadership, communication, negotiation or decision making. FLIGBY is a serious game that was initially developed with the objective of simulating the business management process and the application of Flow theory in a business context. However, most recently it has been suggested that serious games in general, and FLIGBY in particular, can be used in other contexts, namely in the development of entrepreneurial skills. In this sense, this study tries to verify if the competences developed and evaluated in FLIGBY on the Master Analytics Profiler (MAP) can be used to evaluate the entrepreneurial capacities of the students in the context of the course of entrepreneurship in a higher education institution. The findings indicate that the performance of these students in FLIGBY is very similar to the benchmark with only small oscillations. However, some asymmetries emerged considering the educational and professional experience, such that the students of the management course showed better business-oriented thinking and IT students revealed greater time-management skills. Finally, professional experience has proved to be relevant for making decisions about stress and for the completion of managerial tasks successfully.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Learning; Assessment; Serious Games; Flow; FLIGBY


2019 C)

FLIGBY—A Serious Game Tool to Enhance Motivation and Competencies in Entrepreneurship

By:  Zoltán Buzády (Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary) and Fernando Almeida (Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Porto, Portugal)
In: Informatics 20196(3), 27;

Entrepreneurship is currently one of the most fundamental economic activities in the 21st century. Entrepreneurship encourages young generations to generate their self-employment and develop key soft-skills that will be useful throughout their professional career. This study aims 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. Furthermore, the game allows the inclusion of summative and formative assessment elements, which are essential in the process of monitoring and analyzing the student’s performance.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; positive psychology, serious games, higher education, Flow; FLIGBY


2019 D)

2. improved and new edition of:
Missing Link Discovered – Integrating Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow-theory into Management and Leadership Practice by using FLIGBY –  the Official Leadership Flow Game.
With a special essay contribution by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

1st edition 2016, 2nd edition: 2019 (July)
By: Buzády, Z., Marer, P., Vecsey, Z.
Publisher: ALEAS Hungary Ltd., Hungary. ISBN 978-963-12-5490-7  164. pages

Download the introductory section and TOC here.

Download the introductory section and TOC here.


2019 E)

Adoption of a Serious Game in the Developing of Emotional Intelligence Skills

By: Fernando Almeida, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal
In: Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 202010(1), 30-43;

Emotional intelligence is intrinsically associated with the ability to understand, manage, and express feelings and deal with other people’s emotions. This competence is essential for the formation, development, and maintenance of personal and professional relationships. Furthermore, emotional intelligence can be extensively worked out and developed over time, which allows each individual to become a better professional. Nevertheless, the perception that higher education students have about the importance of emotional intelligence remains residual and there are few contexts that allow them to develop emotional intelligence skills. In this sense, this study proposes the use of a serious game to assess and develop emotional intelligence skills in the context of an entrepreneurship discipline attended by multidisciplinary students from the courses of management and computer engineering. The performance of students is measured and discussed considering a mixed methods approach. The findings indicate the existence of a correlation between the player’s emotional intelligence skills and his performance in the game, and this occurrence is common to students regardless of their course, gender, age, and number of years of professional experience. The study also explores the importance of emotional intelligence considering the distinct profile of students.

Keywords: emotional intelligence; serious game; FLIGBY; flow; game-based learning; academic assessment; mixed methods

2020 A) 

The Contribution of Serious Games for the Success of Students in Entrepreneurship

By: Fernando Almeida, Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Portugal
In: IT Issues in Higher Education: Emerging Research and Opportunities
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1029-2.ch007

The adoption of serious games as a complement to traditional classroom training is still an emerging theme, but it offers relevant potentialities for both students and teachers. This study describes the integration process of serious games in an entrepreneurship course over five years (2014-2018). In the first three years, the ENTRExplorer was adopted, while in the last two years the FLIGBY was used. The experience of using entrepreneurship serious games is analyzed according to multiple perspectives, such as complexity, generation of more entrepreneurial or group working skills, engagement, interactivity, learning outcomes, or even the impact on the intention to establish a new venture. The findings allowed a comparative analysis of the two games, indicating significant differences in some of those dimensions. Nevertheless, the learning outcomes provided by each game were considered relevant by the students, showing that both games can be useful in the process of learning and acquiring entrepreneurship competencies.

Keywords:  Flow Theory, Natural  Processing Language, Serious Game, Coaching, Gamification, Anyalsis

We update this list regularly.