Group Model Building has established itself as a credible method to uncover the systemic reality of persistent problems in organizations. The contextual nature of the method and the flexibility required during the process mean that it is hard to build up evidence of what works and what does not. One major question is the extent to which the method can be compressed, for example, due to time or budget constraints. We present an experiment, carried out with a public organization, in which we tested two shortcuts. Firstly, we substituted the expert-driven preliminary model for a client-made model. Secondly, we allowed for a homogenous group because enlarging the group would be too time consuming. We defined several factors at the individual level and at the group level as dependent variables. We conclude that the shortcuts had a negative effect on most variables. We therefore recommend against these changes to the basic model. Copyright

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Keywords budget cuts, experiment, Group Model Building, public organization, public policy
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Journal Systems Research and Behavioral Science
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Gerrits, L.M, & Vaandrager, D.J.H. (2018). Group Model Building in a Pressure Cooker. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 35(1), 139–151. doi:10.1002/sres.2446