Evidence for Soft Skill Learning Outcomes

Post by Capsim
March 1, 2016

Capsim has re-imagined the management 360 appraisal instrument to create an online tool that delivers reliable, validated data on a wide range of soft skills that are critical to business school learning goals, but notoriously difficult to quantify for assessment and accreditation.


According to Dr. Erich Dierdorff, Associate Professor of Management at the Driehaus College of Business DePaul University Chicago, who collaborated on the instrument, Capsim360 measures a broad range of skills both accurately and efficiently.

“Students in part-time or executive MBA programs need to know more than their score on an exam, and business schools need to show more than academic results,” Dr Dierdorff said. “We need to be able to demonstrate – on a personal and an institutional level – that we are truly developing the business leaders of the future.”

Capsim360 assesses key managerial skills derived from the empirical literature on managerial effectiveness and leadership development. It is ideal for working professionals who are already highly motivated to grow and improve. Capsim360 precisely identifies their development needs so they can optimize their educational experience and create a personal growth plan.

Capsim360 is user-driven so there is little administration required and it can be used with a single class or an entire cohort. Students invite and follow up with responders including peers, managers, and subordinates. Responders can complete their anonymous surveys in around 15 minutes.

Results come in three layers: an aggregate report on the nine managerial skills; details on 48 specific behaviors, including gap analysis of the difference between the self-assessment and responders’ assessment; and a summary of the open-ended questions for qualitative feedback.

“The real power of a 360 is self-awareness,” Dr. Dierdorff said. “I know what I think of my performance, but only by digesting the message of how other people see me can I become aware of what I don’t see in myself, and start to work on it.”

Capsim360 was tested on more than 2,000 participants and assessed for internal consistency and construct-related validity on more than 16,000 ratings.* “We believe 360 testing can be a positive differentiator for MBA programs,” Dr. Dierdorff said. “It can track development over time with data as valuable to the individual student as it is to the school for curriculum assessment and use in the accreditation process.”

For more information on Capsim360, please contact:

Corey Lynn



* Capsim360 skill domains showed acceptable levels of internal consistency. The average coefficient alpha estimate across the nine skill domains was .90 (range .86-.95). Results from confirmatory factor analysis supported the specified 9-factor measurement model with favorable fit statistics: SRMR = .04, RMSEA = .07, CFI = .90. In addition, the nine-factor model provided a significantly better fit over a one-factor model (chi-square difference = 2546.14, p < .01). Overall, this evidence provides strong support for the measurement quality of Capsim360.

About Capsim

Founded in 1985, Capsim Management Simulations is a global leader in developing and delivering business simulations and assessment tools that help prepare practicing and aspiring business people to run profitable businesses. Our programs create rich learning experiences that give participants, in both academic and corporate settings, the opportunity to practice the skills and build the business acumen that are behind today’s successful companies. Our assessment tools measure and report on learning goals, team processes and managerial skills. More than a million participants at 800 schools and corporations have built their business acumen through Capsim learning experiences. Visit www.capsim.com for more information.

cap 1-questions (1)

7 Questions to Ask Before Investing in Simulations

Get the Questions in Your Inbox

Should you invest in simulation-based training? And what should you look for in a simulation platform?