Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to discuss educational technologies that meet modern requirements for training and retraining managers. The authors demonstrate the potential of interactive learning technologies in the development of independent thinking
of graduates as an example of implementation of Graduate School of Management (GSOM), St Petersburg University, educational programs. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The data in this paper are drawn from a survey by the authors in 2010 of students attending the programs
for executives in GSOM (n=49). Findings ‐ The survey reported that intellectual competitions contribute to achieving independence of participants thinking. The most popular intellectual competitions methods are panel discussion (first place);
simulation games with varying roles (team-consultant and team-client) and case studies (second place), and modeling professional situations with limited information in writing and calculations (third place). Research limitations and implications ‐ It would be valuable
to explore similar questions with a larger sample of program participants as well, as it would be valuable to gather longitudinal data to explore how students' preferences regarding intellectual competitions methods change, and why. Originality/value ‐ The authors
prove the feasibility of intellectual competition as the technology of training, oriented to the development of independent thinking and creativity of executives and describe the experience of using this technology in business education.