Educational objective. An instructional resource for courses dealing with strategic management and business policy, both domestically and internationally. Formulation of mission, objectives and strategy are emphasized, with opportunity to implement strategies and policies that will lead to the realization of objectives. A premium is placed on successful integration of functional area concepts. The model is challenging to upper-division undergraduate and graduate business students.
The simulation. A computer-based simulation of a manufacturing firm with domestic and international subsidiaries. Students compete with each other as members of management teams running simulated companies producing and selling a consumer durable good. They focus upon marketing, production, finance and HRM decisions. The model is interactive so that marketing decisions, for example, may influence the sales of competitors as well as the sales of the firm making the decision.
Varying complexity. The complexity of the simulation may be easily altered via menu driven parameter changes. An international competition may become a domestic competition by setting the foreign market area to a domestic area. Market areas may be reduced from four to three. All companies may be placed in one home area. Market segments may be fixed so that each market area has only one segment.
Course use. Strategic management and business policy at the upper-level undergraduate or graduate level, online or face to face; suitable for use independently or as supplementary material. Seminars for management development. Variations of the model have been used successfully in the classroom, in company training venues and in intercollegiate competitions for over five decades.
Number of participants. Twelve or more. A world may contain from three to eight firms (student teams), with each firm’s management consisting of four to eight participants. For more than eight teams, separate worlds may be run concurrently.
Time required. Sixteen to twenty sessions of about fifty minutes each (later sessions typically may require less time). Outside preparation will reduce the time required in group sessions. Initial preparation by participants may require six to eight hours each.
Space required. In face-to-face settings, ideally, each company might have a separate “board room” for decision-making sessions. Grouping of teams in different parts of a large room works satisfactorily. For on-line settings video conferencing software such as Zoom or Skype work well.
Materials and equipment needed. The on-line version only requires a computer with a web browser (and a printer if hard copies of reports are desired) to access both the Player’s Program and the Administrator’s Program (each password protected). The Player’s Program contains spreadsheet templates located under the Tools menu to provide decision support. A Quick Start Manual and the The Business Policy Game: Player’s Manual are located under the Help menu. The Administrator’s Program contains the Quick Start Manual, The Business Policy Game: Player’s Manual and The Business Policy Game: Instructor’s Manual located under the Help menu. Digital copies of all manuals may also be downloaded from our server.
Using the PC version, the administrator needs a computer with a copy of the Administrator’s Program installed. The program contains copies of The Business Policy Game: Player’s Manual and The Business Policy Game: Instructor’s Manual located under the Help menu. Access to a computer system by players is recommended, but not required if central decision entry is used. Player’s computers should have the Player’s Program installed which includes a copy of the Player’s Manual under the Help menu. Spreadsheet templates, located under the Tools menu, are available to provide decision support. A Quick Start Manual is located under the Help menu in both programs. Digital copies of all manuals may also be downloaded from our server.
Administrator’s role. To provide an environment which maximizes the learning experience; and to arrange for materials, physical facilities and computer processing of student decisions. Instructions and suggestions for classroom use and for all phases of the simulation are provided in the Instructor’s Manual.