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“Business Management Simulation Game” Course

Management simulation games are widely used for training management teams and students [6], [7]. “Business Management Simulation Game” is an interdisciplinary course at the College of Management’s School of Business Administration [8]. It is a mandatory course for all undergraduate students during their last year of studies. Integrative approaches used in this course enable students to gain managerial skills and to develop a broad-minded approach to the diverse operations associated with running a business corporation:

Accounting, marketing, finance, human resources management, manufacturing, resource planning, international activity and more. Decision-making processes and teamwork are inherent, by simulating a management board of a commercial firm. Technically the course proceeds by simulation software. This software integrates all student teams’ decisions and produces detailed reports and performance indicators.

Students use various analytical and deduction tools (some computerized) in order to make their decisions. The simulation process algorithm is based on several business models and represents the reaction of a competitive market to different prices and the perceived value of the goods and services the competing teams offer. Each team (representing a firm) comprises a group of 3 – 5 members, who play the role of a managerial team at a firm. The industry, regarded as the total number of teams, consists of up to twelve competing firms.

The market reaction to a firm’s decisions is measured by demand for its products, reflecting the appropriateness of the firm’s decisions to the industry, on the one hand, and their edge over competitors, on the other. Thus, the firms’ performance, like in the “real world”, depends on the decisions made by the other groups, market conditions and the state of the economy.

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Each group meets one or more of the game’s staff members every week for a consultation on the professional aspects and possible consequences of the decisions they make. A decision set, loaded into the system every week, represents six months in the firm’s life. The duration of the semester and the need to teach many of real-life business situations as well as technical points regarding usage of the software leave, in effect, only 8 game periods, equal to four years in a company’s life, for the students to control.

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