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Business Game Port (BGP) PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 04 June 2011 22:57


Business Game

Business game (also called business simulation game) refers to simulation games that are used at an educational tool for teaching business. Business games may be carried out for various business training such as: general management, finance, organizational behaviour, human resources, etc. Often the term Business simulation is used with the same meaning.

Business games are used as a teaching method in Universities, and more particularly in business schools, but also for executive education.

Simulation are considered to be an innovative learning method (Aldrich 2004), and are often computer-based.


Computer Supported Business Simulation originated from military war games and came into existence during the late 1950s (Wells 1990). Business simulation games have since been used as a learning tool for teaching management (Jackson 1959) (Andlinger 1958). It is regularly in use at Universities, and in particularly by major business schools. As an example, the University of Washington has been using business simulation game in classes since 1957 (Saunders 1996).

Types of Games & Business Simulations

While your employees' experience may benefit you as an employer, you certainly don't want to expose yourself to the risks your employees' mistakes expose you to while they are learning. Games and business simulations can help you and your staff learn how to behave in risk-free hypothetical situations. Business games allow your employees to experience difficult situations and make decisions without suffering any long-term consequences.

Total Enterprise Games

o    Total enterprise games are management-simulation games that represent your firm as a whole. These games cover a wide scope of planning and decision-making practices. The decision variables cover every function of your company, including marketing, sales, finance, human resources and production. The players get to make decisions at a top management level. These games are usually played by teams of employees. Every employee in the team plays a separate role. For example, one employee might play Vice President for marketing, while another plays Vice President for production, and a third, Vice President for finance. The team will be given a problem that involves all three functions, for example, that must market a product and they won't be able to produce it in time for the holidays. The team is then responsible for working together to devise a solution to this problem.

Functional Games

o    Functional games rely on in-depth understanding and specialized knowledge of particular functions of your company. These games are usually played by individuals within a particular department of your company. They will be presented with a problem or situation specific to a particular function of your company and will need to solve it in the most efficient way possible. Examples of functional games would be sexual harassment role-playing drills. Employees may role-play with a facilitator who pretends to sexually harass them or they witness the facilitator sexually harass a co-worker. Then, the employees must determine whether the facilitator's behavior was against the company's policy and what actions should be taken.

Keys to Success

o    According to researchers at Pepperdine University, five principles are very important to the success of your business simulation. First, more cohesive teams outperform less cohesive teams. This means that the employees' skill sets must complement each other. Don't put all the guys from marketing on one team and all the guys from payroll on another. Next, people in influential positions must support the simulation. The employees won't take the simulation seriously if their manager doesn't. In addition to this, each team must have a leader dedicated to performing well in the game. Furthermore, it is vital that every team member understands how the game is played. Employees won't learn the lessons the game is intended to impart if they didn't entirely understand how the game worked. Finally, it's important to follow up with a debriefing session. Employees should hear, in a safe and comfortable environment, what aspects of the game were played well and what could be improved upon.


Classification of Business and Industrial Activity


Primary Activities

Primary businesses and industries are those which extract (i.e. mine, quarry, farm, fish or drill) things normally provided by nature, e.g.
~ fish from the sea;
~ metal from the earth;
~ food from the land.
They produce raw materials in the form of oil, iron, coal or limestone, which are used to make other products. Also, they may also produce final products such as fish or fruit.

Secondary Activities

Secondary businesses and industries are those involved in manufacturing products. That is, they turn the raw materials produced by the primary industries into things that can be sold and used. e.g.
~ metal into cars
~ wood into furniture
~ wheat into bread

Tertiary Activities

Tertiary businesses and industries are those involved in selling goods and services. For example, banks, window cleaners, hairdressers and lawyers do not make things but instead sell a service or their expertise. Other examples include transport, insurance and places of entertainment such as leisure centres and cinemas.

Chain of Production

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary businesses and industries all depend upon each other; one cannot exist without the other. There is a chain of production which links all 3 kinds of activity. For example, the chain of production for a wooden chair might be:


With the increase in globalization and changing technologies, many organizations are now moving from board games to computer based simulations, using interactive multimedia (IM) and virtual reality (VR).

Business games are the type of simulators that try to present the way an industry, company, organization, consultancy, or subunit of a company functions. Basically, they are based on the set of rules, procedures, plans, relationships, principles derived from the research. In the business games, trainees are given some information that describes a particular situation and are then asked to make decisions that will best suit in the favor of the company. And then the system provides the feedback about the impact of their decisions. 

Again, on the basis of the feedback they are asked to make the decisions again. This process continues until some meaningful results do not came out or some predefined state of the organization exists or a specified number of trails are completed. 

As an example, if the focus is on organization's financial state, the game may end when the organization reach at desirable or defined profitability level. 

Some of the benefits of the business games are:

  • It develops leadership skills
  • It improves application of total quality principles
  • It develops skills in using quality tools
  • It strengthen management skills
  • It demonstrates principles and concepts
  • It explores and solves complex problem

Many games and simulations examine the total organization but only some focus on the functional responsibilities of specific positions in an organization.

Business games simulate whole organization and provide much better perspective than any other training methods. They allow trainees to see how their decisions and actions impact on the related areas. 

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2011 21:35
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