You are on page 1of 32

Faculty of Economics and Business, Zagreb

BDiB, Simulation Games for Managers

Simulation Games

Assistant professor Jovana Zoroja, PhD

Department of Informatics
Mangement, Simulation, Games
Management Simulation Games in
Simulation Education
Results of the Survey Conducted at
Faculties of Economics on Applying
Management Simulation Games

Examples of Management Simulation


Management, Simulation, Games

 Management is the process of designing and maintaing

the environment in which individuals, working togheter in
groups, accomplish certain goals.
 Management function
 Planning
 Organizing
 Leading
 Controlling
 Human Resource Management

 SIMULATION - models a portion of reality in a

controlled setting and reproduce the social, economic
or political processes of a particular system
 Students are participating as member
 Learner can become empowered to make decisions, test
theories and make mistakes without suffering real
 Learners experience, reflect and conceptualize learning
with outcomes that can be transferred to real situations
 Learners form concepts based on experience and receive
 GAME: interaction that involves a winner
 Features competitive interactions to achieve pre-specified
 May feature cooperation within groups, and competition
among individuals or groups
 The winner of the game is the individual or a team that
learns enough about the structure and content of the
game to achieve the goal
 Participants’ success depends upon skill or chance, or
combination of both
 The game helps participants to achieve several goals: the
use of information, the use of acquired knowledge,
increasing the transfer of knowledge
Simulation & Games (1)

Simulation is a simplified imitation of behaviour of

a real situation or a process that is usually perform
with the aim of studying, testing of training

Learning through experience in risk-free environment

Game is an activity where participants have to make

the best results according to instructions
Simulation & Games (2)

SIMULATION New, unknown environment

GAME Risk-free, couriosity, dynamism

Simulation Popular way of learning and entertaining

Management Simulation Games

 Simulation games are computer games that request active

decision making, or rather they aim at reaching the best
results in given conditions and circumstances
 The goal of the simulation games is to introduce a
participant into a virtual world where decisions can be made
without a risk and where obtained results allow an analysis
of consequences that are an optimal preparation for the real
 Management simulation games are created to develop
knowledge, to understand the impact of decisions and to gain
The First Management Simulation Games

 Platon – game as a mean of education

 China B.C. – war leaders were using war games: developing
military strategies, preparing for the real situation and making
 War games – 17th and 18th century

Name of the game Year Usage

Monopologs 1955. Army
Top Management Decision 1956. Business
Business Management Game 1957. Business
Top Management Decision Game 1960. Education
Characteristics of the management simulation

 Complex model of the real situation

 Defined roles of every participant
 Decision making
 Time saving
 Active learning
Usage of Management Simulation Games

 Faculties (schools and other educational

 Business world
 Entertainment and independent developing
intellectual abilities
 Army - teaching military strategy
 Training pilots
Management Simulation Games in
The Role of Management Simulation Games
in Education

 One of the most modern educational methods

 They are based on examples from practice
 Simulation games are more realistic from other ways of learning,
because they show certain situation that can happen in business
 Simulation games motivate students to actively engage in process
of learning
 Simulation games enable to make decisions in an artificial
environment, where participants can see consequences of their
decisions in a short time
 Enables business in realistic conditions without consequences
 Usage of knowledge in a practical way
Advantages and Obstacles of Using
Management Simulation Games in Education

•Team working
Advantages •Time management
•Decision making
•Learning by doing

•More time to prepare a lesson

•Evaluation of the students work
Obstacles •Time, experts and financial
•New technologies
Results of the Survey
 The survey aims to define how simulation games are applied at
Business Educational Institutions in Croatia
 The main goal is thus to define the following:
 reasons for using simulation games
 obstacles for using simulation games
 courses where students would benefit from using simulation games
 A close-ended questionnaire was conducted
 The respondents could choose a maximum of three answers from a given
number of options
 The outcome was compared to the results of researches previously
carried out and published in scientific articles
Respondents' Characteristics

 1 January – 31 May 2011

 Faculties of Economics in Croatia: University of Zagreb,
University of Osijek, University of Split, University of Rijeka
 50 Respondents: junior researchers, masters of science, doctors
of science, assistant professors, associate professors and full
 Female respondents (54%) - Male respondents (46%)
List of Departments that USE/DO NOT USE
Management Simulation Games
Departments that USE/ DO NOT USE simulation games during the class






30% DO NOT USE Simulation games
USE Simulation games
10% 22%

0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Reasons for Using Management Simulation
Number of
Reasons on using simulation games %
Encourage cooperation and communication during class 37 74%
They increase motivation and interest 35 70%
They make studying easier 33 66%
Gaining managerial skills 27 54%
Increase the quality of the lecture 27 54%
Innovative methods are always welcome 17 34%
They are fun 11 22%
Other (better understanding of laws and correlations within
observed areas, intensifying of the cognitive effect in teaching
methods) 3 6%

Article “A Study of Business and Management Games”, Gilgeous and D’Cruz (1996):
• to keep the interest of the participant

• the efficiency of the simulation games

• the interaction that the simulation games encourage

Obstacles for Using Management Simulation
Number of
Obstacles to using simulation games during class %
Difficulty in changing classical teaching methods 26 52%
Lack of funds 25 50%
Difficulty in adopting to new technologies 13 26%
Lack of understanding from the administration 10 20%
Other (lack of technical prerequisites, too many students per course,
impossibility to organize classes in shifts, students’ and professors’
overloaded schedules, lack of time, professors need to be instructed on the
origin and ways of usage 10 20%
Never heard of simulation games 5 10%
Not considered necessary 2 4%

Article “Simulation Games: Use and Barriers in Higher Education”, Lean, Moizer, Towler and Abbey (2006):
• time needed to prepare a lecture with a simulation game

• wrong choice of simulation game

• professors are not familiar with the notion of simulation games and the option to use them in class
• financial and technical problems
Courses that Would Benefit the most from
Using Management Simulation Games
Number of
Courses %
Management 23 46%
Marketing 21 42%
Finance 20 40%
Information Technology 9 18%
Other (Supply and Macroeconomics) 2 4%

Article “Business Simulation Games: Current usage levels a ten year

update”, Faria and Nulsen (1996):

Simulation games usage is approximately the same and the highest at

Business Economics and Marketing courses, Finance course follows and last
comes Management.
Conclusion of the Survey

 Active participation in a simulation game enables a

better understanding of business concepts
 The results show that a very low percentage of the
professors use simulation games – lack of knowledge
and motivation
 They are aware of the importance of using simulation
 New and innovative way of teaching, there are space
and potential to use simulation games at Faculties of
Economics in Croatia
Examples of Management Simulation
INDUSTRY PLAYER - player is the owner of a holding up to five companies, whole
business system is managed on the basis of real data
Goal: to become a lider on the market : the highest profit and the highest market share
Development: Business skills and competitive strategies
Zagreb Stock Exchange

 Virtual stock exchange is an online simulation for

trading stocks, made as a combination of the real
stock exchange and business simulation
 The main purpose is for education without real risks
of investing
 Trading on virtual stock exchange is based on the
real market conditions
 Players learning how to invest and whether
decisions were good or not – they prepare
themselves for real investing
 Virtual stock exchange, as an online game, is
opened 24 hours, and trading is conducted
between 10.15am untill 4.15pm
PERSONAL FINANCE (Application for personal finance that reports and tracks the
salaries and expenses, the user gains a deep understanding of the family budget,
finding areas of excessive spending and adjust budget advantages: simplicity, clarity)
FOOTBALL MANAGER (Simulation in which the player is a football manager, club
selection or team that will lead, virtually played the game, buy/sell players, set different
tactics, progress in the virtual world of football through various competitions)
MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR (Series of flight simulator programs, marketed
as video games, for the Microsoft Windows operating system, one of the longest-running,
best-known and most comprehensive home flight simulator programs on the market)

 Reproduce reality, but eliminate risks

 Allow ˝game” with real problems and cases, but in an ideal world
 Acquire experience, without the possibility of errors
 Develop intellectual abilities
 Assist in the success and progress
 Adapted for all ages and very entertaining

Implementation of the learning process on the basis of a single teaching

method does not necessarily lead to satisfactory results
→ combination of several educational methods is best solution for

all participants of the educational process

Learning Strategy

I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.
(Old Chinese Proverb)