Title: Just a game? How continuous time modelling can ameliorate corporate strategy games

Authors: Bernd Kuppinger, Kirsten Wust

Addresses: Pforzheim University, Hochschule Pforzheim, Tiefenbronner Str. 65, 75175, Pforzheim, Germany. ' Pforzheim University, Hochschule Pforzheim, Tiefenbronner Str. 65, 75175, Pforzheim, Germany

Abstract: Strategy games are a popular part of today|s management training in education and business. Complex economic interrelationships can be illustrated and interdependencies of economic decisions can be more easily understood. Most business games work with a discrete time model, i.e., decisions are made once for an entire time period; usually one fiscal year. Possible drawbacks of the discrete time modelling on the planning and control processes, on the presentation of effect timelines and on the learner|s comprehension of interrelationships in companies are discussed. The authors hypothesise that a continually-controlled strategy game would greatly increase the simulation|s applicability to real-world business. Among other advantages of a continually-controlled strategy game, errors in the planning process could be corrected and an early warning system could be implemented. The well-known problem of myopic business decisions at the end of the game could be resolved by linking success in the game with the sustainable development of the simulated company. This article|s results are backed by experience as well as the results of a survey at Pforzheim University.

Keywords: strategy games; continuous time modelling; planning processes; effect timelines; corporate strategies; management training; complex interrelationships; economic interrelationships; interdependencies; economic decisions; business games; discrete time models; time periods; fiscal years; control processes; learner comprehension; continually-controlled games; simulation applicability; real-world businesses; error correction; early warnings; myopic decisions; business decisions; simulated companies; Pforzheim University; Germany; higher education; universities; management; sustainable development; sustainability.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2011.042894

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2011 Vol.7 No.4, pp.422 - 439

Published online: 07 Oct 2011 *

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