Design Considerations

When an experiential exercise is initially developed, various design parameters must be considered. Several items that need to be discussed prior to developing a new business simulation are listed below. These items have been categorized as either content considerations (or those design criteria that guide the scope and nature of decisions in the simulation) and process considerations (or those design criteria that guide the conduct of the exercise).

Content Considerations

Strategic (long-term) Decision-Making (e.g., organizations develop competencies) Vs. Tactical (short-term) Decision-Making (e.g., no distinguishing capabilities built and decisions focus on pricing, marketing spends, production levels)
Develop Conceptual Thinking (e.g., strategy, mission, cross-functional decision-making) Vs. Develop Skills (e.g., break-even analysis, pricing, accounting, forecasting, scheduling)
Descriptive Modeling (i.e., simulation dynamics are directionally valid and generally descriptive of the marketplace – for example, a price cut leads to a demand increase) Vs. Predictive Modeling (i.e., simulation dynamics have been fully researched and quantitatively determined using statistical techniques – for example, a price cut of 5% has been shown to lead to a demand increase of 10%)
Corporate Context (e.g., run an enterprise or SBU encompassing all functions) Vs. Functional Context (e.g., run a marketing function)
Low Marketplace Variability (marketplace, not including competitors, is not a source of uncertainty) Vs. High Marketplace Variability
Who are the “players” and what rules of action and position must they follow?

Process Considerations

Symmetric Start (i.e., all competitors begin
exercise with identical organizations – same
products, pricing, access to capital,
competencies)
Vs. Asymmetric Start (i.e., all competitors begin
exercise with uniquely tailored
organizations, each with their own strengths
and weaknesses, for example, McDonald’s,
Wendy’s, Burger King)
Zero-sum / Oligopoly (i.e., market
dominated by a handful of firms, there is
direct competition in the marketplace for a
finite demand)
Vs. Foot Race / Purely Competitive Market (i.e.,
market not dominated by any group of
firms, the marketplace dynamics are driven
by market forces such as supply and
demand, no direct head-to-head
competition