Management simulation, or business games as it is also called, is a unique method, but using it with various approaches, depending on the target audience and objectives. The essence of the method is based on the flow of a process. There are data inputs (the professor and students’ decisions), processing (the simulation), and outputs (the reports and graphs). This flow is repeated over several periods so that the students learn by trial and error (experimentation). The periods used are usually quarterly to simulate decisions and their consequences in the long term, which is fundamental for strategic decisions.
The target audience can be divided into two major areas: corporate and academic. In corporate use, simulation can be used, among others, for management training, congresses, departmental integration, leadership development, and selection and development of trainees. In academic use, the main objective is to make students practice the concepts covered in the various course subjects, i.e., the method provides practice, which is often lacking in management-related courses. We can also segment the academic use by type of course. For example, in the case of the Business Administration course, one of the main objectives of simulation is the integration of the various course subjects, allowing the student to have a systemic vision of how companies work. In Accounting Science courses, students can see how accounting contributes to the decision-making process in companies. Pricing based on costs and other strategies, cash flow elaboration, and budgeting are examples. In Economics courses, students have access to the impacts of macroeconomic aspects on business performance and their functioning. Other courses related to management can also avail themselves of the benefits of the management simulation method, including graduate courses.
Professor Ricardo Bernard, Ph.D.