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Games For Development of Managerial Acumen in Turbulent Environment

BY: Soumen Nath | Category: Issues | Submitted: 2010-08-30 14:19:03
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Article Summary: "The use of games as training strategy in business organizations help to inculcate decision making ability in employees in crunch situations. These games are based on real business environment. Participants are confronted with business issues such as to develop a strategy, execute tactics, analyze competitors, see the business ef.."


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By: Soumen Nath [1] Gargi Lahiri [2]

Abstract: The use of games as training strategy in business organizations help to inculcate decision making ability in employees in crunch situations. These games are based on real business environment. Participants are confronted with business issues such as to develop a strategy, execute tactics, analyze competitors, see the business effect of such decisions, thus helping build managerial acumen. This study presents an outline of games which help build team spirit in the employees which is very important in critical decision making in turbulent environment. This framework can lead to further study to help assess whether games can contribute to decision making skills and to what extent they suggest numerous measures for improved skill management.


Introduction : Business organizations today need leaders with the capabilities at all levels (e.g., Corporate level to Operational level) to execute different strategies and tactics to stay competitive. Companies should identify newer methods that can help employees to learn faster than the competitors, to develop and rightly fit strategies, and implement those strategies to the extent possible.


Games: A game can be defined as an interaction that involves participant and simulated environment. These interactions features cooperation within groups, but competition either among individuals or groups. The participant of the game is the individual or team and learns enough about the environment and conditions of the game to achieve specific goal and either win or loose the game. Games are simulated reality in a controlled environment and reproduce the social, natural, economic and technical processes of particular systems of social interactions. Employees assumes their roles in simulated system and try to understand how the system functions by participating.


Turbulent Environment : Today's business environment is comparatively turbulent compared to ten years ago. Liberalization-Globalization-Privatization and the shortage of skilled people and rat race competition are forcing businesses to keep up an ever-increasing pace. How do some businesses seem to successful in this turbulence while others remain stagnant. The answer lies in -
• Strategy as a systematic process of long term management.
• Preparing employees and systems to support and reinforce the strategy.
• Training and Development and leadership building primarily focused on the unique competencies needed to support, implement and maintain the strategy.


Decision : In a game, the players manage simulated organization under specified rules. Participants make decisions subject to these rules and receive feedback about the results of their decisions. First round decision results are then used as the basis for the next round of game and likewise more decisions are made. Lots of data are generated during a game session as comparison to real business. The participants in the game generally guided to use the available data and to convert it into information correctly and to eliminate bad decisions which resulting in losses.


Conclusion : Games provide the platforms by which employees are placed in real life like situations calling for maximum performance. Employees share their knowledge to enhance group performance and offers opportunity to introduce a competitive and collaborative decision making element in the game. Competition boosts motivation and subsequently a greater intensity of efforts. The trend towards using games to develop managerial acumen is increasing steadily. While it is too early to comment on the full implications of games in real life business, it is certain that emergence of a new business environment is in the horizon.


References :

1. Alina M. Zapalska, Dallas Brozik, "A model for developing and evaluating games and simulations in business and economic education", Zb. Rad. Enkon.fac.Rij. 2008, vol.26, Sv.2,P 345-368.
2. Timo Leino, "Learning Decision Making Through Management Games", Turka School of Economics and Business Administration, P.O.Box 110, 20510 Turku, Finland, P 159.
3. Summit on Educational Games 2006, Harnessing the power of video games for training, Federation of American Scientists, www.fas.org.
4. Beck, John and Wade, Mitchell. The Kids are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. 2006
5. Squire, Kurt and Steinkuehler, Constance. "They Research, Teach, Learn, and Collaborate. So Far Without Libraries." Library Journal. April 15, 2005.www.libraryjournal.comarticle/CA516033.html.

Keywords : Games, Turbulent environment, Decision.

About Author / Additional Info:
Gargi Lahiri (MSW-Gold medal / PGDH&HM-Gold medal) is an enthusiastic author in the field of Management and Health related issues.

Comments on this article: (1 comments so far)

Comment Comment By Comment Date
Another nice writeup from Soumen and Gargi. You both are good. I agree, there are several tactics we use in games can be used in real life situations. Phil 2010-08-30 18:40:03 318

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