Effective Simulation Practices:
Companies that plan strategy training for their employees can choose the most appropriate simulation according to the sector in which their company is located or the most important problems they face. For example, companies operating in the field of retail may prefer business simulations in which marketing and logistics, companies operating in the field of consumer electronics, innovation and research and development, and companies operating in capital-intensive areas such as cement come to the fore with the finance function.
It is beneficial for employees from all levels to participate in the simulations. Thus, it can be ensured that the employees closest to a company’s competition and customers are able to produce a strategy. Choosing the participants from those with different fields of expertise and experience while forming the teams will be very beneficial both in making more effective strategic decisions and in learning from each other.
The educator plays an important role in the simulation providing the most effective learning experience. First of all, the trainer should make the results at the end of the decision periods meaningful and help the teams to diagnose the reasons for success or failure. While doing this, s/he should prefer to be a guide and avoid giving advice; because giving advice means taking a rare learning opportunity from the participant’s hands.
The trainer should make good observations in the decision-making stages of the teams and ensure that the teams overcome the problems with minimal but effective methods in cases where negative team dynamics occur. The trainer should also follow the simulation well, determine the cause and effect relationships between the decisions and success situations of the companies in case of competition, and present these observations to the participants as key learning outcomes, by blending these observations with the strategy information at the end of the simulation.
Bell, B. S., Kanar, A. M., & Kozlowski, S. W. (2008). Current issues and future directions in simulation-based training in North America. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(8), 1416-1434.
Gosen, J., & Washbush, J. (2004). A review of scholarship on assessing experiential learning effectiveness. Simulation & Gaming, 35(2), 270-293. Lovelace, K. J., Eggers, F., & Dyck, L. R. (2016). I Do and I Understand: Assessing the Utility of Web-Based Management Simulations to Develop Critical Thinking Skills. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 15(1), 100-121.