Competing against 137 other MBA teams from universities nationwide, a team of four MBA students from Maharishi University of Management recently placed first in a business simulation competition.
Taking place over a six-month period, the simulation had students guide a fictitious company through eight rounds of decision-making, with each round representing a year of business activity.
According to professor Andy Bargerstock, who teaches the simulation in his course titled “U.S. and International Accounting Practices,” the students had to analyze and assess a variety of reports about the industry, competitors, and its own past performance results.
For their simulated company to perform well, the students must decide on research and development strategies, marketing tactics, sales and production forecasts, financing requirements, human resource management tactics, and total quality management initiatives.
The simulation, created by the CAPSIM Foundation, evaluates students on the growth of their company, based on financial results, customer perspectives, internal business development, and learning and growth initiatives.
“Strong analytical skills and informed intuition are valuable for simulation decision-making,” Dr. Bargerstock said. “When our MBA students perform so well against some of the best business schools in the U.S., it validates the quality of their decision-making skills and builds confidence that they can compete in the international business environment.”
The four-member winning Maharishi University of Management team consisted of students from around the world: Nepal, Pakistan, India, and China. In addition, a second team from Maharishi University of Management finished among the top 20%, comprising students from Iran, Cameroon, and Barbados.
Universities who participate regularly in this simulation include Harvard, Cornell, UC-Berkeley, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, the University of North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Boston College, the University of Iowa, and Iowa State.
The game scenario took place in the sensor products industry and began with the premise that the Securities Exchange Commission had broken a monopoly into smaller companies. Each team assumed the role of a company and began with an equal market share and financial resources.
Bargerstock said that the winning team attributed their success to a combination of good decisions about product pricing, building customer awareness, product innovation, automation of production facilities, controlled expansion of capacity, cost control, training and development of personnel, and sound financing strategies.
The simulation creator, Capsim Management Simulations, Inc. of Northfield, Illinois, is the largest business game provider in the U.S.