The development of an improved business game for use in Massey University marketing courses : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Business and Administration in Marketing at Massey University
The thesis is a response to a problem situation in which a business game, having been used in undergraduate courses for several years, was thought to be inadequate by course and game administrators. The problem is first defined and objectives for the study are set. This is followed by a comprehensive overview of business gaming and a more specific review of the processes and problems of business game design. A description of the game in use, MARKSIM, is given. The MARKSIM experience at Massey University is evaluated from the game administrators' and game players' points of view, the latter by a survey of 41 second and third year marketing students. The specifications of a more satisfactory game are derived from this evaluation and alternative means of acquiring such a game are investigated. The solution chosen as most appropriate is to modify the game already in use and this is carried out. Improvements to the game include reparameterization of the game to reflect the New Zealand business environment, adoption of a two-product product mix, inclusion of optional qualitative administrator inputs reflecting advertising efficiency and annual report quality, superimposition of a share market on the model business community, increased market research capabilities, and general improvement of the game's robustness against administrator and player errors. Evaluation of the resultant game in terms of the problem situation is not possible within the time horizon of the thesis. Program listings are appended.