ACTION LEARNING PROJECT FOR THE DESIGN AND SIMULATION OF A SAUDI FOOTBALL E-COMMERCE WEBSITE
This paper describes the operationalization of a deeper approach to learning during the development and delivery of the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) course, Managing Information Systems. The pedagogy and curriculum for the unit was informed by the principles of action learning and experiential learning. Specifically, the unit was designed to foster deep learning through the planning and implementing of a research project based on finding opportunities to innovate in operations management related issues.
The Internet is now a flourishing industry. With technology advancing at a very high rate, people are increasingly learning new and innovative ideas to utilize the internet for their day to day needs. The Internet and Information Technology (IT) are rapidly growing in Saudi Arabia. There is evidence however, that many sectors in Saudi Arabia still need to move to the e-commerce trend. The project developed by the action learning set, was the use of state of the art simulation software to simulate the operations of an e-commerce website for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.
The selected simulation software has the capability of easy interactions with 3D graphs and ease of use. Simulation can directly identify areas of opportunities for cost savings or efficiency. Action learning was used to link the world of learning with the world of action through a reflective process within the action learning set. Experiential learning was used through the continuous four-stage learning process of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation.
The first stage of this research project was the establishment of relationships with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation and initiation of conversations with the relevant managers about their scope for improvement. It was found that many people face difficulties in buying tickets and even finding out where they are sold. That is because each league distributes their tickets in different locations such as different telecom companies. The current process of purchasing football tickets is very ineffective and time consuming.
Next, flow chart diagrams were developed to better understand how the new process will operate in comparison with the operations of the actual process. With the use of the simulation software, the existing and new processes have been modeled mainly to calculate the differences in time and number of customers served. It has been found that there is a dramatic difference between the two models as the e-commerce website can serve customers anytime anywhere. In addition, the security implications raised by this e-commerce website have also been addressed by this research project.
After the development of this project, it is expected that the website will be adopted by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation. The website will also include a well-structured system and well-organized content. The project is mainly designed to explore the implications of e-commerce in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, a functional e-commerce website will serve Saudi football fans with capabilities such as the selling of merchandise. The set is aware of the difficulties that the implementation of this project may face, yet believe that this idea is worthy to be applied in order to contribute to society in facilitating a hassle-free ticket transaction experience