SERIOUS GAME EFEU: DECISION-MAKING CONCERNING COMPANY STRATEGY – EXPERIENCES IN EDUCATIONAL TRAINING
University of Wuppertal (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Decision-making concerning company strategy (German: Entscheidungsfindung für eine Unternehmensstrategie) EfeU, was originated by Jennifer Bredtmann (2008) and designed further on by Jennifer Bredtmann and Gabriele Hoeborn (2012). The authors developed a management game especially for university education in engineering degree courses at bachelor and master level. EfeU as a business game offers the experience and training of decision-making and co-operation processes in groups. The simulation of complex processes in and between companies is focused on. The awareness of the decision making process is trained as a first step, considering its impact and the handling of the group at the same time are the main elements of the game. The students train to deal with information and knowledge and to transfer these into a strategic approach. The specifications of the game offer the simulation of different company processes. Pre-set system boundaries and various input simplify the complexity of reality and enable the students to make intertwined decisions and to recognize downstream consequences. A special effect is the forum that offers the possibility to be in contact with representatives of different companies. The forum simplify networking, in this forum, the students may share information; and they may build up networks and co-operations as well. The students may and can acquire information by being in touch with different companies, but they do not have to. The application of this offer is up to the students. The economic gains of the fictive company are only apparently the focus of this serious game; to a greater degree, the game aims on the levels of awareness of decision-making processes and their downstream consequences. Therefore, the scoring of a group is just one evaluation criterion. More important is a second level where the group can score decision marks. Decision mark awards are the bigger success. There is no previous discussion about this implicit learning goal explicitly. However, they discussed that their decisions lead to impacts concerning the economic success of a company and they discussed about teamwork by applying another serious game in advance. Therefore, they should have the awareness about the impact of decisions and of teamwork on decision-making processes; and in consequence, not the economic success itself but their awareness and teamwork define the valuation of a group. Sometimes not just one winner appears, but more than one; this leads to discussions about the definition if scoring and the purpose of the game. EfeU aims to assist practicing decision-making processes in teams and to examine the correlation between decision and impact. The authors carried out case studies to observe and evaluate the influence of gender and cultural background on the students’ attitudes toward this game and on the learning output as well. The game as well as the results of the case studies are presented in this paper.
Keywords: Serious Game, decision-making, teamwork, engineering education.