Research Articles and White Papers

Since 2001, over half a million students and executives have benefited from the Marketplace® experience. As a result of its widespread adoption and realistic decision environment, Marketplace is becoming a focal point of scholarly research in the simulation pedagogy and management theory and practice. Are you interested in doing research on pedagogy or management theory and practice? Take a look at the following articles.

articles and white papers

Creating Value in Marketing and Business Simulations: An Author’s Viewpoint

Ernest R. Cadotte (2016) , Journal of Marketing Education, SAGE publishing 0273475316649741
Simulations are a form of competitive training that can provide transformational learning. Participants are pushed by the competition and their own desire to win as well as the continual feedback, encouragement, and guidance of a Business Coach. Simulations enable students to apply their knowledge and practice their business skills over and over. Taken all together, these conditions help students develop their competence in marketing and business. Competitive business simulations are inherently valuable learning experiences, but this potential can be greatly enriched. The purpose of this article is to summarize the development process of a modern business simulation, illustrating how a valued pedagogy can be enhanced through careful planning and thoughtful consideration of the goals, strategy, features, and benefits of the learning experience.

The Use of Simulations in Entrepreneurship Education: Opportunities, Challenges and Outcomes

Ernest R. Cadotte (2014) “The Use of Simulations in Entrepreneurship Education: Opportunities, Challenges and Outcomes,” Annals of Entrepreneurship Education & Pedagogy, USASBE
How do we develop entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, and competence? Certainly, the traditional methods of lectures and textbooks are important in laying down the foundation of entrepreneurship theory and practice. But, to achieve higher levels of critical thinking, it is necessary to ponder, test, reflect and adjust one’s knowledge. To achieve skills, we need to practice our trade. And, to achieve competence, we need lots of knowledge and skills. But, we do not need to do it alone. An entrepreneurial training coach can channel our energies, thought processes, practice routines, and feedback mechanisms to advance the level and the speed with which we attain competence. We would like to share a process that we have developed at the University of Tennessee to advance the knowledge, skills, and competence of our students. It is based upon an entrepreneurial simulation that has been greatly enhanced with a series of value-added activities and assessments. We will start by reviewing the literature on the value of simulation-based training. Next, we will describe the theory of experiential learning and how it helps to explain the learning process that underlies the use of business simulations. Then, we will introduce the simulation that is used as our learning platform. Our attention will then shift to describing the entire pedagogy with all of its enhancements, including our findings regarding the development of critical thinking skills and adaptive learning. We will conclude the chapter with a discussion of how the pedagogy contributes to entrepreneurial learning.

A Pedagogy to Enhance the Value of Simulations in the Classroom

Ernest R. Cadotte and Christelle MacGuire (2013) “A Pedagogy to Enhance the Value of Simulations in the Classroom.” Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education. (Fall) 33-52.
Cadotte and MacGuire describe an enhanced simulation pedagogy that has been used at the University of Tennessee for several years. There are three key factors that set this course apart from all other simulation courses. First, the instructor is no longer a teacher but a Business Coach. Second, the Coach meets each week with each team in an Executive Briefing where the teams review their 1) performance during the prior quarter, 2) strategy going forward, 3) tactical decisions, and 4) financial projections and justification for everything. Third, the inclusion of the executive briefings and the Business Coach created the opportunity to employ a rubric to assess the students’ critical thinking skills over time. This rubric was patterned after Bloom’s Hierarchy of Learning. Cadotte and MacGuire examined the performance 658 students over two semesters. What is noteworthy is that the students steadily improved over the course of the exercise. They believe that the repetitive nature of the exercise coupled with regular assessment and formative feedback were key to the learning.

Metrics for Mentors

Ernest R. Cadotte (2014) , “Metrics for Mentors,” BizEd, AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Training executive mentors to evaluate student work brings an added dimension to a business school’s assessment and assurance of learning activities. In this article, Cadotte describes how executives serving as business coaches, mentor, evaluate, provide feedback, and assign grades. The business coaches evaluate students using 3 different rubrics–one for executive briefings, one for the business plans, and one for the stockholder reports. Using the rubrics, the coaches evaluate the thought process, skill sets and critical thinking that go into the students’ decisions. Based on data collected, significant improvements have been made in the curriculum, boosting student learning and confidence along the way. By the end of the class, the students exude confidence, because they have run simulated businesses and dealt with unrelenting challenges. BizEd is a publication of Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business.

I Do and I Understand: Assessing the Utility of Web-based Management Simulations to Develop Critical Thinking Skills

by Kathi J. Lovelace, Fabian Eggers, and Loren R. Dyck

ACAD MANAG LEARN EDU March 2016 15:100-121; Web. October 23, 2015

Publisher: Academy of Management | Publication: Academy of Management Learning and Education amle.2013.0203

Our study assesses the utility of web-based simulations for developing critical thinking skills and analyzes the relationship between critical thinking and simulation performance. We also explore the extent to which students use a collaborative versus competitive problem-solving approach within the simulation context. Pre- and posttest undergraduate student data were collected and used to test critical thinking skills learning. Posttest data were used to assess the relationships among critical thinking, simulation performance, and the problem-solving approach. We found that participation in the simulations was an effective way to develop critical thinking skills. Critical thinking was also related to performance, but only in one of the three simulations. The problem-solving approach did not mediate the relationship between critical thinking and performance; however, a competitive approach to problem solving was predictive of lower performance, and significant relationships were found between critical thinking subcategories and both problem-solving approaches. We discuss the implications of our results and identify web-based simulations as a useful supplemental pedagogy for developing the important skill of critical thinking. Study limitations and suggestions for future research are included. 

Evidence From a Large Sample on the Effects of Group Size and Decision-Making Time on Performance in a Marketing Simulation Game

Emily Treen, Christina Atanasova, Leyland Pitt, Michael Johnson
Journal of Marketing Education August 2016 vol. 38 no. 2 130-137
Marketing instructors using simulation games as a way of inducing some realism into a marketing course are faced with many dilemmas. Two important quandaries are the optimal size of groups and how much of the students’ time should ideally be devoted to the game. Using evidence from a very large sample of teams playing a simulation game, the study described here seeks to answer two fundamental questions: What effects on performance does group size have? And, is it possible for groups to spend too much time on decision making? The results indicate that performance increases in line with group size until teams have five members, and then tapers off. Furthermore, performance is shown to rise as time spent on decision making increases, up to a point, after which additional time spent on the game is shown to detract from performance. Implications for marketing instructors are discussed.

“Thinking” about Business Markets: A Cognitive Assessment of Team Market Awareness

Leff Bonney, Beth Davis-Sramek, and Ernest R. Cadotte (2016), Journal of Business Research, (69-8) 2615-3204
Current conceptualizations of marketing decision-making center on behavioral and cultural aspects of information flow and inter-functional coordination but neglect the cognitive, sense-making aspects of team decision-making. To fill this gap in existing business market literature, this study provides a cognitive based model of team market awareness. Drawing on theory related to entrepreneurial alertness, the paper develops constructs of management team awareness and symmetry of awareness distribution that are tested empirically. Results reveal that the management team's ability to perceive, comprehend and predict market elements (team market awareness) leads to higher firm performance. Further, the effect of team market awareness on team performance is strengthened when the team has asymmetric distribution of awareness, whereby a team's members have an accurate awareness of different market elements. Finally, team market awareness also has a stronger impact on team performance when the team has a high level of agreement on cross-functional tactics.

Using a Business Simulation to Enhance Accounting Education

Richard Riley, Ernest R. Cadotte, Leff Bonney, and Christelle MacGuire. Journal of Accounting, Issues in Accounting Education, 28 (4). November 2013
Riley et. al. describe the role that business simulations can play to enhance accounting education and in the assessment of student, course and programmatic outcomes. Business simulations help accounting students refine their numerical skills by leveraging their affinity for financial and non-financial numbers as well as their willingness to analyze problems in a structured fashion. The authors find that simulations challenge students to work in unstructured situations, developing their tolerance for and appreciation of ambiguity. The learning strategy described in the paper illustrates how various value-added activities can be used for course-embedded assessment. Student performance is documented by the business simulation and instructor via objective measurements as well as rubrics. The compiled data provide within-course and programmatic feedback that can be used to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

The Role that Large Scale, Integrative Business Simulations Can Play in Assurance of Learning and Assessment

Ernest R. Cadotte, Leff Bonney, Richard Riley, and Christelle MacGuire, “The Role that Large Scale, Integrative Business Simulations Can Play in Assurance of Learning and Assessment”
Cadotte et. al. illustrate how large-scale, integrative business simulations can be used for course-embedded assessment while also augmenting student learning and contributing towards a school’s assurance of learning requirements. The measured assessment outcomes include the ability to examine cross-functional skills and the students’ higher order thinking abilities, among others. More specifically, this manuscript illustrates an assortment of enhancements and assessment tools that can be overlaid on the typical LSIBS to expand the learning opportunities and provide systematic documentation regarding the degree to which learning has occurred at the individual and team level. Furthermore, this manuscript presents extensive data gathered from observation and assessment of student activities. Finally, this manuscript illustrates how this data can provide within-course and programmatic feedback to accounting and business schools to improve teaching and learning outcomes, thus closing the loop on assurance of learning.

The Application of Means-End Theory to Understanding the Value of Simulation-Based Learning

M. Meral Anitsal, Tennessee Tech University; Ernest R. Cadotte, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
A full-enterprise simulation was evaluated from the perspective of the means-end theory. The study is exploratory in that it examines the relationships among attributes of an educational service (a business simulation), the consequences of these attributes as experienced by customers (students), the goals that the customers want to achieve, and finally, the behavioral intentions of the customers after they experienced the service. The sample was composed of two groups, undergraduates and executives, all enrolled in for-credit educational programs. The findings suggest that undergraduate and executive students benefit in many ways from their participation in a simulation experience. However, what they take away from the learning experience is different and the differences may be due to the level of experience they have in the real world of business.

Teaching Experiential Learning: Adoption of an Innovative Course in an MBA Marketing Curriculum

Tiger Li, Barnett A. Greenberg, and J.A.F. Nicholls, April 2007
Colleges of business administration are under continuing pressure to develop innovative courses to meet demands from the business community. At the same time, faculty members are facing increasing challenges in adopting innovative technologies because of the amount of risk and effort involved. This article examines the adoption of Marketplace, a purely experiential learning course, in an MBA curriculum. The investigation shows that group dynamics and product characteristics were two key factors in the success of the innovation adoption. Findings from an empirical study demonstrate that the students perceived the simulation course as a viable alternative to the lecture-based pedagogy.

A Review: The Marketplace Game

Stanley J. Shapiro, Simon Fraser University; Catherine McGougan, Camosun College. Winter 2003
Professors Stanley J. Shapiro and Catherine MCGougan evaluate the Marketplace Live Marketing Strategy simulation, praising the game, the delivery method, and the service offered by the staff of Innovative Learning Solutions.

This article advocates the inclusion of large-scale, virtual-reality simulations in the training of future managers. Reality simulations have unique training capabilities that foster personal transformation in the manner advocated by Senge. Moreover, they can help students develop an almost intuitive understanding of business, including a seamless perspective of its functional elements and knowledge of how these elements can be coordinated to achieve a strong and profitable position in the market. Another distinctive feature of simulations is their emphasis on management—of the firm, of its strategy, and of its resources. The position taken in this article reflects my personal experiences as a developer and provider of business simulations in the classroom with MBA students, executives, undergraduates, and even high school students. The points made here also draw heavily on the experiences of a host of educators who have used a variety of business simulations, in a variety of learning contexts.
 

 

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