Scholarly Articles

Research Articles and White Papers

Since 2001, over 1.3 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.

Time for Educators to Lead on Societal Impact

Ernest R. Cadotte, Bindu Agrawal (2022), AACSB Insights

Businesses are under pressure to stop focusing on profit maximization and embrace societal impact instead. Business educators have a key role to play.

While business has created jobs and lifted nations out of poverty, it has caused harm to individuals and environments. 

Concepts such as conscious capitalism, social entrepreneurship, and the triple bottom line have moved business toward becoming a force for good. 

Business schools need to stop teaching shareholder primacy and train students to become leaders committed to positive societal impact.

Training Leaders to Manage Societal Impact

Ernest R. Cadotte, Bindu Agrawal (2022), AACSB Insights

With the emergence of societal forces such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, business schools need to develop conscious business leaders who emphasize purpose over profits.

Simulations can help students look beyond traditional business metrics to see the cause and effect of their decisions on stakeholders, practice managing societal impact, and understand how conscious capitalism works in a firm’s day-to-day operations

The more business schools expose students to conscious capitalism, the more students will understand that businesses can actually increase their profits by becoming forces for good.

Simulations Spark Engagement and Real Learning

Ernest R. Cadotte (2022), AACSB Insights

Knowledge is not skill. There is a wide gap between knowing what to do and being able to do it. Whether someone is attempting to play a sport, master an art, or become a savvy business manager, the only way to transform knowledge into skill is through practice. One of the best ways for students to gain practice is through simulations that allow them to apply and refine their knowledge. A highly engaging simulation can provide students with a holistic vision of business and the knowledge and skills they need to become career-ready.

How to use Simulation Games in the Classroom?

Ernest R. Cadotte (2022), Sage Publishing

An enhanced, new venture simulation can be a game changer within a school’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing students with a holistic vision of a new venture and skills relevant to its potential success. The purpose of this article is to help faculty design and deliver a simulation experience that will engage, challenge, inspire and transform students into entrepreneurial enthusiasts with practical new venture knowledge and skills. Attention is given to (a) the factors to consider in choosing the right simulation, (b) the best practices for structuring a class for maximum impact and (c) the role of the instructor as an entrepreneurial coach.

6 Favorite Business Simulations to Teach—and Why

Various Authors (2021), Harvard Business Publishing Education

In this compilation piece, Harvard Business Publishing asked six educators to share which business simulation was their favorite to teach and why. At the top of the list, Dr. Bindu Agrawal explains why she is passionate about teaching with the Conscious Capitalism – Bikes simulation by Marketplace Simulations.

Agrawal highlights how the simulation teaches responsible management by letting students engage in real ethical business challenges. She also shares how a skeptical student became a vocal proponent of responsible management after playing the simulation.

Inclusion of Conscious Capitalism within the Business Curriculum

Ernest R. Cadotte (2020), ACBSP Exchange

Dr. Raj Sisodia and Conscious Capitalism, Inc. are the proponents of Conscious Capitalism. Dr. Sisodia is the thought leader of Conscious Capitalism and is the FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College. Conscious Capitalism is a new way of thinking about business that goes considerably beyond the traditional view of ‘maximizing profit’ that most executives and teachers think about. 

The businesses that solely focus on generating financial wealth are extracting value rather than creating value at the expense of social, cultural, environmental, intellectual, physical and spiritual wellbeing. A business that pursues Conscious Capitalism has many positive effects and fewer negative effects. 

Conscious businesses spend money where it makes a positive difference. They empower people and engage their best contribution in the service of a higher sense of purpose. They attempt to make a net positive impact on the world. 

Molding Conscious Leaders

Madhavi Lokhande, Ernest R. Cadotte, Bindu Agrawal (2019), South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases

Innovation in education is important for developing the next generation of business leaders who also have to be innovators, creative thinkers and managers who will be more responsible towards society. The role of a company is to serve other stakeholders such as staff, clients, suppliers and society besides increasing the wealth of shareholders. In an era of continuous erosion of natural resources due to the progress of mankind, doing business following the path of conscious capitalism may create a competitive edge. The challenge is to orient the mindset of management students to mold them as conscious leaders. 

In 2009, Dr. Raj Sisodia and Conscious Capitalism Inc. asked Dr. Ernie Cadotte to create a new simulation to illustrate and reinforce the key tenets of the Conscious Capitalism movement. 

Business managers have a broad variety of conflicting issues to deal with, including product sustainability and reliability, environmental concerns, employee morale and corporate responsibility. The challenge for Cadotte and Sisodia was to develop a new pedagogy for learning to manage a full-enterprise business while addressing the conscious opportunities, situations and problems. In 2011, Cadotte created a game (Conscious Capitalism in the Marketplace) that simulates the challenges a business manager has to face in today’s world. It is a ‘unique pedagogy’ and an innovative teaching practice that works on the ‘learning-by-doing’ method. This article will be an evidence-based case study of that simulation and its use with the next-generation managers.

Syed Kamal, a professor at Austin College, Texas, reports his use of the Strategic Corporate Management simulation by Marketplace Simulations in his capstone course. Over the span of two courses between 2016 and 2017, Syed discusses how his students performed throughout the simulation, what challenges the students’ faced, the tactics he implemented with the simulation that enhances his teaching, and concludes with his observations on simulation-based pedagogy.

Business Not as Usual: Developing Socially Conscious Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

Denise Linda Parris, Cecilia McInnis-Bowers (2017), Journal of Management Education, Sage Publishing — Vol 41 Issue: 5

Our objective was to design an introductory business course to shape the mind-sets and skill sets of the next generation of socially conscious practitioners—to help students develop a sense of self-efficacy built on the confidence that they can make a positive impact on the world using entrepreneurial thinking and action. Essentially, the focus was to develop an introductory business course that would encourage and enable students to understand that business can be a force for good (sustainability and social impact) and to practice collaborative innovation (human-centered design thinking). The overarching design principle was business not as usual, which embraced four themes: (a) sustainability and social entrepreneurship, (b) collaborative innovation, (c) entrepreneurial thinking and action, and (d) self-authorship. We provide an overview of the course modules and their respective learning outcomes along with details of course content and activities to ensure transferability. A concluding discussion shares the impact on students and the challenges of success. We highlight how course design can be a catalyst to enable students to be the change they want to see in the world.

This article introduces a simulation, Marketplace Live, and compares students’ simulation performance with their course performance. The sample is drawn from 13 sections of the author’s Marketing Concepts (Principles of Marketing) course. The results support the idea that marketing simulations do contribute to learning marketing concepts. Evidence for this included (1) the partial mediation of academic ability on overall course performance by effort (indicated by time) and simulation performance, (2) a correlation between improvement in simulation performance with course grade improvement, and (3) correlations between simulation performance measures and performance on the final (comprehensive) course exam.

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.

Exchange Interdependence and Interfirm Interaction: Research in a Simulated Channel Setting

Gregory T. Gundlach and Ernest R. Cadotte, Journal of Marketing Research, Nov. 1994

The authors employ a simulated market channel to investigate two properties of interdependence-magnitude and relative asymmetry. Increasing magnitudes of joint dependence are associated with more frequent use of noncoercive strategies, less frequent use of coercive strategies, lower residual conflict, and more favorable evaluations of partner performance. These results support the relational exchange paradigm. Findings for relative asymmetry were not anticipated but are informative. First, an increasing power advantage did not result in the predicted greater use of threats and punishments, although demands and normative statements were more prevalent. Second, one side of the dyad decreased its use of rewards and the other increased its use of rewards, promises, and information persuasion. As predicted, an increasing power advantage (lower relative dependence) is associated with less favorable performance evaluations of exchange partners and less residual conflict.

Chips: A Strategic Distribution Game

Ernest R. Cadotte and Lloyd M. Rinehart, Sage Publishing Aug. 1994

Current marketing simulations minimize the channel of distribution element of the marketing mix. A new marketing simulation, “Chips,” emphasizes strategic and tactical decision making in a dynamic, interactive, and competitive marketing environment. The game emphasizes channel management and negotiations, making it a useful supplement for courses in marketing management or marketing channels. Students are strongly attracted to the human interaction aspect of the negotiating process.

Chips: A Marketing Channels Management Game

John C. Keyt and Ernest R. Cadotte, Developments in Business Simulation & Experiential Exercises, 1981

This paper describes a marketing channels management game which was developed to facilitate the teaching and learning of channel management concepts. CHIPS involves student composed teams in the management of firms which
operate in the poker chip product market. Manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, and transportation firm executives (students) make several decisions including: 1) product mix, 2) pricing, 3) inventory management, and 4) supplier/outlet negotiations. Decisions are made over seven market periods and firms are required to determine their financial position at the end of each period by developing income statements and balance sheets. CHIPS has shown itself to be flexible in terms of the number of students needed and the scheduling of market periods.