Ambitious executives now have an outlet to test their skills with a new interactive online business simulation, CEO Survivor, designed by Macquarie Graduate School of Management. In the simulation, executives run a fictitious public company for a week as the chief executive. They must choose one of three companies from very different industries - Green Hop Organic Brewery, Baby Works Creche Services and Closed Loop Recycling - and select a board of directors from leading business people and academics. The "board" of each company comprises actual people, including MGSM alumni and faculty members.
Candidates find themselves in a variety of scenarios, with realistic problems and challenges they must solve as chief executive. Their response will either demonstrate their fitness to run a company, or reveal significant gaps in their business knowledge. Participants also have the opportunity to challenge others - including their boss - to test who would make the better chief executive.
At the end of the simulation, each candidate receives a "score" in the form of the company's share price. Candidates are also ranked against other players and issued with a report card.
Simulation games offer several benefits, including motivation, involvement, feedback, time representation, competition, integration and group decision-making, Professor of Marketing and Director of the MGSM MBA program, Sandra Burke, says.
Burke uses the Markstrat online simulation in her marketing classes, adding that the tool is used in "virtually all the best MBA programs in the world". (Markstrat was developed by Jean-Claude Larréché, the Alfred H. Heineken, Professor of Marketing at the INSEAD business school in France, as an aid for students. It is now used by more than 500 academic institutions around the world.)
"Markstrat creates a high degree of involvement among the participants and provides an excellent basis for the implementation of concepts learned in the more formal part of the marketing curriculum," Burke says.
"People come to business schools and undertake an MBA to learn a profession. Just as trainee doctors experiment with cadavers and pilots learn to fly through flight simulators, I provide an online marketing simulation so that students can practise the art of making management decisions in a competitive environment."
Burke says simulations provide students with immediate feedback on whether their decisions led to strong market performances in their hypothetical businesses.
"Students can learn from their mistakes in the classroom rather than in the real world," she says. "Simulations are one of the hands-on practical application tools we use along with case analyses and business-case development."
The CEO Survivor online simulation was launched in August and will run for three months. For further information, visit www.ceosurvivor.com.
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