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A Revised Business Game For Use In Teaching Engineering Economy Or Operations Management

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.53.1 - 5.53.6



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Paper Authors

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Matthew V. Galati

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Joseph C. Hartman

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1339

A Revised Business Game for Use in Teaching Engineering Economy or Operations Management Joseph C. Hartman, Matthew V. Galati Lehigh University


We report on the use of a revised business game as a supplemental teaching aid in a production and inventory control course in Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Lehigh University. The revisions were born out of student evaluations of an original game developed at Stanford and implemented at Georgia Tech and Lehigh. The basic premise of the game remains centered around student teams making periodic decisions regarding the manufacture and sale of a product in a competitive market. However, a variety of the parameters that define the game have been generalized and a number of decisions have been added in order to provide greater realism. Also, the game has been rewritten in C++ with students interacting via the World Wide Web. These structural changes have greatly reduced the time and effort an instructor must expend in executing the game over the course of a semester. It is hoped that these improvements in administering the game will help in its dissemination and use at other institutions as it provides a unique learning experience that can supplement the teaching of engineering economy or operations management courses.

1. Historical Perspective of Business Game and Motivation for Revision

Thuesen [1] reported on the use of a computer-based simulation business game (Whitman [2]) in engineering economy courses at Georgia Tech. In the game, teams of students make various decisions regarding the operation of a plant or plants. At the beginning of the game, each competing team has an equivalent net worth, divided among capital assets and cash. Over time, students make decisions regarding their product and its manufacture. The decisions are far reaching, as they include plant expansion and equipment replacement decisions as well as raw material procurement and production scheduling. Additional decisions include product pricing and advertising according to regions, as each team is based in a different geographical location, and product improvement and production process cost control programs. There is also a stock market where shares of each team are traded. There are many influences on a team’s stock price, including declared dividends. The team with the highest number of assets is declared the winner after the final period.

The students at Georgia Tech met this game with tremendous enthusiasm (Thuesen [1]). While stimulating their interest in economic decision making, it exposed them to topics of (1) decision making in uncertain environments; (2) operating a competitive company; and (3) relating topics of engineering economy to “actual” decision-making. For three years, the game was utilized in operations management courses at Lehigh University. Motivated by student evaluations and desires

Galati, M. V., & Hartman, J. C. (2000, June), A Revised Business Game For Use In Teaching Engineering Economy Or Operations Management Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8671

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