Plymouth State Students are Winners in National Business Strategy Game

May 4th, 2006 by Adam

Twenty-two teams of students in Administrative Policy, a capstone business course taught by Plymouth State Professor Duncan McDougall, participated in a semester-long online business simulation to test their ability to put theory into practice.

One of five Plymouth State teams to qualify for the world finals of the competition (the Best Strategy Invitational) was a Global winner—named Grand Champion of the simulated Industry 15, and inducted into the Business Strategy Game Hall of Fame.

Winning team members are Chris Harmon, an accounting major from Portland, Maine, Chris Trapp a marketing major from Marstons Mills, Mass. and Andrew Luce, a accounting *major from Raymond, N.H.

“The Business Strategy Game (BSG) allows students to make more than 100 decisions each week for 10 weeks, across a variety of business functions, including product planning, marketing, production, logistics and finance. It is an integrative experience,” says McDougall. “Participants run an athletic footwear company competing in a simulated global market, producing and marketing branded and private-label athletic footwear in Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and through the Internet.”

All students in the course participate, but a team must have a weekly National Top 20 performance in earnings per share, return on equity, stock price or overall score to make it into the worldwide finals, or “Best Strategy Invitational” (BSI) sponsored in April by the publisher, McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

The BSI is an intense replay of the Business Strategy Game. In this round, all the competitors are World Top 20 performers. A “move,” representing a business year, is required every weekday for two weeks in the finals. To add to the challenge, the game administrators change many parameters from move to move.

Seniors qualifying for this year’s BSI, based on World Top-20 results in at least one “year” of the Business Strategy Game, were Atomic Footwear, managed by Jason Grass of Penacook, Tim Rood of Concord and Matt Fletcher of Springfield, Mass.; Great Shoes, Inc., managed by Chris Parker of East Rochester, Justin Avery of Ashland and Chad Dingman of Groveton; B Company, managed by Jessica Ryan of Milton, Vt., Andrew Gurciullo of Haverhill, Mass. and Travis Archie of Raymond; Bare Feet No More, managed by Lindsey Corrigan of Wrentham, Mass., Michael Flerra of Merrimack, Jennifer Radigan of East Moriches, N.Y. and Luke DeMichiel of Zieglerville, Pa. and Kamo Wamo, managed by John Fitzgerald, Patrick Whalen and Jennifer DiFlaminies, all of Nashua.

Spring 2006 has been the most successful season yet for PSU teams. Previously, no more than two PSU teams had qualified for the world finals in a given term, and none had won in their industry.

Approximately 1,200 business professors around the world use the BSG in both undergraduate and graduate courses on strategic management. McDougall says, “At each school, industries include up to 12 teams of students. Thus, many thousands of teams were narrowed to the 240 that participated in the BSI’s 20 simulated industries.”

In Industry 15 of the BSI, the victorious team of Trapp, Harmon and Luce competed with 11 other schools, including the University of South Dakota, South Carolina State University, St. Norbert College, Lipscomb University, Montclair State University, Warner Pacific College and Southern Mississippi University.

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.