Twenty-four teams of students in Administrative Policy, a capstone business course at Plymouth State Unviersity taught by Professors Daniel Moore and Duncan McDougall, participated in a semester-long online business simulation to test their ability to put theory into practice.
Participants run an athletic footwear company competing in a simulated global market, selling branded and private-label athletic footwear in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America.
Moore says, “The Business Strategy Game (BSG) allows students to make decisions across a variety of business functions. It is an integrative experience.”
All students in the course participate, but a team must have a weekly “National Top 20” performance to make it into the worldwide finals, or “Best Strategy Invitational” sponsored in April by the publisher, McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Two Plymouth State teams qualified this year, Hosedown Footwear, managed by Kimberly White, Leslie Levesque, and Kami McClure, and Archer Shoes, managed by Tyler Barlow, James (Joey) Miller and Patrick O’Malley.
Hosedown Footwear team member Kami McClure found this project exhilarating. She says, “Testing core concepts from classes in application makes this a valid exercise. It gets intense at this level, but the simulations have great application in the business world.”
McDougall reported the following results in the Best Strategy Invitational: “Hosedown finished seventh of 11 teams in their division. In the final year of the game, they earned $64.8 million on simulated sales of $747.7 million, with earnings per share of $8.64 (up from $2.50 at the outset), a stock price of $134.38 (up from $30), and return on equity of 18 percent. These were strong results against stiff competition.
“Archer had a rougher go. After the first two years of the ten-year simulation, they were losing money and deeply in debt. The team fought back to finish ninth, having final year earnings of $24.3 million on sales of $171.5 million, EPS of $3.02, a stock price of $48.80, and return on investment of 21.7 percent. They showed determination and courage, and built a profitable company in the end.”