The Gamesmanship of Pricing: Building Pricing Strategy Skills through Spreadsheet Modeling


  • Ronald S. Rubin


"Good decision making within the context of pricing strategy, in large part, requires the consideration of fairly large amounts of data and the evaluation of a range of alternatives. For students, managing this quantity of data frequently becomes such a highly complex task that they become confused and do not adequately analyze the variables involved. Also, for any problem, there generally is more than one viable solution. It is important that students inspect each alternative strategy and attempt to anticipate the impact of each on future operations. This is a sophisticated feat as well, typically involving tedious and complicated iterations and forecasts. In short, the great majority of marketing students have not developed the skills nor have the time needed for these complex operations. To help alleviate this situation, the author has developed a computer-assisted instructional program consisting of a variety of microcomputer based modules within an integrated spreadsheet as pedagogical tools in the teaching of topics within the functional area of pricing strategy. These topical modules were developed to assist the undergraduate marketing student in understanding concepts, issues, and problems in establishing prices for goods and/or services that are: 1) appealing to customers, 2) competitive with similar business firms, and 3) which allow for sufficient profit. This paper describes the purposes, underpinnings, and benefits of the use of the modules to both student participants and the instructor who use this computer assisted instructional technique. "