The Impact of Playing a Marketing Simulation Game on Perceived Decision Making Ability among Introductory Marketing Students


  • William J. Wellington
  • David Hutchinson
  • A. J. Faria


The present study examines how the decision making experience gained during the play of a marketing simulation game impacts game participants’ perceptions of their decision making abilities. A pre-test/post-test experimental design was used to measure the change in participant perceptions and attitudes about their decision making abilities in relation to a marketing simulation game experience. The present study sought to determine whether the simulation experience enhanced simulation decision making skills and whether well performing participants reported more improvement in their decision making skills than poorer performing game participants. The study findings, involving 275 students, showed that the simulation experience actually “shook” the confidence of many students in their decision making ability as there was a significant negative change in perception of decision making abilities over the course of the simulation competition among poorer performing students. As expected, good performing students reported a positive and significant change in their perception of their decision making abilities. Well performing students also reported that they developed decision making approaches or systems while this was not the case among poorer performing students. Finally, well performing students reported a stronger understanding of the simulation experience than poorer performers.