Hybrid Methods of Organizing Groups for a Business Game


  • Precha Thavikulwat
  • Jimmy Chang


We investigated the problem of how groups should be organized for a business game by implementing a hybrid method that combines self- and computer-assignment. This method rests on a scoring system that derives group performance scores from individual performance scores. In our scheme, individual performance is the outcome of individual consumption of the products produced by the companies of the game. We describe our scheme, show how scores are derived, and examine three hybrid-method variants. Data obtained from a 202-undergraduate, one-semester administration of a business game that incorporates the three variants show that initial differences in group sizes arising from different variants narrow as the game proceeds, but persist to the end of the exercise; and that differences among the variants are not substantial enough to give rise to statistically significant differences in the pattern of increases in mean scores over the duration of the exercise. The data also suggests that players may perform best when, at the start of the exercise, the size of their group exactly matches the size they prefer.