Should Business Game Players Choose Their Teammates: A Study with Pedagogical Implications

Joseph Wolfe, Robin McCoy

Abstract


Most top management business games have been designed to be team experiences. Despite the ramifications of this mandate, little research has been conducted on how the team’s members should be selected. The company staffing method may have severe ramifications as a major part of the learning anticipated by this experiential approach comes from the team’s interpersonal relations as they relate to the game’s model. An examination of two diametrically opposed methods for creating game teams was conducted. Randomly staffed versus self-staffed teams played a rela-tively complex computer-driven game for eight decision rounds. It was found self-selected teams were not more co-hesive than randomly staffed firms were and their ending-state cohesion levels were no better than those of the ran-domly staffed firms. They were, however, more profitable and less anxious about playing the game. Both groups were favorably disposed regarding this teaching technique after the simulation had ended.

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