Serious Games for Serious Business: Improving Management Processes

Serious Games for Serious Business: Improving Management Processes

Paulo Correia (Instituto Superior Manuel Teixeira Gomes / GAME ISMAT, Portugal) and Paulo Carrasco (Escola Superior de Gestão, Hotelaria e Turismo, Universidade do Algarve / GAME ISMAT, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0149-9.ch030
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The focus of this chapter is serious games and their applications in management education, training, and skills development. It is argued that the use of serious games can improve management processes in organizations, and it is shown that there are advantages to using video games for this purpose (games-based learning) in relation to traditional methods. A brief historical review of the use of business simulation games is conducted. It is shown that some types of entertainment video games can also help to develop management skills. Potential benefits of using serious games within businesses are mentioned as well as some problems that may arise in its implementation and ways to overcome them. Finally, some examples of the use of serious games with the aim of improving managers’ skills and performance are presented.
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Brief History Of Business Simulation Games

The advent of computers has made possible to simulate processes that occur in reality. The applications and advantages of simulations were quickly understood. One obvious application would be to use a simulation to provide training and education in certain activities without the need to subject trainees to real life situations, with the disadvantages that this situation entails. The simulation would allow trainees to come into contact with a simulated situation that emulated actual conditions, to perceive the underlying mechanics involved and allow the realization of several attempts, if necessary, to perform tasks without the cost associated with error in a real situation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Guild/Clan: Organization comprised of players within a certain video game who share similar goals. There is a leadership and an internal responsibility framework implemented by a particular hierarchical structure.

Business Simulation Games: Games which aim to simulate management processes and that are used to train and develop skills in areas such as strategic thinking, financial analysis, market analysis, leadership, teamwork and operations management.

Learning Management System (LMS): Software application for administration, documentation, monitoring and reporting of training programs and e-learning programs. They are used to manage students and learning activities.

Games-Based Learning: Use of video games as a tool for transmitting knowledge and skills in a learning process.

Construction and Management Simulation (CMS): Subcategory of strategy video games in which the player must build and manage a virtual community or project using a limited set of resources. The main objective isn’t to defeat an adversary, but rather build and develop something. Typically, this type of video games implements a simulation of an economic system or a business.

Management Processes: A set of activities undertaken by managers within an organization that involves planning, organizing, leading and controlling.

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