Loyola Business School

SBA students test competitive skills
Loyola business students are gaining real-world experience managing an athletic footwear company in a global market arena as part of an online simulation.

The online game, “The Business Strategy Game (BSG): Competing in a Global Marketplace,” provides students with the opportunity to compete with fellow teams in their class as well as with thousands of other teams from across the world.

Amy Kyhos, adjunct professor in the School of Business Administration (SBA), employs the game in her Management 304 courses. This is the strategy and leadership focused capstone course required for all undergraduate business students. In Kyhos’s classes, students select teams of 3-5 members, and each team creates a team name for their online footwear company. Teams then develop a mission statement, select their initial strategy, and flush out an initial strategic plan. Students are offered 1-2 practice rounds in the game to ensure that they are proficient at the online tool and the weekly decisions that the simulation tool presents.

Kyhos believes the game presents both hard and soft skills needed to effectively manage a firm and operate in a team-based environment. The team members are all co-managers of the firm and there are many aspects to the BSG, including marketing, distribution, finance, and corporate citizenship.

According to Kyhos, “It’s a low risk way to begin to utilize your skills, as you are in a simulation environment. And, we’re working to learn the proactive and reactive nature of strategy creation and execution. There are a lot of moving parts and the teams that fare well generally understand these moving parts, work to anticipate their competitors’ moves, and have a solid working relationship with their fellow co-managers.”

Although in Kyhos’s classes students are competing against their fellow class teams, the BSG is a global simulation game. Each week, BSG posts the names of Global Top 100 teams for each of the four key categories: overall score, earnings per share, return on equity, and stock price. BSG also offers the Gold Star Award for corporate citizenship. In the past several semesters, teams in Kyhos’s classes have been ranked in several of these categories. Additionally, Kyhos is in the BSG Hall of Fame honoring 164 BSG “Master Professors.”

“I am continually impressed with the caliber of Loyola students from a knowledge perspective as well as their overall ability to work in a co-manager environment in the semester-long BSG simulation,” Kyhos says.

According to Kyhos, teams submit a final paper discussing their BSG strategies and their progress in the game. At the end of the semester, teams present a summary of their papers.

“It’s a great opportunity for class discussion amongst the teams about what worked well, what did not, and what was learned during the semester in the context of strategy development and execution,” Kyhos adds.

Additionally, Wayne Koprowski, part-time professor of management in the SBA, also advised many Loyola teams that ranked in Global Top 100 for a series of weeks.

To learn more about “The Business Strategy Game: Competing in a Global Marketplace” or to view the rankings for yourself, click here.