Abstract for: Developing Business Simulation Games for a Mainstream Audience

Over the past several years, the use of simulations in management education has advanced from an activity performed by a relatively small number of early visionaries to a mainstream offering provided by top business schools. Harvard, MIT, Wharton, INSEAD, London Business School and others offer simulations for use by their own students and by other universities. Harvard Business School Publishing currently features its simulation offerings above those of even its case studies and in the past five years has developed over twenty simulations. The most popular of these simulations have been adopted by hundreds of schools and have been played by hundreds of thousands of students. While many of these simulations are based on system dynamics, faculty use them because they fill a need in their courses not because they use a particular modeling approach. This paper addresses the key factors for simulation adoption in MBA programs, how the simulation development process differs for simulations that are widely used, and future opportunities for system dynamics simulations.