The Business Simulation Blog

Strategy & International Business Simulation for Management Courses

Posted by Zsuzsa Jakab on Friday, August 07, 2015 | Reading time: 6 min.

Cesim Strategic Management International Business SimulationManagement in organizations is the function that coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives by using available resources efficiently. As such, it is a vitally important cross-departmental discipline that relies on long term strategic thinking, timely communication, and effective decision-making based on often times incomplete information.

Teaching management as an academic subject can take many forms, depending on the focus of the class and level of students. But whether you are running an undergraduate or an executive MBA level course, a suitable practical learning tool can make a significant difference in consolidating the varied knowledge that is required to be a successful manager of a business.

The task for the student teams is to manage a global mobile telecommunications company through technological and market evolution. Participants will develop and execute strategies for their simulated company operating in the USA, Asia, and Europe. Cesim Global Challenge is a browser-based business simulation game that focuses on strategic management, international business, global operations, and business policy. It is typically used in corporate training courses, executive MBA programs and capstone courses, and strategy and international business courses at graduate and advanced undergraduate levels.

Free Download Cesim Global Challenge Guide BookBy playing Cesim Global Challenge, participants will gain:

  • better understanding of the complexity of global business operations in a dynamic competitive environment
  • comprehension of each of the management-related disciplines both individually and collectively
  • good sense of the interaction between the different parts of the business and the financial implications of the various strategic and operational decisions
  • invaluable experiences in teamwork and problem solving

Chris ColeridgeQuote from Chris Coleridge, Lecturer in Strategy at London Business School:

"London Business School needed a simulation that would be relatively easy to get to grips with but with very satisfying and "realistic" levels of complexity and challenge; we were using it as part of the conclusion of our students' experience, to tie together aspects of their learning, so it needed to be suitable for 'advanced' students. Cesim Global Challenge fit the bill very well for our Executive MBA students who gave very positive feedback. Our faculty team felt good learning had been achieved and it was a major plus that we were able to administer it ourselves."

If you're looking for the ultimate risk free learning environment to let your students explore various management-related concepts in, we've got you covered. With resource management (economic, political, financial and human), accounting, procurement, production, logistics, research, innovation, and marketing as its key learning areas, Cesim Global Challenge is a truly holistic strategic management and international business simulation game.

Setting up the game

Everything starts with defining the learning goals of your course, and a business simulation based one is no exception. Once you know which areas you'll want your students to focus on, you will have a much easier time setting the parameters of the game. 

Creating a new course on the Cesim business simulations platform is quick and easy, and you can always go back and modify your initial setup later.

After the business simulation course is created, the schedule is set, and your students are assigned to max. 8 players per team, you are ready to start the game with its default case, or alternatively modify the existing case or create a new one from scratch.

The case manager is an incredibly powerful tool for instructors, that let's you build a unique business management simulation game experience from course to course if you wish. Every facet from the the market outlooks to the parameters of the decision-making areas are editable, and there are several modules that can be enabled/ disabled to make for an even more dynamic business simulation exercise experience.

Cesim Global Challenge Strategy and International Business Simulation


Customizable simulation market structure and decision-making areas

You have the options to include additional module in your course such as human resources decisions and finished goods inventories, and you have discretion over which technologies are included in the simulation game. The HR module will introduce a range of personnel decisions and it will alter the in-house research and development to be based on man-days instead of just cash payments. The finished goods inventories module will add inventories to USA and Asia and excess production will no longer be scaled down but flow into inventories. Products are stored without features and the simulation company uses the FIFO method. More HR and inventory parameters can be found under Production and R&D and HR tabs. 

Customizable production

You have the option to reduce the time it takes to start production in new production plants from 2 rounds to just 1. In this case the cash payments still occur with the same schedule, only production can start one round earlier. You can also allow for the sale of existing production plants. In this case the minimum limit for the production plant decision will be -2, or equal to the sale of two production plants. The sale price is the same as the construction price and the sale will proceed with the same schedule as the construction.

Customizable result pages

You can choose to show sorting page in results. On this page instructors and students can sort the teams to be displayed in either ascending or descending order based on a selected criterion.

Custom market area names & currencies

You can activate custom market area names by checking the box next to the desired market area and inputting your custom area name of choice under "Market area". Please note that the custom name you choose will appear in the game under every language. Currencies can be altered using the respective select boxes. All changes are automatically reflected everywhere in the game. The exchange rate input uses the alternative method from finance page.

Running the course

Introduce your students to the simulation by drawing their attention to the "Tutorial" page in-game, which contains a video walkthrough and a step-by-step guide to the decision-making process.

If your students are new to the simulation, it's advisable to run at least one practice round at the beginning to get them accustomed to the flow of the business simulator game.

Depending on the goals, intensity and format of your course you can employ vastly different tactics to get the most out of the simulation. Find out how Mike Geringer (at the time of the interview Professor of Strategy & International Business of California Polytechnic, now O'Bleness Profesor of International Strategy & Director, Center for International Business of the College of Business, Ohio University) used Cesim Global Challenge in his strategy & international business courses:

Expert Interview: Mike Geringer on the Cesim International Business Simulation Game from Cesim Business Simulations on Vimeo.

Analyzing key metrics

Success is measured and compared by both operational and financial key indicators, including market share, net profit, return on capital, return on equity, earnings per share, capacity utilization rate and production scrap rate. The ultimate indicator in the simulation is the return to the shareholders, which consolidates all the key success factors into one measurable criterion that can be used to compare the performance of each team.

In addition to Cesim Global Challenge, our portfolio includes a general management simulation and a compact small service business simulation. The Cesim SimFirm general business management simulation game is great for business skills courses for non-business majors, introductory courses for business majors, and business acumen courses at corporate in-house programs, while the Cesim OnService small business simulation game is best suited for entrepreneurship and services management courses at different levels, college preparedness courses, undergraduate courses focused on core business processes, and advanced business courses at the secondary education level.


We will be at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management held on 7-11 Aug, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. Drop by our booth at the exhibit hall to discuss how to integrate business simulation into your course or training program.

Cesim Global Challenge has been used by Yahoo, London Business School, IESE, Fudan University, Aalto University School of Economics, Renmin University, Nokia, Leeds University, Grenoble Ecole de Management, Audencia School of Management, ESB Reutlingen and Hochschule Fulda amongst others.

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Tags: Educator 2.0, How to use business simulations

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