Teaching principles and fundamentals of business excellence to undergraduate students through a game
Beltrão, Kaizô I.
Barçante, Luiz Cesar
This article describes a business game used as a method to teach Business Excellence and Total Quality Management in an undergraduate course. The Business Excellence Model, disseminated by the Brazilian Quality Foundation, provides the empirical framework. The game simulates a supply chain. Most of the experiential games available use financial figures as goals. This game considers an evaluation system of 39 items based on Business Excellence Model's criteria. The database analysed consists of outcomes from 10 classes, around 28 students per class. A reduction of dimensionality was attained through Factor Analysis. Some factors were not determinants for the final outcome of the game. Other factors presented values much closer to the mean for winners than for losers. There were factors, though, which seemed to be determinant for winning the game: winners obtained much higher values with these factors. It could be perceived that this hands-on approach was well received by the students: the game boosted students' morale and interest in the subject; fostered entrepreneurship and less absenteeism; increased degree of class participation, awareness of team work and planning; created an environment which favoured discussion on business ethics; and provided motivation for further learning.