Decision-making, information seeking, and compromise: A simulation game activity in global industrial management

Alejandro Salado, John Ray Morelock, Arash Baghaei Lakeh

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In undergraduate engineering education, students are often overexposed to problem-solving methods that are unrepresentative of how problems are solved in engineering practice. For decision-making problems in particular, students are commonly taught to compare alternative solutions using information that is known and provided. However, many real-world decisionmaking problems require a broader range of problem-solving strategies, including information seeking, extrapolation of a decision's consequences, and compromise between parties with competing objectives. Accordingly, this paper describes a simulation game activity designed to offer industrial engineering seniors experience in solving realistic decision-making problems. The simulation game involved students working in teams that role-played as different types of companies in a global smartphone market, where teams needed to negotiate with one another to establish profitable contracts within the game's ruleset. In accordance with our learning objectives, we qualitatively examined how students sought information, adapted to changing conditions, and made decisions informed by constraints. Particularly, we sought to identify learning frameworks that fit the data well and would help us improve the design and assessment of the activity in later iterations. We found that the learning frameworks of metacognition and discrepancy resolution combined to explain most student activity relative to our learning objectives, and these frameworks suggest several points of improvement for the design and assessment of the simulation game.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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