Developing future managers through business simulation gaming in the UK and Hong Kong: exploring the interplay between cognitive realism, decision-making and performance

Jonathan Lean*, Robert Newbery, Jonathan Moizer, Mohamed Hoddoud, Wai Mun Lim

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper investigates how individuals' decision-making approach and perceptions of a game's cognitive realism affect the performance of virtual businesses in a web-based simulation game.

Survey data are collected from 274 business simulation game users and is analysed using the fsQCA technique.

The study identifies three alternative pathways to high and low performance in a business simulation game. Results indicate that a flexible decision-making approach exists in all high performance pathway solutions. Where a game is perceived to be realistic, a more focused decision-making approach is associated with high performance. However, where perceived cognitive realism is absent, a less focused experimental decision-making approach is employed, which increases the chances to achieve low performance. Finally, perceived cognitive realism and an experimental decision-making approach are found to be mutually exclusive for achieving high performance.

Whilst the learning benefits of web-based simulation games are widely acknowledged, the complex interplay amongst factors affecting performance in games is under-researched. Limited research exists on how perceptions of a game's cognitive realism interact with user decision-making approaches to affect performance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalInternet Research
Early online date23 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2023

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