Innovative Use of the ERPsim Game in A Management Decision Making Class: An Empirical Study

Geoffrey Dick, Asli Yagmur Akbulut
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 19  •  2020  •  pp. 615-637

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) simulation (ERPsim) games have been used in Information Systems courses to teach students ERP systems and business processes. This study investigates whether the use of ERPsim games can be extended to other management disciplines. More specifically, this study reports on using the ERPsim games innovatively in a new context, in an undergraduate managerial decision making course, to enhance student perceived learning outcomes and satisfaction.

In this study, the ERPsim games were used to provide students with practical experience about using information in tactical and operational decision making and to illustrate important course concepts such as anchoring, bias, and bounded awareness, among others. The theoretical framework leveraged in this study was derived from the literature on technology acceptance in educational settings and the studies on virtual learning environment effectiveness.

Survey methodology was used to collect the data and test the research model. One sample t-tests and partial least squares (PLS) were used for empirical analysis. 138 students participated in the study.

By developing and testing a sound research model, we conclude that the use of ERPsim games can be successfully extended from their current domain of Information Systems to management courses that are not technical to enhance student understanding of managerial concepts in a fun and enjoyable way while enabling students to gain realistic practical experience in using information for decision making. While, the ERPsim games have been used in IS education; this paper presents an opportunity to use them in a different context.

The study confirms that the ERPsim games are useful in improving student perceived learning outcomes and the level of satisfaction in management courses. It also identifies the factors that directly or indirectly shape student learning outcomes and satisfaction in such courses.

The use of the simulations has relevance to the new Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) guidelines that emphasize the need to incorporate evidence based, technology and data-driven decision making to solve real-world business problems into business curriculum. The study should also encourage educators to innovate in their own courses by experimenting with this particular simulation or similar simulations.

Researchers should use additional samples to increase the generalizability of the findings. They should also extend the current research model by incorporating additional factors.

The study provides support for the use of a simulation game to improve students’ learning experiences and to help them better understand managerial decision making, which would allow graduates to more effectively transition into managerial roles.

Future research should include establishing and validating the best practices surrounding the use of these simulations in the classroom.

curriculum innovation, ERPsim, gamification, management decision mak-ing, simulation
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