The Business Game as a Research Tool: Experiments on the Effects of Received Information on the Decision Process
1970 (English)In: The Swedish Journal of Economics, ISSN 0039-7318, Vol. 72, no 2, 111-123 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In this paper we have described experiments where we have tried to test empirically some assumptions about the relation between the information received by a team (firm) and the policy actually followed. The assumptions are based on a frame of reference related to organization theory. With this aim, we made systematic variations in the information received by the teams, and the behavior of the teams was measured with a number of operational criteria. A simple business game, which to a certain extent had been adapted to our study, was used. Even if the experience of the experiments was on the whole positive from a purely technical point of view, that is, it was not too difficult to collect the desired material without disturbing the game situation, the results of the studies were disappointing: the material collected did not give support to our hypotheses. However, we want to point out that we look upon the study as mainly a methodological study. The material was too limited to allow any statistical analyses and conclusions. The difficulties of distinguishing the expected tendencies may partly depend on problems connected with the empirical research situation. Questions related to the control of the situation and the reliability and validity of the measures used have been dicussed. Partly, however, the negative outcome of the study may be explained by shortcomings in the theoretical frame of reference used, concerning e.g. the assumed relationships between information and decision. Our results can be said to be of general interest in so far as they show the great difficulties of testing partial relations even in a relatively standardized research situation. The experiments hint at the desirability of using a more systems theory-oriented approach. The study also gives some guidance for conclusions about the relative advantages of the business game as a research tool. It seems to be very difficult to design a research situation that is standardized enough to allow for comparisons between teams within the framework of a business game. The advantages of the games as regards their greater "realism", as compared to the pure experiments, seem to be of minor importance in comparison with lesser potentials of the games as far as the creation of a standardized research situation is concerned. However, much more research is needed before any definite conclusions can be reached on this question.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1970. Vol. 72, no 2, 111-123 p.
Economics and Business
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-180461DOI: 10.2307/3439189ISI: A1970Y325300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-180461DiVA: diva2:550539