The Outsourcing Game: A Teaching Simulation of Power Dynamics in Outsourced Supply Chains Simulations
Managing Director, Emeraldwise, LLC , USA
Andy A. Tsay
Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, USA
Volume 2: 2008, pp. 69-96; ABSTRACT
Traditional Operations and Supply Chain Management education fails to address the “wheeling and dealing” aspect of inter-firm interactions and procurement. With this motivation we created a role-playing simulation called “The Outsourcing Game”, to illustrate the changed nature of decision-making in an outsourced supply chain environment. To date it has been experienced by hundreds of participants in MBA, executive, and industry training courses around the world. We attribute the game’s traction to a number of factors. It addresses a high-profile topic that will only grow in importance. It has been shaped by the feedback of professionals concurrently immersed in the real business setting. It is versatile, having succeeded thus far in core Operations courses and electives in Supply Chain Management, Outsourcing, and Procurement. It is compact and self-contained, requiring of participants little advance preparation or prior technical or domain knowledge. It deliberately requires no special equipment or props, and a spreadsheet is the only software involved. Participants specifically appreciate that it is fast-paced, team-based, competitive, and involves negotiation.
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