Institut für Strategie, Technologie und Organisation (ISTO)

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Proseminar: Business Simulation

Proseminar: Business Simulation

Prof. Uriel Stettner, Ph.D.Lea Holzemer, M.Sc. 



1. Participants must acquire a license for the simulation at (approx. 65€). Our course uses Industry ID: C127180
2. The number of participants is limited to 24.
3. Attendance and active participation to all sessions of the course is expected!
4. All students are expected to open their webcam during the session and
5. All participants must complete a short exercise BEFORE the first class meeting!

Course Description

This course offers a vivid action-based, hands-on learning experience of strategy making and execution. In a multiple-round computer-based business simulation1 participants act as executive decision makers of firms operating in a world characterized by uncertainty and surprises. In an increasingly complex market setting of competitive strategic interaction, strategic and tactical decisions have to be taken with respect to typical business functions, such as purchasing, production, marketing & sales, finance, human resources, and R&D while stakeholder influences have to be anticipated and managed. The teams will formulate, implement, monitor and adjust their competitive and corporate strategies. Accompanying classroom sessions recap on concepts and tools of strategic management via annual (de)briefings.

1 In this course we will be using the Capsim simulation software (


Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to better formulate and implement strategies that drive competitive organizations. This course will provide insight into how to identify and choose a superior competitive position, how to analyze a strategic situation, and how to create the organizational context to make the chosen strategy work. As such, the objectives of this course are to deploy conceptual frameworks and models to analyzing competitive situation and strategic dilemmas and gain insight into strategic management. You will build on insights developed in other course, explore and apply tools to arrive at understandings that are both applicable in the business world and deeply rooted in a thorough academic understanding. The emphasis throughout is on the application of conceptual models which clarify the interactions between industry, competition, firm resources, and the structure and development of firm capabilities.


Evaluation of Student and Composition of Grade

A maximum of 100 performance points (Pts) can be achieved. In general, firm performance will be determined as a function of a firm’s achievement on a Balanced Scorecard (as provided by the simulation) which includes a variety of performance measures including equity position, the firm’s short-term performance, and organizational as well as operational aspects.

Final, self-paced take home examination is a tool for assessing the individual students’ business acumen and analysis skills. In the exam, each student is given a company to run in an industry with a similar interface, but different parameters than the team-based simulation that students tackle during the course. In the exam, the computer manages competitors. As students run their companies, their board of directors presents them with a set of questions after each round. The questions are drawn from all business domains and functions, from accounting to marketing to strategy. Questions for the Board Queries are modified by the current conditions in the industry.

Course participation and contribution

You will be randomly assigned to work in teams of up to 4 students. Following every simulation round, one team will be responsible for the debrief of the simulated year (i.e., comprehensive analysis and recommendations). The debrief is an opportunity to apply the concepts discussed in class, reflect on your as well as competitor’s business/corporate strategy, explain relative firm performance, provide an assessment of firms’ future, and expected corporate actions and business-level strategy. You are expected to apply correct use of the theoretical concepts and relevant analytic frameworks as well as provide convincing arguments supported by data.

Required Reading

Pre-readings and preparation: It is essential to read the Simulation Manual thoroughly and conclude the exercise before the first class meeting. The exercise is designed to help you familiarize yourself with the user interface and operations of the simulation software.


Course Outline*


29 June, 2021

30 June, 2021

01 July, 2021

02 July, 2021

03 July, 2021



Competition 1 (120 min)

Competition 3 (120 min)

Competition5 (120 min)

Competition 7 (120 min)

10:00 – 11:00

Practice 1

(120 min)

11:00 – 12:00


Debrief Group B

Debrief Group D

Debrief Group F

12:00 – 14:00






14:00 – 15:00

Debrief P1

(60 min)

Competition 2 (120 min)

Competition 4 (120 min)

Competition 6 (120 min)

Competition 8 (120 min)

15:00 – 16:00

Practice 2

(60 min)


16:00 – 17:00

Debrief P2

(60 min)


Debrief Group A

(60 min)


Debrief Group C

Debrief Group E

Course Conclusion

* The schedule is subject to adjustments as the course progresses.


  • The course is taught in English
  • Virtual Office Hours: Following class lectures and by appointment
Lecture Online via zoom
Credits 3 ECTS 
Application Deadline for Application: 14.05.2021 - to apply please send an email including your Transcript of Records and a short statement of your motivation to

100% Final, self-paced take home Exam

Due by July 10, 2021 @23:55

Further Information

For further information please contact: Lea Holzemer, M.Sc.

Prof. Uriel Stettner, Ph.D.