Interactive web-based simulations for strategy and sustainability: The MIT Sloan LearningEdge management flight simulators, Part I

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Abstract

The MIT Sloan School of Management has created a set of interactive, web-based management flight simulators to teach key ideas in business, strategy, sustainability and related fields. The simulations are freely available through the MIT Sloan LearningEdge portal (mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge). In these notes I describe six simulations available as of 2014. Part I describes Salt Seller (a multiplayer commodity pricing simulation); Eclipsing the Competition (learning curves, using the solar photovoltaic industry as the example); and Platform Wars (competition in the presence of network externalities using the video game industry as the context). Part II describes Fishbanks (the Tragedy of the Commons in the context of renewable resource management, updating the classic game by Dennis Meadows); CleanStart (building a startup firm, with clean tech as an example); and World Climate (an interactive role play of global climate negotiations). Each simulator enables participants to learn experientially about important concepts in management, strategy and/or sustainability. Each is grounded in a particular industry or firm, and comes with original case studies or briefing material describing the strategic challenges in these settings. Through these simulations, students, executives, policymakers and others can explore the consequences of different strategies so they can learn for themselves about the complex dynamics of difficult issues. I describe their purpose and use, illustrate their dynamics and outline the instructor resources available for each. Copyright © 2014 System Dynamics Society

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