432 - Joint Law - Business Administration and Management Programme
30630 - Commercial Decisions
30630 - Commercial Decisions
Faculty / School:
109 - Facultad de Economía y Empresa
432 - Joint Law - Business Administration and Management Programme
1.1. Aims of the course
The main aim of this course is to introduce students to the managerial decision-making process within a business simulation game, which is a simplified representation of the dynamic reality. Nowadays more than ever, it is important for business students to apply some of the knowledge they acquire in the degree to a simulated situation that encourages them to make decisions and face the consequences.
These aims are in line with the agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/):
“Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
“Target Indicator 4.4.: By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.”
1.2. Context and importance of this course in the degree
Business Decisions is an optional course of 5 ECTS that belongs to the Marketing and Market Research module and is given in the first semester of the fourth year of the Business Administration and Management degree. It gives students complementary academic training in Marketing as a continuation of the training received in different courses such as Introduction to Marketing, Introduction to Marketing Research and Marketing Management I.
1.3. Recommendations to take this course
It is advisable for the students to have passed the subjects Introduction to Marketing, Introduction to Marketing Research and Marketing Management I. To obtain the maximum benefit from the course, students are strongly recommended to attend all the classes on a regular basis. Besides, it is of main importance that students actively participate in all group activities.
- Specific competences:
- E3. Evaluating the situation and expected evolution of organizations, making decisions, and obtaining relevant knowledge.
- E5. Writing reports on specific situations related to markets, sectors, organizations, and functional areas of businesses.
- E6. Understanding and applying professional criteria and scientific rigour in solving problems related to economic, managerial, and organizational issues.
- T1a. Ability to make decisions
- T1g. Communicating correctly both orally and in writing, with the emphasis on reasoning.
- T2b. Team work
- T2c. Working with deadlines
- T3b. Ability to adapt to new situations
- T4a. Ability to put knowledge into practice
2.2. Learning goals
- Apply management knowledge obtained during previous courses in a virtual environment to commercialise products in different markets.
- Analyse macroeconomic and microeconomic data provided in the virtual environment of the business game.
- Make the correct decisions to commercialise products in competitive conditions, looking for the best performance in the virtual environment of the game.
- Observe the consequences of the management decisions on the virtual environment of the game.
- Develop skills related to team work and work with deadlines.
- Prepare and explain the activities to be carried out during the business game.
2.3. Importance of learning goals
These days, marketing is a key element of business strategy. Therefore, a knowledge of marketing can help the future integration of graduates into the labour market. Additionally, the eminently practical perspective involved in the application of their acquired knowledge into a virtual environment allows students to develop several skills in relation to decision-making in competitive markets, problem solving, creativity, communication, and team work. These skills are essential for graduates.
3. Assessment (1st and 2nd call)
3.1. Assessment tasks (description of tasks, marking system and assessment criteria)
The student will prove that he/she has achieved the expected learning results by means of several assessment tasks. In the FIRST SITTING, there are two main evaluation systems:
Continuous assessment: requires the students to necessarily join a team and be part of it during the period that activities take place. A company of the game environment will be assigned to each team. The teacher will indicate the team size and will provide the students with a team file. The students will form their teams and will deliver the file, which will include full names of all team members, before the dealine. The formation of the team must be done by agreement between its members, since the teacher will not assign any student to a team. Students have until the third week of the course to form a team. The deadline for forming a team will be indicated in the course syllabus once the timetable for the respective academic year is known. The program will be published on Moodle and available from the faculty photocopy service.
Activities of the continuous assessment:
1. Group activities that require active participation (5 points)
A1. Assessment in the game (2.5 points)
The average score obtained by the company run by each team will be valued with a maximum of 2.5 points. That score will be calculated based on the sum of the average score in the game in two different parts of the simulation. On each part, the average score of each company/team will be calculated in the following way: on each competitive environment a score of 1,25 points will be assigned to the company/team which has obtained the highest score in the simulation game. The scores for the rest of the companies/teams will be calculated applying the following formula:
Company Z score = (Average company Z score * 1,25) / Average company M score
Where ‘M’ corresponds to the company/team that has obtained the highest average score in their environment and ‘Z’ corresponds to the company/team to which the score is being calculated.
Final scores for activity A1 for each company/team will be calculated with the sum of the scores of both parts.
A2. Written document (2.5 points)
The written document will be prepared by teams and it will explain the management tools and the decisions made by the company. It will have a maximum score of 2.5 points. Most of this activity will be developed as the moves take place. The target date for the completion of this activity will be fixed within the class schedule, which will be published on Moodle and available from the faculty photocopy services.
Group activities A1 and A2 require active participation in the group, which will be assessed by themselves.
Before assessing the level of participation of teammates, a team can inform the teacher whether someone has not participated in group activities sufficiently. In that case, they won’t assess his/her level of participation and that individual will loss his/her right to assess his/her teammates. The procedure to follow and the deadline to inform the teacher about this will be indicated in the Programme of the subject. Those students who have been thrown out from a team will have to do the Global Assessment.
Students remaining in their teams will assess the level of participation of each of his/her teammates, on a 5 to 10 scale, and the average assessment will be calculated. If the score obtained by a student for activity A will be calculated by multiplying: (A1 + A2) * (average assessment/10).
2. Individual activities (5 points)
B1. Business simulation game knowledge (4 points)
This includes two activities with a maximum score of 4 points. Those activities will focus on issues regarding the operation of the game and are aimed at evaluating the individual knowledge of each student about the business simulation game. The target date for the completion of these activities will be fixed within the class schedule, which will be published on Moodle and available from the faculty photocopy services.
B2. Oral defence of decision making (1 point)
This activity will consist of the defence of the decision-making by answering individually to the questions raised by the teacher. It will have a maximum score of 1 point. The target date for the completion of this activity will be fixed within the class schedule, which will be published on Moodle and available from the faculty photocopy service.
If the student meets the conditions for the continuous assessment system, the final assessment will be calculated as the sum of the scores obtained in the activities. Students will pass the subject if the sum is equal or higher than 5 points. If the sum in less than 5 points, students will have to be evaluated through the global assessment system.
Global Assessment: this will consist of a final exam designed to allow the professors to evaluate the acquisition of the theoretical and practical knowledge taught in the course as well as the corresponding competences.
This exam will be scheduled in accordance with the official calendar of the faculty. It will have two parts: the first part will include a number of questions about the theoretical-practical contents of the operation of the business game and the second one will refer to the practice of decision-making in the business game. The first part will have a maximum score of 4.5 points and the second of 5.5 points. A minimum of 2.5 points will be required in each part in order to pass the subject. Should a student not achieve the minimum score in the first part, the second part will not be corrected, and the mark of the first part will be published officially. Should a student achieve the minimum score in the first part, the second part will be corrected. If the minimum score in the second part is not obtained, the mark of the first part will be published officially. If the student also exceeds the minimum score (in the second part), the sum of the scores of each part will be published.
In the SECOND SITTING, the assessment will only consist of a 10-point written final exam including theoretical and practical contents. This exam will have the same characteristics as those established for the global assessment in the first sitting.
It is expected that the assessment will be carried out on-site. However, if necessary due to health circumstances, they will be carried out online or semi on-site. In the case of online evaluation, it is important to highlight that students may be recorded, being able to exercise their rights by the procedure indicated in:
Specific software will be used to check the originality of the activities carried out. The detection of plagiarism or copying in any activity will imply the qualification of 0 points in it.
4. Methodology, learning tasks, syllabus and resources
4.1. Methodological overview
The learning process that has been designed for this course is based on the following:
Students make decisions (moves), analyse information, develop management tools and organise the information required for the development of the written document.
The support material for the classes will be available on Moodle. This support material should be complemented with the teacher?s explanations, which take place during the first weeks of class primarily. Besides, students should elaborate their own materials as the teaching-learning process occurs, while the teams make decisions and analyse the information.
The teacher will resolve any doubts about the course through tutorials.
When students contact teachers through email, they should take the following into account:
• Emails must be sent through the official Unizar email account.
• Email subject must include the name of the course, the group and the degree.
• Email text must include the name and surname of the student.
Emails not following the previous rules won’t be answered.
Emails asking questions that are already explained in the course materials (teaching guide, presentation, etc.) won’t be answered.
Both the teamwork and individual work will determine the achievement of the learning goals. In this course, it is essential students? active participation in class, since learning occurs on an ongoing basis, as a result of students' involvement on their own learning process.
At the beginning, the teaching methodology is based on face-to-face classes. However, if necessary for health reasons, face-to-face classes could be delivered online or semi face-to-face.
4.2. Learning tasks
The learning activities refer to the following aspects:
- Learning how to operate the business game and making decisions.
- Decision-making for the commercialization of the company’s products.
- Development of tools to help manage the company.
- Preparation of the written document.
- Presentation and defense of the decisions taken.
This course is organized as follows:
Theory sessions (12.5 hours). In which the basics of how to run an online business management simulator and the development of the scheduled activities are explained.
Practice sessions (30 hours). In which students make decisions (moves), analyse information, develop tools for management and prepare a written document. Oral defense of the written document and the decisions made. Tutorials and seminars (7.5 hours). In which students' doubts will be addressed.
Autonomous work and study (75 hours). Done individually and in groups, is essential for the achievement of the learning objectives.
- Explanation of the business simulation game functioning
- Learning how to operate the game on the computer
- Decision-making for the commercialization of the company’s products
- Analysis of the economic and business information
- R&D+i decisions
- Decisions on providers
- HR decisions
- Marketing decisions
- Development of tools to help manage the company
- Preparation of a written document about the development of tools and the decision-making
4.4. Course planning and calendar
The schedule/calendar with the classes and the activities will be available on Moodle and the photocopy service. Any modification of expected days will be communicated by teachers through Moodle.
Classes will begin and end following the official calendar approved by the University of Zaragoza as well as the Faculty calendar.
The initial classes of the course will explain the basics of the business simulation game. In the remaining days, the students will work in teams to make decisions about the main management areas of the company assigned to them. They will also make tools to help them when making decisions. Furthermore, they will elaborate tools to help decision-making and develop and defend a written document to explain their management decisions to market the company's products in the company’s markets.
Assessment activities are explained in the Assessment section. At the beginning of the course, students will have access to the syllabus on Moodle and the faculty photocopy service. This will include the schedule and the most important dates for activities.
Official days for global assessment will be published by the Faculty with enough time.