PSU students take honors in national business strategy game

One of five Plymouth State teams to qualify for the world finals of the Best Strategy Invitational tournament, a semester-long online competition, was named grand champion of the simulated Industry 15 and inducted into the Business Strategy Game Hall of Fame.

All told, some 22 teams of PSU students in administrative policy, a business course taught by Professor Duncan McDougall, participated in the simulation, which was designed to test their ability to put theory into practice.

Winning team members were Chris Harmon, a marketing major from Portland, Maine, Chris Trapp, a management major from Haverhill, Mass., and Andrew Luce, a management major from Raymond, N.H.

In their category, Trapp, Harmon and Luce competed against 11 other schools, including the University of South Dakota, South Carolina State University, St. Norbert College, Lipscomb University, Montclair State University, Warner Pacific College and Southern Mississippi University.

“The Business Strategy Game allows students to make over 100 decisions each week for 10 weeks, across a variety of business functions, including product planning, marketing, production, logistics and finance. It is an integrative experience,” said McDougall. “Participants run an athletic footwear company competing in a simulated global market, producing and marketing branded and private-label athletic footwear in Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and through the Internet.”

All students in the course participate, but a team must have a weekly National Top 20 performance in earnings per share, return on equity, stock price or overall score to earn a spot in the worldwide finals.

The Best Strategy Invitational, is by the McGraw-Hill/Irwin publishing company.

The BSI is an intense replay of the Business Strategy Game. In this round, all the competitors are World Top 20 performers. A “move,” representing a business year, is required every weekday for two weeks in the finals. To add to the challenge, the game administrators change many parameters from move to move.

Other PSU teams qualifying for this year’s BSI — based on World Top 20 results in at least one “year” of the Business Strategy Game – were: Atomic Footwear, managed by Jason Grass of Penacook, Tim Rood of Concord and Matt Fletcher of Springfield, Mass.; Great Shoes Inc., managed by Chris Parker of East Rochester, Justin Avery of Ashland and Chad Dingman of Groveton; B Company, managed by Jessica Ryan of Milton, Vt., Andrew Gurciullo of Haverhill, Mass., and Travis Archie of Raymond; Bare Feet No More, managed by Lindsey Corrigan of Wrentham, Mass., Michael Flerra of Merrimack, Jennifer Radigan of East Moriches, N.Y. and Luke DeMichiel of Zieglerville, Pa.; and Kamo Wamo, managed by John Fitzgerald, Patrick Whalen and Jennifer DiFlaminies, all of Nashua.

Spring 2006 has been the most successful season yet for PSU teams, said McDougall. No more than two PSU teams had qualified for the world finals in a given term, and none had won in its industry.

Approximately 1,200 business professors around the world use the BSG in both undergraduate and graduate courses on strategic management, McDougall said. “At each school, industries include up to 12 teams of students. Thus, many thousands of teams were narrowed to the 240 that participated in the BSI’s 20 simulated industries.”

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