Business Games as a Learning Tool In Decision Making


The Decision-making process is that in which one alternative of how to execute a strategic, tactical or operational action is chosen among several others.

When a decision is made, it tends to reflect on all activities of a given process. May reflect with great intensity or not, at the same rate of the decision’s importance.

If decision is the concept of converting information into action, we can state that:

  1. The information base used need to be accurate and updated, otherwise the decision will be flawed;
  2. The base will bring together information that must concentre internal and external data to the company. The conjunction of data will give more range to the consequences of each decision;
  3. The information base should be reduced only to the data that “are influential in the decision-making”. If the range of information is very broad, it will be more complex to understand how to make a decision. And if it is too narrow, the consideration of the decision making’s consequences will be impaired.

So, before start a process of decision-making, it’s necessary to check how the information base is structured.

To make clear the choice’s importance of the information base, it’s important to analyze if the decision will have implications to the company and to the market in which it operates. Since the market is formed by “economic agents” which are companies, individuals, governments, and others; one decision made from one of them can influence the market as a whole.

To evaluate the importance of an economic agent, and what it generates in the market, we can analyze the following events:

In 2001 Microsoft released the first tablet personal computer. Sales were derisive, which demonstrated this kind of technology did not generated interest in the market at that time.

In 2010 Apple released another tablet, the iPad. It received severe criticism, influenced by Microsoft’s previous experience, and for the lack of some features as Adobe Flash support, camera and USB port. Once launched, the iPad has exceeded several times the sales number expected by Apple. Then other similar devices were released on the market, changing the concept of tablet, forcing companies to invest on production lines of this type of device and most importantly, influencing the demand for other equipments already established in the market, as the netbook released by Asus.

When Apple made that decision, as an economic agent radically changed all market parameters, introducing a new product and creating desire for something that seemed doomed to failure. The decision made by Apple put new parameters on the market. Therefore, all decision made by an economic agent can influence the market in which the company operates.

Which information led Apple’s decision? How they decided that the product should have lack of some features, when this could be seen as the certainty of a huge failure?

These consequences will return to the company the success’ parameters generated by the decision, maximizing the assertiveness of made choice. But these consequences will be perceived just if a well structured information base, with cause, consequence and reaction to each action is been considered.

Decisions are choices made with purposes, actions aimed at a particular objective, and the range of this objective determines the efficiency of the decision-making process.

The decision may be made from probabilities, possibilities and/or alternatives. For each action there is a reaction, thus, the reactions are based on made decisions.

The decision is more than a simple choice between alternatives; it includes the necessity to predict the choice’s effects, considering all it can cause at the moment and in the future.

Nowadays it is understood that it is impossible to find the best alternative on a decision-making process, which generates a search of most appropriated alternatives; in other words, what is pursued is the alternative that, while it’s not the best, reaches the aimed objective.

Fernando Arbache

Fernando Arbache

Mestre em Engenharia Industrial PUC/Rio. Independent Education Consultant working with MIT Professional Education. Graduado em Engenharia Civil, UFJF. Data and Models in Engineering, Science, and Business/MIT, Cambridge, MA (USA). Challenges of Leadership in Teams/MIT, Cambridge, MA (USA). Data Science: Data to Insights/MIT, Cambridge, MA (USA). AnyLogic Advanced Program of Simulation Modeling/Hampton, NJ (USA). Experiência Acadêmica: Educational Consultant working with MIT. Instructor in Digital Courses at MIT Professional Education in Digital Transformation and Leadership in Innovation. Atuou cimo coordenador da FGV em cursos de Gestão. Atuou como professor FGV, nas cadeiras e Logística, Estatística, Gestão de Riscos e Sistemas de Informação. Professor da HSM Educação, IBMEC e FATEC. Livros escritos: ARBACHE, F. Gestão da Logística, Distribuição e Trade Marketing. São Paulo: Ed. FGV, 2004. ARBACHE, F. Logística Empresarial. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Petrobras, 2005. ARBACHE, A. P. e ARBACHE, F. Sustentabilidade Empresarial no Brasil: Cenários e Projetos. São José do Rio Preto- SP: Raízes Gráfica e Editora, 2012. Pesquisa: Desenvolvimento de modelos de mapeamento de Competências Comportamentais e Técnicas, por meio de gamificação com uso de Inteligência Artificial, utilizando Deep Learning e Machine Learning ( Programa de Inovação com 75 cooperativas de diversas áreas de atuação e aproximadamente 500 participantes, com Kick-off no MIT PE ( Desenvolvimento de Inteligências nos dados e métricas - Big data e precisão nas tomadas de decisões na gestão de pessoas. Experiência Profissional: CIO (Chief Innovations Officer) da empresa Arbache Innovations especializada em simulação, inovação com foro em HRTech e EduTech – empresa premiada no programa Conecta ( como uma das 5 entre 500 startups mais inovadoras da América Latina. Acelerada pela Plug&Play ( em Sunnyvale, CA – Vale do Silício entre novembro e dezembro de 2018. Desenvolvimento de parceria com o MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology para cursos presenciais e digitais –, &

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