China Focused Strategy
A comprehensive, dynamic strategy simulation designed for MBA, Executive Development courses with a focus on emerging economies--specifically China.
Stuart W. James
Stu James is the founder of Interpretive Simulations, one of the leading publishers and developers of business simulations worldwide. Interpretive’s simulations are an integral part of the curriculum at many of the world’s top business schools in the areas of marketing, strategy, management, and international business. To date, over 100,000 people have experienced one of Interpretive’s simulations, and many rave about how the simulation was one of the best learning tools they have ever used.
On the academic front, Stu is currently Visiting Lecturer at the University of Michigan (EMBA and EP programs), and at the Colgate-Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA Core Marketing and Custom Executive Programs). In addition, Stu has served at the Allen Center for Executive Education at the Kellogg School of Business, the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), and the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB).
Along with his academic work at the above business schools, Stu has also worked with American Honda, CIGNA, The Davidson Institute, General Electric, Genworth Financial, Harvard Business School, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson Prentice Hall, and McKinsey & Company. He is co-author of a number of leading simulation products including StratSimManagement, StratSimMarketing, StratSimChina, CountryManager, PharmaSim, HRSimSelection, MarketShare, BizCafe, and ServiceSim, all used at leading universities worldwide. Stu has extensive experience in facilitating simulation events, having directly worked with thousands of executive and MBA participants over the past 20 years.
Management by the Numbers, Inc. (MBTN), a new venture that Stu has co-founded with Paul Farris of the Darden School of Business, launched in 2010. The focus of this project is providing a self-paced, on-line environment where students and executives can master the numbers side of marketing. The goal of MBTN is to improve marketing acumen of mid-level managers to ultimately enhance the financial performance of businesses worldwide.
Stu and his family reside in Afton, Virginia at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In his spare time, Stu enjoys playing Irish and old-time traditional music and competing in triathlons.
Michael Deighan is a co-author on the new web-based editions of Airline, Entrepreneur, and HRManagement. His expertise, insight, and creativity proved invaluable and made it possible to convert these models to their current web-based versions. Michael joined Interpretive Simulations in 1989 as lead software developer, and is now Chief Technology Officer. He is co-author on a number of Interpretive simulations: PharmaSim, AutoSim, BizCafe, StratSimMarketing, StratSimManagement, StratSimChina, ServiceSim, CountryManager, and MarketShare. In addition to developing software, he has been teaching computer programming classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College, in Charlottesville, Virginia, since 1990. Michael received his B.A. in German and Economics from Washington and Lee University, and an M.A. in German from the University of Virginia.
At a Glance
Two or more teams of students go head-to-head in direct competition, competing in the same industry as separate companies.
- International Business
- Emerging Markets
- Courses with China Specific Content
- Strategy Formulation: Students start by conducting environmental analysis before articulating the vision and mission of the organization. Students must determine their firms' core competencies, and formulate corporate-level, business-level and functional-level strategies.
- Product Development: Students create new product concepts and choose whether to develop them and ultimately launch them into the market. Each team also has the ability to improve its development capabilities through investment in vehicle technologies, as well as by expanding the number of product development centers.
- Marketing: Students develop an understanding of the marketing function and strategic management by analyzing consumer/product relationships, choosing target market segments, and designing and implementing a marketing mix strategy.
- Operations: Teams make operations decisions that consist of building or selling off capacity, entering a sales forecast and production level for each product, and optionally, deciding to source from overseas. Retooling costs and estimated inventory are recalculated when the forecast or production is changed.
- Human Resources: Students must decide how team responsibilities are divided. Will they be product managers? Functional managers? How will information be analyzed? Who will negotiate with potential partners? All students on a team make one set of decisions for their firm, so coordination among team members is an essential ingredient for success.
- Finance and Accounting: Financing and management accounting decisions in StratSimChina involve analyzing projected cash flows and ensuring there are sufficient funds to cover investments and operations. In addition to choosing among many alternative uses for their limited funds, students also make decisions involving dividends, short vs. long-term debt, and raising capital by issuing stocks and bonds. Students are expected to perform financial ratio, breakeven, and net present value analysis.
- Optional B2B Module: This optional modules allow students to explore alternative purchase processes and sourcing options with Chinese fleet customers. The B2B module may be turned on at any point during the simulation to provide new challenges and options as the game progresses.
- Purchase of Market Research: Students use sophisticated market research to learn about buyer behavior, and improve their strategic choices. Research techniques included in StratSimChina include test markets, conjoint analysis, perceptual mapping, focus groups, concept tests, and purchase surveys.