Newcastle University Business School

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Dr Rob Dekkers invited to deliver QpQ Simulation Game to Newcastle University Business School students

Dr Jingxin Dong, Senior Lecturer in Operations Management & Supply Chain Management and Professor Chris Hicks Deputy Director of Newcastle University Business School recently invited Dr Rob Dekkers, Reader in Industrial Management, and Adam Smith Business School (ASBS) doctoral students Mohammed Aldossary, Marianna Koukou and Qijun Zho to deliver their QpQ Simulation Game at the Business School.

Business simulations are an effective teaching tool that both engage and motivate students whilst improving student knowledge retention and developing their decision making and team building skills.  The main aim of business simulation games is to reproduce the conditions of a successful business.  The QpQ Simulation Game, developed by Dr Dekkers, is a practical, interactive structured training activity that provides hands-on experience of the many business situations that students may encounter within their chosen careers.  The development of the first version of the QpQ Simulation Game, delivered to 300 postgraduate students in 2014, was supported by Dr Eduardo Gomes Salgado, University of Alfenas, Brazil and ASBS alumni, and Marianna Koukou, Graduate Teaching Assistant at ASBS.

The students at Newcastle Business School were each given a role within the ‘LEGO car manufacturing’ business such as sales, logistics, production, etc.  Their aim was to sell as many made-to-order cars as possible within the given time scale of 20 minutes.  Only cars with 100% quality will be accepted by the ‘customer’ and late delivery results in a penalty.  The schedule allowed the students to participate in three rounds of QpQ.  In the first round the students delivered two LEGO cars in 20 minutes and the second round saw 4 cars delivered.  In round three the Newcastle students excelled and delivered nine made-to-measure cars.  These improvements were linked to solving problems using Applied Systems Theory.  The Newcastle students were delighted in their progress during the session with many suggesting that it would be extremely beneficial for them to become familiar with all the different departments in companies and different managerial roles.  Unfortunately on this occasion there was not the timeframe to do so.

Dr Jingxin Dong said:  “We are very grateful to Rob and his team for providing the interesting teaching sessions. Rob’s game has been very well designed, and has provided enormous help for our PG students to understand the knowledge related to Applied Systems Theory. In the meantime, Rob’s session also set up an excellent example of how to incorporate games into the teaching of operations management and supply chain management. Therefore, the session is very important to further develop the relevant pedagogic theory.”

Professor Chris Hicks, also added: "Lean production includes an underlying philosophy and a wide range of approaches that take into account the sociotechnical nature of systems (including technical, organisational and social aspects). The game-based simulation helps students learn the theory and practice underlying Lean Production through a teamwork-based approach".

During their visit to the Business School Dr Dekkers and Mohammed Aldossary had the opportunity to deliver research seminars to Master’s and doctoral students, and members of staff.  Dr Dekker’s presentation was entitled ‘Lean Production: Nothing but the Learning Curve?’ whilst Mohammed Aldossary presented on ‘Contingencies Related to Regional Context for Lean Production.’ 

Professor Hicks was especially impressed by Mohammed’s research seminar stating that if he had not known that Mohammed was a first-year doctoral student, he would of ‘thought it would have been an early-career researcher who was presenting’.


published on: 9 May 2016