In the international business simulation Phone Ventures, students manage their own multi-national smartphone company, similar to those of Apple, Huawei, and Samsung. Within teams students need to conduct an internal and external analysis, assign roles across the business, and design and launch their international strategy. They then compete against fellow student groups for points during each round (equivalent to one year of operations). Points are awarded for the decisions that have the greatest impact on improving company performance.
A key factor in all of our simulations is team-working. Students need to work together within their team to delegate roles and responsibilities among them, determining who will be the CEO, CFO, HR-manager, Marketing Manager, and Head of Operations. They may even choose a geographic structure by appointing a Regional Manager for the Asian markets, the Americas or Emerging Markets. Student teams are in charge of setting up their own international organisation structure and once the team is in place they must work together to determine which actions to take and in which functions during each round - making sure to respond to news items that could impact their performance.
On a tactical level teams need to decide their entry strategy for each of the markets they would like to enter. Students should read and analyse global news messages on economies, geopolitics, trade wars, protectionism, and the tech industry to stay up-to date. Within HQ, teams decide their R&D and HR policies next to their online and global marketing investments. In each market they operate, they can either diversify their approach or apply a generic strategy.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability are strongly embedded within the simulation. The students have to think about how to reduce their carbon footprint, contribute to the Paris agreement, support local initiatives, fair practices and financial fair play. The also implement National Equality Standards to encourage diversity within their companies.
Within the HR department, managers with specific international competences, capabilities and salary levels can be hired. Next to that, students install reward systems, setup recruitment programs, invest in high potential candidates and supply training budgets to their staff. To be effective, students must first analyse each country’s Cultural Dimensions (Hofstede).
Phone Ventures is typically assessed in several ways. Below you will find the most popular options:
"My experience of working with Edumundo has been
fantastic! Not only because of the people I’ve been working with there but also because of the experiences the students have gained from their training and guidance.”
As part of his Strategic International Project Management module, Dr. Karim Ahmed was looking for a practical tool to develop his students’ understanding of business performance analysis. Here, we take a look at how the Phone Ventures management simulation has been used by his postgraduate students.