Spring 2011: Business 294
Business Simulation

Last modified November 16, 2010

Prospective Participants

We are currently soliciting participants for the 2011 competition. Bus 294 meets from Dec. 11, 2010 - April 9, 2011.

See information on Nov. 22 and Nov. 29 orientation sessions.

Please read the information about the

Note: adding the course is by instructor permission only.

If, after reading the pages you have any questions, feel free to e-mail the instructor.


This graduate course provides an integrated approach to understanding how to run a company, using a business simulation of a hypothetical manufacturing company operating in two countries. One or more student teams compete against teams from around the country in the annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition, in hopes of achieving the best financial performance. SJSU has amassed an impressive record of winning teams since first joining this competition in 1982. In 2008, both our undergraduate and graduate teams won every available prize.

Past students have described the course as the “single most rewarding experience in my entire college career”; additional testimonials are available online. The course provides hands-on experience equivalent to actually running a corporation, and allows each student to bring together functional academic concepts resulting in integrated, applied management.

However, almost all the results from this course come from building a strong, closely knit team of four to six students. The ideal team will have a balance of strong quantitative and communication skills. Every student will need both strong competitive instincts, and the ability to work closely together. Thus, essential prerequisites to success include both individual collaborative skills, as well as the bonds built between the team members during (or before) the course. These collaboration skills will be tested during the final,intensive portion of the competition.

Course Policies

See the class schedule for meetings and activities from December 2010-April 2011. After the mandatory orientation meeting, there are a series of meetings in January, weekly meetings (day TBD) through February and March, culminating with a 4-day trip to Long Beach (and Orange County) to participate in the conclusion of the simulation competition.

Time Commitment

The schedule for this course is set by the intercollegiate competition, not the SJSU semester. The course begins earlier and ends earlier than a typical spring course, including one Saturday class meeting in December and evening meetings in January. It also requires being available to travel to Long Beach from Thursday-Sunday (April 7-9).

Please contact the instructor if you have questions about the commitment required or any potential schedule conflicts.

Registration Details

The registration information is as follows:

The requirement is to make sure that the team has academically qualified representatives for each of the major functional areas, particularly finance, accounting, marketing and operations (or quantitative decision theory).

We have funding for two graduate teams and one undergraduate team in 2011. In all cases, preferences will be given to students who (realistically) are graduating in 2011, since other students can participate in Spring 2012.

Adding the course is by instructor permission. To add the course, you need to


The Business Policy Game: Player's Manual,6th edition. The book is available via online download to registered students. Supplemental materials will also be provided by the instructor.


The main focus of the course is preparing (and monitoring) student participation in the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition.

The grade will be primarily (90%) determined by the team performance, as weighted by your teammates’ evaluation of your relative contribution, as well as the instructors’ evaluation of your team’s performance and your contribution. Two additional individual assignments (worth 10%) will determine the remainder of your grade.


Please see these key dates:

December and January Meetings

On December 11, we have a hands-on orientation to the software and the competition. The purpose to familiarize you with the process, the tools, the concepts and to set up your Xmas break reading of the manual. From this class, we try to confirm the number and composition of the teams.

In January, we meet to do practice competitions and also to get taught the business concepts behind the simulation. This is where you apply what you’ve learned to see how it works in the simulation, and also work out with your team members the division of responsibilities. We have to do this before the official competition begins because there is no time when the competition is underway to learn.

Tuesday Classes

Some students would like to take Bus 294 in addition to a Tuesday night class. We meet on Tuesdays because that is when the ICBSC releases the weekly results of the competition. We normally meet on Tuesday afternoons or evening for 30-90 minutes (per team) to review the results after they are released.

Assuming that the results are released on time (which is a problem only the first week), the weekly meeting can start at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm or 6pm: the only expectation is that the team will attend as a group.

Instructor (Team Advisor)

Prospective students need to speak with the instructor prior to receiving an enrollment code, both to answer any questions they may have and confirm that they are prepared for the intensive nature of the class.

Joel West, Ph.D.
BT 555, College of Business, San José State University, San José, CA 95192-0070
E-mail (preferred): west_j@cob.sjsu.edu
Phone: (408) 335-0115

For more about the instructor, read a brief biography.