Measuring the Performance Ranking Curve in Marketing Simulation Games

William J. Wellington, David Hutchinson, A. J. Faria


The present study looks at performance ranking curves to examine the issue of when performance ranking in a marketing simulation game flattens out. Past research of this phenomenon has been presented as “dominance studies†but this paper takes a different approach. The subjects for this study were 1726 undergraduate marketing simulation teams that competed in four different marketing simulation games which were used in multiple classes over a span of 15 years. The study examined “performance ranking†curves which were plotted using the correlations of ending rank order performance of teams with period by period rank order performance. These plots indicated that the strength of correlation increased over time and that final performance ranking was generally established by the fifth period. Based on these results, the authors concluded that marketing simulation competitions which focus on performance outcomes are unlikely to produce significant improvements in performance related benefits beyond the fifth decision period.

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