Sponsored by NYU Stern School of Business and NYU Stern Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning - Oct 23 & Nov 6, 2015
Virtual Teams in International Business or VIBu is an international management game played by business students from around the world in real time. VIBu simulates a dispersed workforce within a global manufacturing environment. Numerous multi-cultural teams play simultaneously with up to 20 students on a team, working on shifts. In VIBu participants act as members of global companies, managing and negotiating deals real time in a competitive market (see how it looks like). In contact via Skype and within the VIBu software, the team members act either as electronics or analytical equipment manufacturers. The companies buy parts, build finished products, manage inventory, negotiate, and sell - both within a computer-driven market and to each other. Up to 16 team companies come together over a 12-hour session to collaborate and compete. VIBu aims at increasing awareness of the challenges of virtuality and globalization.
Synchronous, global online collaboration
The working in the Global Marathon takes place in international dispersed teams, with diverse cultural backgrounds. These teams each operate their own simulation companies in real-time, with the help of synchronous communication tools. We aim at forming teams which are as international and diverse as possible. As the team collaboration takes place synchronously, the experience is full of immersive communication across geographical distances. The work in these teams is extremely engaging, leading to very high motivation to be member in a team, working to achieve a joint goal.
Collaboration and Competition
The teams of the session form a supply chain network, in which some of the teams are suppliers to the other ones. This means that instead of a pure competition between the participating teams, the teams are also collaborators. The human to human communication within and across the teams makes the experience very much different from traditional business simulations. The Global Marathon is about supply chain collaboration for mutual benefit instead of unnecessary juxtapositioning.
The experience offers many business and communication related learning outcomes. These learning outcomes can be related to the local teachers' course themes through adaptable assignments. The possible learning outcomes relate, for example, to Virtual work and management, Supply chain management, Multicultural communication, Leadership and team development, and Managing across cultures. These are skills that are ever more relevant and important for workers in the global world, in which ability to communicate and collaborate internationally is a pre-requisite.
Want to know more about the philosophy behind the development of VIBu / the Global Marathon? - click here.
Global Marathon schedule - Five separate learning sessions
Session 1 - Kickoff
Thursday October 22, 2015, 9am-12noon (ET) / 1pm-4pm (UTC). Opening day kickoff that includes pre-tests, VIBu software orientation, and team building.
Session 2 - VIBu Session One
Friday October 23, 2015, 9am-9pm (ET) / 1pm-1am (UTC). Actual VIBu gameplay where online instructors guide players via tutoring and discussion.
Session 3 - Business Strategy Sessions
Run independently. Offline strategy sessions where students analyze their work and plan for the next session
Session 4 - VIBu Session Two
Friday November 6, 2015, 9am-9pm (ET) / 2pm-2am (UTC). The second and final day of VIBu gameplay where instructors manage online discussion
Session 5 - International Debrief
Saturday November 7 2015, 9am-12noon (ET) / 2pm-5pm (UTC). Closing day debrief includes post-tests and video-recorded reflections in an international online forum