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Learning leadership skills in a simulated business environment

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Computers & Education Volume 58, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


In today’s unstable market economy, individuals have to be skilled to work efficiently in constantly changing and complex situations. Thus, graduate students have to be trained to cope with unpredictable situations before they enter the workforce. They need to exercise occupational skills, such as leadership skills, during higher education. Simulation gaming opens up possibilities for active learning of the leadership and other occupational skills needed in complex work environments. The aim of this study is to explore if participation in business simulation gaming sessions can make different leadership types visible and if the simulation gaming sessions provide students with experiences beneficial for the development of leadership skills. In the experiment, a group of multicultural graduate business students (N = 41) participated in gaming sessions with a computerised business simulation game. The participants played the game in virtual teams; some teams had a “satellite member” geographically distant from the rest of the team members. Data consist of the teams’ observations during the simulation game and students’ reflective essays written after the gaming sessions. The results indicate that in the business simulation gaming environment, certain leadership characteristics emerged spontaneously. Experiences about leadership varied between the teams and were dependent on the role individual students had in their team. However, it can be concluded that simulation gaming environment has the potential to be used in higher education to exercise the leadership skills relevant in real-world work contexts.


Siewiorek, A., Saarinen, E., Lainema, T. & Lehtinen, E. (2012). Learning leadership skills in a simulated business environment. Computers & Education, 58(1), 121-135. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 2, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 31, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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