Teaching Resources Library
MIT Sloan Beer Game Online
The Beer Distribution Game, one of the oldest and most widely used management simulations, is now available online as an interactive multiplayer websim. Provides an opportunity for participants to play the role of managers in a complex dynamic system, specifically, managers in a supply chain representing the production and distribution of beer (there is no alcohol in the game; for younger audiences, the product can be root beer). The sim works well with groups of any size, from four to four hundred or more, and with participants from students to seasoned executives. Designed to replicate the in-person table-top experience, the MIT Sloan online Beer Game has been used with thousands of people in universities and companies around the world. The game can be used in fully remote, in-person, and hybrid sessions. Participants need not prepare anything in advance. Instructor materials provide all the information needed for facilitators to run and debrief the game effectively.
The experience provides an introduction to systems thinking and mental models relevant in any domain. Participants learn about the structure and dynamics of supply chains, but the game is widely used in organizations of all types, including finance, services, government, and many others in which there are no supply chains or physical products: participants experience interpersonal interactions and emotions that arise as unintended consequences of their decisions, including the often erroneous but self-reinforcing negative attributions we make about others, how they can erode trust in any organization, and what can be done to overcome them.
CAN BE TAUGHT IN THE FOLLOWING COURSE(S)
Operations management, supply chain management, economics, systems thinking, dynamic modeling, organizational behavior, leadership, and team building, and any course in which the dynamics of cooperation and interpersonal interactions are relevant.
- MIT’s ‘Beer Game’ Shows Humans Are Weakest Link in Supply Chains
- What MIT’s Beer Game Teaches About Panic Hoarding
Corporate trainers, consultants, and educators from non-academic institutions can now access our simulations directly from our simulation partner, Forio, here.