“Game Theory”, or the science of strategy, is a big topic that leads in many fascinating directions. This post will provide a basic understanding of what Game Theory is, and how it can be utilised in management situations. In addition to providing my own course material, I have also attempted to tie into some of the amazing resources that already exist.
My advice for you is to watch this video, and then choose one (or more) of the additional readings.
The handouts for my lecture slides are here (note there is some additional content compared to the version in the video). If you are an instructor then email me and I’ll send you the raw powerpoint file (containing surprises and solutions). I like to follow a lecture on Game Theory with the following classroom exercise:
Beckman, S. R., “Cournot and Bertrand games” Journal of Economic Education, Vol.34, No.1, pp.27-35 (see here for the handouts, email me for a Teaching Note).
I also utilise the following at the start and end of the Game Theory lecture: Oligopoly Game 42 and “Cheating for a $20” (email me for the Teaching Note)
Professional educators understand the limitations of student evaluations, and yet the culture of external assessment is attempting to incorporate a similar thirst for trivial feedback on our peer-review. As someone who enjoys sharing a classroom with colleagues, and is genuinely keen to share ideas on effective pedagogy, I wanted to outline a possible way to conduct teaching feedback. I will write it from the perspective of the instructor conducting the audit.
Acquire the course outline and read it as closely as you expect students to read your outline.
Meet with your colleague to discuss the audit. Get a good understanding of where the session you will be observing fits into the course as a whole. Make sure you’re aware of any specific areas that they would like feedback on.
Attend the whole class. Arrive early and leave at the end. Alternate roles between being a student and an observer. It might be a good idea to talk to students about any specific questions you have, but even if you think this would be a good idea ensure that the person you are observing is ok with that.
Write a letter to the person you observed, thanking them, and providing your reflections. If there are specific areas of weakness that you believe you’ve identified keep this document private. By all means copy in Programme Management (with prior agreement) but address it to your colleague.
Take your colleague out to lunch, go over the feedback, and give them an opportunity to respond. Agree on what parts you should share with other colleagues, and external examiners. The written feedback it should be tailored to the specific course objectives that you’ve ascertained from step 1 and 2.
This proposed two-day seminar is aimed at junior faculty teaching on general management programs. It shows attendees how to teach using the case method, and provides content for market-focused courses. If satisfactory progress is made attendees will then become licensed to utilise the classroom material in their own courses, and have access to ongoing support and follow up workshops.
Introduction to participant-centred learning
9:00am – 10:30am | Session 1: A negotiation exercise
Malhotra, Deepak, “Hamilton Real Estate”, Harvard Business School Case Nos.9-905-052 and 9-905-053
11:00am – 12:30pm | Session 2: A classroom simulation
Holt, Charles A., and Sherman, R., (1999) “A Market for Lemons”, Journal of Economic Perspectives
The Case Method
2:00pm – 3:30pm | Session 3: Competitiveness
Sölvell, Ö and Porter, M, ”Finland and Nokia”, Harvard Business School case no. 9‐702‐427
4:00pm – 5:30pm | Session 4: Public Finance
“Rovna Dan: The Flat Tax in Slovakia”, Harvard Business School case no. 9-707-043, March 2010
Create your own teaching notes
9:00am – 10:30am | Session 5: Prediction markets
Coles, Peter, Lakhani, Karim and McAfee, Andrew, “Prediction Markets at Google” Harvard Business School Case No. 9-607-088, August 20, 2007
This page presents the results of a simulation conducted by students at ESCP Europe Business School. The aim was to uncover the amount of interlinked debt between Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Britain, France, and Germany; and then see what would happen if they attempted to cross cancel obligations.
The results were astounding:
The countries can reduce their total debt by 64% through cross cancellation of interlinked debt, taking total debt from 40.47% of GDP to 14.58%
Six countries – Ireland, Italy, Spain, Britain, France and Germany – can write off more than 50% of their outstanding debt
Three countries – Ireland, Italy, and Germany – can reduce their obligations such that they owe more than €1bn to only 2 other countries
Ireland can reduce its debt from almost 130% of GDP to under 20% of GDP
France can virtually eliminate its debt – reducing it to just 0.06% of GDP
The idea is very simple – if Portugal owes Ireland €0.34bn of short term debt, and Ireland owes Portugal €0.17bn, we can write off Ireland’s obligations and leave Portugal with a reduced debt of €0.17bn.If you are both a debtor and a creditor you do not need money to settle claims. Rather than require additional funds to deal with choking debt, why not write it off?
The diagrams above show the before and after situation, based on analysis done by students. The simulation itself took place on May 17th 2011 and involved three separate trading rounds.
Students in the Pre-Masters Year of the ESCP Europe Masters in Management program took part in the trial run on March 22, 2011, which involved only the PIIGS countries. The key results were the following:
Portugal was able to cut its debt in half, primarily because so much of that debt was held by Spain.
Ireland reduced its debt by 99.74%, mostly through deals with Spain and Portugal. It was able to make use of trading period 3 by moving short- and medium-term debt into long-term debt.
Italy had a weak bargaining position, as it began with the worst debt position (a high concentration of short-term debt). After reducing debt by 50% in period 1, it was unable to make further gains.
Greece reduced its debt by 11% but mostly because it had little exposure to the other PIIGS countries. It was unable to make any trades after period 1.
Spain managed to eliminate all of its debt obligations to the other PIIGS countries, although it owed significant amounts to Britain, France, and Germany. Spain found that it could deal with everyone at the table quite equally.
This article intends to walk through a process for collecting and presenting data. It will include some basic commands in Excel and Powerpoint. The slide deck below provides a step-by-step guide. You should follow it in order to complete the set tasks.