A Quick Overview of the 2017 Edition of GLO-BUS

In GLO-BUS, 1 to 5 class members run companies that are in a neck-and-neck race for global market leadership in two product categories: (1) wearable video cameras and (2) sophisticated camera-equipped copter drones. As many as 12 companies can compete in a single industry grouping (class sizes above 50 are typically divided into two or more industry groups). The companies compete in a global market arena, selling to buyers in four geographic regions—Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.

The co-managers of each company are responsible for assessing market and competitive conditions in the two product categories, determining how to respond to the actions of competitors, forging a long-term direction and strategy for their company, and making decisions relating to:

  • the design and performance of the company’s two products (21 decisions, 10 for cameras and 11 for drones),
  • assembly operations and workforce compensation (up to 8 decision entries for each product)
  • pricing and marketing (7 decisions for cameras and 5 for drones)
  • corporate social responsibility and citizenship (as many as 6 decisions)
  • the financing of company operations (up to 8 decisions).

Plus, company managers have accounting and cost data to examine, import duties and exchange rate fluctuations to consider, and shareholder expectations to satisfy. Experience confirms that this many decisions is right on the money—enough to keep company co-managers engaged and challenged but not too many to confuse and overwhelm.

Each time co-managers make a decision entry, an assortment of on-screen calculations instantly shows the projected effects on unit sales, revenues, market shares, total profit, earnings per share, ROE, costs, and other pertinent operating outcomes for both cameras and drones. All of these on-screen calculations help co-managers evaluate the relative merits of one decision entry versus another. Company managers can try out as many different decision combinations as they wish in arriving at a decision combination and set of actions that seem likely to yield good company performance.

If company co-managers want additional help/assistance in making decision entries, they can watch the 2-4 minute video tutorials for each decision screen and/or consult the comprehensive Help sections on each decision screen that explain cause-effect relationships, provide tips and suggestions, explain how the numbers in the company and industry reports are calculated, and otherwise inform company co-managers how things work.

The Quest for a Winning Strategy Each company typically seeks to enhance its performance and build competitive advantage via its own custom-tailored competitive strategy based on such factors as more attractive pricing, greater advertising, a wider selection of models, more appealing performance/quality, longer warranties, a better image/reputation, and so on— there are 11 factors that determine each company’s unit sales/market share in wearable video cameras, and 9 factors that determine each company’s unit sales/market share in camera-equipped copter drones.

Any and all competitive strategy options—low-cost leadership, differentiation, best-cost provider, focused low-cost, and focused differentiation—are viable choices for pursuing competitive advantage and good company performance. A company can have a strategy aimed at being the clear market leader in either action cameras or UAV drones or both. It can focus on one or two geographic regions or strive to build strong market positions in all four geographic regions. It can pursue essentially the same strategy worldwide or craft customized strategies for the Europe-Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and North America markets. Most any well-conceived, well-executed competitive approach is capable of succeeding, provided it is not overpowered by the strategies of competitors or defeated by the presence of too many copycat strategies that dilute its effectiveness.

How the Outcomes Are Determined Instructors establish a deadline (date and time) for company co-managers to complete for each decision round and other related assignments. Instructors have the flexibility to change the deadlines at any time for any reason. Decision rounds can be scheduled once per week, twice per week, daily, or even twice daily, depending on how you want to conduct the exercise. You will be able to peruse sample decision schedules when you are settling on the times and dates for the deadlines.

When the instructor-specified deadline for a decision round arrives, the decision entries of rival companies are automatically processed. GLO-BUS algorithms allocate sales and market shares in the action-camera and UAV drone segments to the competing companies, region by region. The factors governing how many units a company sells in each geographic region are based on the competitiveness and overall buyer appeal of its product offering versus the product offerings of rivals for each of 11 competitive factors for cameras and the 9 competitive factors for drones.

For instance, a company’s price in a region is determined to be more competitive the further it is below the average price in that region charged by all companies and less competitive the further it is above the regional average. A company’s product performance and quality is determined to be more competitive the further its performance/quality rating is above the average performance/quality rating of all companies competing in the region and less competitive the further its rating is below the regional average. The overall competitiveness of a company’s product offering in a region is a function of its combined competitive standing across all competitive factors for that product. For example, a company can offset the adverse impact of an above average price with above-average performance and quality, more advertising, longer warranties, and so on.

The greater the differences in the overall competitiveness of the product offerings of rival companies, the bigger the differences in their resulting sales volumes and market shares. Conversely, the smaller the overall competitive differences in the product offerings of rival companies, the smaller the differences in sales volumes and market shares. This algorithmic approach is what makes GLO-BUS a “competition-based” strategy simulation and accounts for why the sales and market share outcomes for each decision round are always unique to the particular strategies and decision combinations employed by the competing companies. There's no built-in bias favoring any one strategy and no "secret set of strategic moves" that are sure to result in a company becoming the industry leader. Which strategies end up delivering the best performance in any given group of 4 to 12 companies that are competing head-to-head always depends on the competitive interplay among the specific decisions and strategies of rival companies.

Once sales and market shares are awarded, the company and industry reports are then generated and all the results become available 15-20 minutes after the decision deadline passes. Company performance is judged on five criteria: earnings per share, return on equity investment (ROE), stock price, credit rating and brand image. Company performance, along with a wealth of industry and company statistics, are available to company co-managers after each decision round to use in making strategy adjustments and decisions for the next competitive round.

All cause-effect relationships and underlying algorithms in GLO-BUS are based on sound business and economic principles and connect tightly to the real-world workings of the markets for wearable cameras and camera-equipped copter drones. The “real-world” character that has been carefully and systematically designed into GLO-BUS allows company co-managers to think rationally and logically as they analyze industry and company conditions; they can be businesslike in deciding how to manage their camera/drone company. The thesis is that the more GLO-BUS mirrors real-world market conditions and real-world managerial decision-making, the more pedagogical value it has. Why? Because tight linkages between the functioning of GLO-BUS and “the real world” provide class members with an authentic learning experience, a bona fide means of building their skills in analyzing markets and the actions of competitors, and a true-to-life way to practice making business-like decisions and applying the knowledge they have gained in business school.

Time Requirements for Class Members You should expect that company co-managers will likely spend an average of about 2 hours plus working on each decision round. The first couple of decision rounds often take considerably longer, not only because co-managers have to explore the menus, familiarize themselves with the information on the screens, and absorb the relevance of the calculations shown whenever new decisions are entered, but also because it takes time for them to establish a working relationship with one another, debate what sort of long-term direction and strategy to pursue, and arrive at a consensus on the “best” decision entries.

The total workload ends up between 20 and 30 hours, given an average of 2 hours per decision round, 9 to 12 decision rounds (including practice rounds), and the time needed to complete optional assignments (quizzes, strategic plans, company presentation, and peer evaluations). You can compensate for the hours students spend on the simulation by trimming the number of case assignments, eliminating a written case assignment (which can take students 10-15 hours to prepare), and perhaps allocating one or more regularly-scheduled class periods to having class members work on their decisions or the 3-Year Strategic Plan assignment.

It will consume part of a class period to introduce class members to the simulation and get things under way. Thereafter, the simulation becomes mainly an out-of-class group exercise where co-managers collaborate face-to-face or online to develop a set of consensus decision entries—of course, you can allocate some portion of class time (especially in classes that meet 3 hours once-per-week) to group meetings to work on simulation activities.

All GLO-BUS activities for class members and instructors take place here at http://www.glo-bus.com/.


The Teaching / Learning Benefits

There are three exceptionally important teaching/learning benefits associated with using a competition- based simulation like GLO-BUS:
  1. Having class members run a company in head-to-head competition against companies managed by other class members provides a truly powerful learning experience that thrusts class members squarely into an active, hands-on managerial role. The co-managers of each company are totally responsible for assessing market conditions, determining how to respond to the actions of competitors, forging a long-term direction and strategy for their company, and making decisions relating to workforce compensation and plant operations, assembly plant capacity, pricing and marketing, finance, and corporate social responsibility/citizenship.

    Because company co-managers are held fully accountable for their decisions and their company’s performance, they are strongly motivated to dig deeply into company operations, probe for ways to be more cost-efficient and competitive, and ferret out strategic moves and decisions calculated to boost company performance. It doesn’t take long for company co-managers to become emotionally invested in figuring out what strategic moves to make to out-compete rivals. Such diligent and purposeful actions on the part of company co-managers translate into an engaging learning experience with strong retention of the lessons learned and higher achievement of course learning objectives.

    To provide you with quantitative evidence of the boost in learning power and achievement of course objectives that occurs with using GLO-BUS, there is a built-in Learning Assurance Report showing how well each class member performs on 9 skills/learning measures versus tens of thousands of students at some 300+ campuses worldwide that used GLO-BUS in the past 12 months.

  2. The competitive nature of a strategy simulation arouses positive energy and steps up the whole tempo of the course by a notch or two. The healthy rivalry that emerges among the management teams of competing companies stirs competitive juices and spurs class members to fully exercise their strategic wits, analytical skills, and decision-making prowess—much more so than occurs with many other types of assignments.

    Nothing energizes a class quicker or better than concerted efforts on the part of class members to gain a high industry ranking and avoid the perilous consequences of getting outcompeted by class members running rival companies. It is hard to duplicate the excitement and hallway chatter that occurs when the results of the latest decision round become available and co-managers renew their quest for strategic moves and actions that will strengthen company performance.

    Participating in a competition-based strategy simulation is an unusually stimulating and enjoyable way for class members to learn. As soon as your students start to say “Wow! Not only is this fun but I am learning a lot”, which they will, you have moved the value of taking your course to a much higher plateau in the business school curriculum. This translates into a livelier, richer learning experience from a student perspective and better instructor-course evaluations..

  3. The automated nature of GLO-BUS reduces the time instructors spend on course preparation, course administration, and grading. Not only are administrative requirements for using GLO-BUS quite modest, but since the simulation also involves a 20 to 30-hour workload for student-teams (roughly 2 hours per decision round times 10-12 rounds, plus optional GLO-BUS-related assignments), adopters often compensate by trimming the volume of other course assignments (often those that entail considerable preparation and/or grading on the instructor’s part). Grading for GLO-BUS is effortless and takes only minutes. Once you enter percentage grading weights for each GLO-BUS activity in your online grade book, an overall numerical grade is automatically calculated for each class member.

    Course preparation time is further cut because you can use several class days to have class members meet in the computer lab to work on upcoming decision rounds or a 3-year strategic plan (in lieu of lecturing on a chapter or covering an additional assigned case). Lab sessions provide a splendid opportunity for you to visit with teams, observe the interplay among co-managers, and view the caliber of the learning experience that is going on.

    The speed and ease with which you can conduct a fully-automated strategy simulation for your course frees time for other activities. Plus, every task can be performed from an office or home computer or device that has an Internet connection and an Internet browser.


Features, Cost, and Payment Options

Simulation-Only Option

$44.95per student

Simulation Features
  • Full Instructor Access to All Materials at No Cost
  • 24/7/365 Online Availability
  • Built-in Voice Chat and Shared-Screen Collaboration Capabilities (Team members can have online meetings to talk, text, and coordinate decision entries and view reports; instructors can join these meetings)
  • Windows & Mac Compatibility
  • 3-Year Strategic Plan Option
  • 2 Built-in Quizzes
  • Team Member Peer Evaluations
  • Scoreboard of Company Performance
  • Player's Guide
  • Instructor's Manual
  • Integrated & Automated Gradebook
  • Learning Assurance Report
3 Payment Options(click for details)
  • Credit Card
  • Pre-Paid Access Code
  • Direct Billing

ValuePak Option

Simulation + Text + Optional Cases

$114.95per student

Simulation Features
  • Full Instructor Access to All Materials at No Cost
  • 24/7/365 Online Availability
  • Built-in Voice Chat and Shared-Screen Collaboration Capabilities (Team members can have online meetings to talk, text, and coordinate decision entries and view reports; instructors can join these meetings)
  • Windows & Mac Compatibility
  • 3-Year Strategic Plan Option
  • 2 Built-in Quizzes
  • Team Member Peer Evaluations
  • Scoreboard of Company Performance
  • Player's Guide
  • Instructor's Manual
  • Integrated & Automated Gradebook
  • Learning Assurance Report
Features of Accompanying Text
Strategy: Core Concepts and Analytical Approaches, 2016/2017 Edition
by Arthur A. Thompson, The University of Alabama
  • 12 Chapters, 248 pages (a digitally-delivered slimmed-down version of Crafting and Executing Strategy, published by McGraw-Hill)
  • Exercises Linking Chapters to Simulation
  • Chapter Quizzes / Multi-Chapter Exams
  • Learning Assurance Report
  • Integrated & Automated Gradebook
  • PowerPoint Slides for Chapters
  • View more details on the digitally-delivered text
A Library of 30 Optional Cases
  • Each Case You Opt to Include Is Digitally-Delivered
  • Each Case Has a Comprehensive Teaching Note, and Many Have Accompanying Videos.
  • Each Case Selected for Inclusion In Your Customized ValuePak Adds $5.00 to the Standard ValuePak Price of $114.95.
3 Payment Options(click for details)
  • Credit Card
  • Pre-Paid Access Code
  • Direct Billing

The Learning Assurance Report

The Learning Assurance Report provides you with solid empirical data regarding the business skills and decision-making capabilities of the students in your class relative to students at other business schools across the world.

The report provides you with credible evidence about the business proficiencies of your students on each of 9 measures that are precisely defined at the bottom of the report. The three measures relating to "Leadership Skills", "Collaboration & Teamwork", and "Analytical Skills" are based on each student's individual performance as viewed by their company co-managers and their performance on Quiz 2; the other 5 measures are all based on data relating to the performance of the group of co-managers comprising each company in the simulation. The percentiles shown in the report are based on the total population of students worldwide playing GLO-BUS over the past twelve months.


Schools / Institutions using GLO-BUS

Click the button below to view the adoption list by school/campus/institution/company and country (state) for the most recent 12 months.

View Adoption List

Is GLO-BUS Suitable for an International Business Course?

The 2017 edition of GLO-BUS is eminently suitable for those international business courses at the senior/MBA levels where the instructor wants to put strong emphasis on global strategic management. Incorporating GLO-BUS can enrich an international business course from several angles:

  • It mirrors the increasingly global nature of today’s competitive markets.
  • There are four distinct geographic market segments Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. The four geographic markets plus the two product segments (wearable video cameras and camera-equipped copter drones used for commercial purposes) create a virtual market-space with 8 market segments. GLO-BUS is just as appropriate for use in international business courses taught in Switzerland or Great Britain or Mexico or Singapore or South Africa or Australia or Brazil as in the United States.
  • GLO-BUS incorporates the use of import duties (which can be raised or lowered for either or both of the two products). There are geographic differentials in import duties.
  • GLO-BUS puts fluctuating exchange rates into play. The revenues a company receives from cameras shipments to Europe-Africa are tied to real-world fluctuations between the euro and the Taiwan dollar; revenues from shipments to Latin America are adjusted upward/downward based on real-world fluctuations between the Brazilian real and the Taiwan dollar; revenues from shipments to retailers in Asia-Pacific regions are subject to upward/downward adjustment based on the latest exchange rate changes between the Singapore dollar and the Taiwan dollar, and revenues from shipments to North America are subject to upward/downward adjustments based on exchange rate changes between the U.S. dollar and the Taiwan dollar. GLO-BUS automatically captures the pertinent changes in exchange rates from one decision to the next and presents the sizes of the latest upward/downward adjustments per camera on the relevant decision screens for company managers to utilize in their decision-making. Thus, students will experience first-hand the business risks and impacts of exchange rate fluctuations.
  • GLO-BUS provides you with a live case that you can use in your lectures to illustrate the application of key concepts in international business.
  • cttagline">GLO-BUS can serve as a full or partial substitute for the use of cases on international business cases.

We think you’ll discover that a strategy simulation like GLO-BUS will inject enormous energy and emotional involvement into an international business course from a student standpoint. Plus, it will provide a pedagogically effective way to connect the material in the textbook to the strategy-related problems of managing cross-border business activities in the real world.


Create Instructor Account

Creating an account is welcomed and entails no obligation. Establishing an account entitles you to browse the site in the capacity of an instructor or "simulation administrator", preview whether GLO-BUS is suitable for use in your course (or company training program), and enables you to launch use of GLO-BUS in a course or training program for which you are the official instructor or facilitator or other duly authorized assistant. McGraw-Hill will verify your credentials and, in some cases, it is possible that a McGraw-Hill representative will contact you by phone or e-mail soon to confirm your status.

User Agreement

Should I adopt GLO-BUS for use in my course, I agree to require every student enrolled in my course to register a student account at the GLO-BUS Web site (new.glo-bus.com) and I agree to encourage student respect for the intellectual property and copyrights of the authors and the publisher, McGraw-Hill.

I understand that GLO-BUS will inform me via e-mail when there are important system changes, program updates, or special events that impact the use of GLO-BUS in courses that I am teaching.

   I accept the terms of this user agreement.
in addition to the GLO-BUS Terms of Use.

(Click here for more information on why every student should register.)