How GLO-BUS Works — A Quick Overview

In GLO-BUS, 1 to 5 class members are assigned to run a digital camera company that produces and markets entry-level and upscale, multi-featured cameras in head-to-head competition against camera companies run by other members of the class. 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 camera retailers in four geographic regions—Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.

The co-managers of each company are 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:

  • R&D, camera components, and camera performance (up to 10 decisions)
  • Assembly operations and worker compensation (up to 15 decisions for a single assembly plant)
  • Pricing and marketing (up to 15 decisions in each geographic region)
  • Corporate social responsibility and citizenship (as many as 6 decisions)
  • Financing of company operations (as many as 4 decisions).

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, unit camera costs, and other pertinent operating outcomes, enabling co-managers to evaluate the relative merits of one decision entry versus another. Company managers can experiment with many different decision combinations in arriving at a decision combination and set of actions that seem likely to yield good company performance. In addition, there are 2-4 minute video tutorials for each decision screen and comprehensive Help sections 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.

Each company typically seeks to enhance its performance and build competitive advantage via its own custom-tailored competitive strategy based on more attractive pricing, greater advertising, a wider selection of camera models, more appealing camera performance/quality, longer warranties, the amount/caliber of technical support provided to camera buyers, more aggressive sales promotion campaigns, and/or creating a stronger brand name reputation than rivals.

Any and all competitive strategy options—low-cost leadership, differentiation, best-cost provider, focused low-cost, and focused differentiation—are viable paths for a company to take. A company can have a strategy aimed at being the clear market leader in either entry-level cameras or multi-featured cameras or both. It can focus on one or two geographic regions or strive for geographic balance. It can pursue essentially the same strategy worldwide or craft slightly or very different strategies for each of the four geographic regions.

Each company's performance is based on a balanced scorecard that includes brand image, earnings per share, return on equity investment, stock price appreciation, and credit rating.

You have the option to schedule 1 or 2 practice rounds (2 is recommended) and anywhere from 4 to 10 regular/scored decision rounds (6 to 10 rounds are better than 3-5 rounds). Each decision round represents a year of company operations and takes roughly two hours for company co-managers to complete. Decision rounds can be scheduled weekly, bi-weekly, or at whatever intervals instructors wish. Sample schedules for courses of varying length and numbers of class meetings are provided.

When the instructor-specified deadline for a decision round arrives, the GLO-BUS server automatically accesses the saved decision entries of each company, determines the competitiveness and buyer appeal of each company's camera offerings relative to rival companies, and then allocates sales and market shares to the competing companies, geographic region by geographic region, based on:

  • how each company's wholesale selling prices for its entry-level and multi-featured cameras compare against the corresponding industry-wide average prices being charged in each geographic region,
  • how each company's camera performance and quality compares against that of rival brands
  • how each company's advertising effort compares to rivals' advertising, and so on for each of the 11 competitive factors that determine unit camera sales and market shares.

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. GLO-BUS is a "competition-based" strategy simulation exercise where the outcomes are always unique to the competitive interplay among the specific decisions and strategies of each group of competing companies. 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—there absolutely is no "magic bullet" strategy and no prescribed set of actions that will guarantee good company performance.

Company co-managers can access the results of the decision round 15-20 minutes after the decision deadline. Rankings of 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 GLO-BUS activities for class members and instructors take place here at 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 PC 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

In 2014, GLO-BUS has been used by 31,948 students in 1,476 classes/sections at 326 college/university campus locations in 33 different countries. Click the button below to view the current adoption list by school/campus/institution/company and country (state).

View Current Adoption List

Is GLO-BUS suitable for an International Business course?

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 (entry-level digital cameras and upscale, multi-featured digital cameras) create a virtual market-space with 8 market segments.
  • Companies start the simulation on equal global and financial footing but have different beginning market shares in different geographic regions each region contains from 1 to 3 companies with 40% of their sales in that region, from 1 to 3 companies with 30% of their sales in that region, from 1 to 3 companies with 20% of their sales in that region, and from 1 to 3 companies with 10% of their sales in that region. Because each industry is structured with 4, 8, or 12 companies, geographic balance among the market positions of competing companies is preserved.  But what happens is that the different market shares of company rivals in each region unleashes a powerful competitive dynamic where rival companies find themselves in the midst of an ongoing contest for global market leadership.  The contest is not just one of market leadership worldwide but one where companies contend for leadership in one or more of the 8 market segments.  This contest gives students powerful insight into the dynamics and nuances of a globally competitive marketplace.
  • Furthermore, the structural feature of the GLO-BUS marketplace setting makes GLO-BUS country and region neutral so that students in Europe or Latin America or Hong Kong or Australia or South Africa do not see themselves as playing a United States simulation or managing a U.S.-based company. 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 entry-level or multi-featured cameras).  There is no geographic differential in import duties (to avoid advantaging and disadvantaging companies with smaller/bigger market shares in areas where duties or raised or lower such would undoubtedly produce shouts of this is unfair from the students of companies whose financial performance is injured (since their grades are affected).
  • 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.
  • Further, the quarterly decision update option introduces an even greater real-time element into the GLO-BUS exercise, since company co-managers are able to act and react from quarter-to-quarter and then make more sweeping changes annually. The unique quarterly update feature makes the GLO-BUS experience even more of a live case.
  • 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 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 (www.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-online.com Terms of Use.

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