Assessing Serious Games within Purchasing and Supply Management Education: An In-class Experiment

Vincent Delke, Holger Schiele, Wolfgang Buchholz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Purchasing and supply management (PSM) is evolving due to the introduction of new technologies. To benefit from purchasing activities and technology advancement, purchasing professionals need specific skills (Bals et al., 2019). Therefore, current study programs need to be adjusted, and educational methods need to be found (Pekkanen et al., 2020). One example of these educational methods are serious games as the beer distribution game within the Supply Chain Management (SCM) context (Forrester, 1961). However, available games are not focused on purchasing. Thus, an online purchasing game has been developed, focusing on cost-reduction techniques and supplier relationship management. Within the game, students are in charge of managing anorganisation’s purchasing department, developing in the process of the game from an operative buyer towards a chief purchasing officer. Since this game is a substitute to existing traditional lectures, the usefulness of this game was tested based on a group comparison experiment. Here, the group following the existing traditional lectures (N=66) was compared to the group of students learning within the serious game lectures (N=105). For data collection, self-rated surveys, pre-and post-survey, and the exam scores have been analysed. Based on the experimental methodology applied, it has been found that students who played the game score significantly higher in the exam. Further, the design of the game was evaluated based on various criteria, e.g., competitive and collaborative elements, game design, and understandability. It has been shown that serious games are useful to deepen understanding of purchasing and develop purchasing skills.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2021
Event15th European Conference on Games Based Learning ‐ ECGBL 2021 - A Virtual Conference Supported by The University of Brighton, UK, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sept 202124 Sept 2021


Conference15th European Conference on Games Based Learning ‐ ECGBL 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Purchasing and Supply Management
  • Education
  • Serious Games
  • Skills
  • Experiment

Cite this