Business managers make decisions in an interactive strategic environment. Their decisions affect other businesses and vice versa. Such situations are known as ‘business games’. Game Theory is the science of playing ‘games’. Managers frequently play ‘games’ with competitors, suppliers, customers, complementors, as well as with internal stake-holders. Internationally, a lot of integration is taking place between decision theory, particularly applied game theory, and business strategy. On one hand, applied game theorists are trying to draw on real-life management practices to develop newer and more relevant theories. On the other hand, strategists are coming to depend on game theory to provide a general framework for organizing the otherwise incoherent mass of facts available to them. In this context, the current course seeks to provide the students with an introduction to the interface between game theory and strategy.

This 2-days programme crystallizes the formulation and execution of tactical moves in complex, competitive business game environment.
At the end of the programme, you will able to
•    See business scenarios as ‘games’
•    Identify ‘players’ who affect, or can affect, your earnings
•    Perceive added-value from the ‘game’
•    Create rules to increase value addition
•    Formulate tactics to win
•    Link up different games to understand and play the larger game in the context of your business.

The programme will be most useful for upper-middle to senior-level managers, strategic planners, corporate and business planners, and consultants. Functional managers, who engage themselves in negotiating and/or contracting with customers and/or suppliers, in bidding for contracts against competitors, and in pricing or another strategic decision making, will benefit immensely from this unique programme.

Methodology: The programme will be delivered with a combination of lectures, case discussions and role-play exercises. A fair amount of interaction is expected from the participants.    

Expected Participant: The programme is designed for upper-middle through senior-level managers who are now, or will be, deeply involved in the development of strategy at the corporate, business or functional level in their organizations.

1. The Art and Science of “Business Games”
•    Playing “games” as games
•    “War and Peace” of business world – Understanding Conflict and Co-operation
•    Lose-lose to win-win - Increasing the pie
•    Timing of moves – Taking advantage
•    Weighing risk

2. The Value Net
•    Understanding the strategic interaction map of the firm and its suppliers, competitors, complementors and customers
•    Roadmap of the PARTS framework

3. Players
•    Becoming a player – Enter the game
•    Bringing in other players – Gain bargaining power
•    Changing the players – Change the game

4. Added-value
•    Added value under competition – Trade-offs and traditions
•    Added value from relationship – Positive reciprocity

5. Rules
•    The right rule for the right game - Creating incentives and threats
•    Rules in business-to-business (B2B) setting – Contracts as rules
•    Rules in mass markets – Prices (MRP), targeted rebates and offers

6. Tactics
•    Making commitments
•    Being credible
•    Using information strategically

7. Scope
•    Links between games through added-value, rules and tactics
•    Putting it all together - The larger game

8. Applications
•    Negotiating
•    Contracting
•    Bidding     

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