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Article

Results of Beer Game Trials Played by Natural Resource Managers Versus Students: Does Age Influence Ordering Decisions?

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Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness, and Environmental Science & King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
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Innovation Associates Organization Learning, Exeter, NH 03833, USA
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King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
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Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
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Office of the President, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Developed from “Turner, B.L.; Goodman, M.; Mathis, C.; Machen, C.; Rhoades, R.; Dunn, B. Lessons from a long-term Beer Game dataset played by natural resource managers: reinforcing systems education across disciplines. In Proceedings of the 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Cambridge, MA, USA, 16–20 July 2017”.
Received: 29 July 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 10 October 2020 / Published: 13 October 2020
Systems involving agriculture and natural resources (AGNR) management and representing integrations of biologic, geologic, socio-economic, and climatic characteristics are incredibly complex. AGNR managers purport using a systems-oriented mental model while many observed management and policy strategies remain linear or symptom-driven. To improve AGNR professionals’ systems thinking abilities, two programs, the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (KRIRM) and the Honors College at South Dakota State University (SDSUHC), implemented the famous Production Distribution Simulation Game (a.k.a. the Beer Game) into their programs beginning in 2003 and 2011. A Beer Game database consisting of 10 years of trials or over 270 individual players was compared to seminal work in the literature as well as to one another. We found that AGNR managers and students performed worse than players in a seminal Beer Game study. More interestingly, we found that younger players adapted more readily to inventory surpluses by reducing the order rates and effective inventories significantly when compared to older players (p < 0.10 for retailer and distributors, and p < 0.05 for wholesales and factories). We substantiated our results to those in more recent studies of age-related decision-making and in the context of common learning disabilities. Lastly, we discuss some implications of such decision-making on 21st century AGNR problems and encourage AGNR disciplines to better integrate system dynamics-based education and collaboration in order to better prepare for such complex issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamic decision making; systems thinking; Beer Game; agricultural systems; domain experience dynamic decision making; systems thinking; Beer Game; agricultural systems; domain experience
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MDPI and ACS Style

Turner, B.L.; Goodman, M.; Machen, R.; Mathis, C.; Rhoades, R.; Dunn, B. Results of Beer Game Trials Played by Natural Resource Managers Versus Students: Does Age Influence Ordering Decisions? Systems 2020, 8, 37. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems8040037

AMA Style

Turner BL, Goodman M, Machen R, Mathis C, Rhoades R, Dunn B. Results of Beer Game Trials Played by Natural Resource Managers Versus Students: Does Age Influence Ordering Decisions? Systems. 2020; 8(4):37. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems8040037

Chicago/Turabian Style

Turner, Benjamin L., Michael Goodman, Rick Machen, Clay Mathis, Ryan Rhoades, and Barry Dunn. 2020. "Results of Beer Game Trials Played by Natural Resource Managers Versus Students: Does Age Influence Ordering Decisions?" Systems 8, no. 4: 37. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems8040037

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