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Participant Information Sheet

  1. Purpose of Research Study

    This research study aims to investigate how different groups make decisions with uncertain outcomes.

  2. Study Procedures and Duration:

    This research study will be conducted in class, with groups (smallest being group of one) making decisions on fictitious products and investments, lasting no more than 2 or 3 classes. You and your assigned team members, if any, will be playing against the computer. At some point of time, you may be re-assigned to working with another set of team members, or to work alone. You can choose to either:

    1. participate in the game and also have your data used for the research study, or;
    2. participate in the game but not have your data used in the research study.

    If you choose option (ii), your group can still participate fully in the game, but your group's data will not be used for the research study. You can choose to skip any questions, stop participating in the study, and withdraw from the study at any point in time by notifying the appointed Assistant, who would then make the appropriate adjustment in processing the data.

  3. Benefits of Study

    Top-performing groups and/or individuals will be rewarded with several chocolate bars. If one member of a group decides to withdraw from the study, results of that group will not be used in the study, however that group will still be eligible for the top performance reward. In addition, the study will hopefully shed light on what systematic impact various group-related factors have on the performance of their fictitious venture.

  4. Possible Risks of Study

    None beyond what is typically expected in the participants' average lives: they may feel slightly stressed to come up with decisions within the allocated time

  5. Confidentiality and Privacy of Research Data

    Any personal data collected will subsequently be anonymized and not be linked to your responses. The research data will be kept confidential and accessible only to the PI and Research Assistant. Research data will be reported in an aggregated form in which no individuals will be identified. Participant's ID will not be revealed to the PI and your choice to not participate in the research study will not affect your grades or the opportunity to experience the simulation.

  6. Contact Details:

    • For questions/ clarifications on this study, please contact the Principal Investigator:
      Fan, Ping Ching Terence
      +65-6828 0708

      or any other appointed assistant introduced to you in class. Your withdrawal will NOT be communicated to the Principal Investigator.

    • If you have any questions or concerns regarding your rights as a participant in this research study and wish to contact someone unaffiliated with the research team, please contact the SMU Institutional Review Board Secretariat at:
      + 65 68281925.

      When contacting SMU IRB, please provide the title of the Research Study and the name of the Principal Investigator, or quote the IRB approval number IRB17-084-A-079(171).

    • Please download a copy of this information sheet and informed consent form here for your records.


Participant Consent

  • I understand that participation is voluntary. Refusal to participate will involve no penalty.
  • I declare that I am at least 18 years of age.
  • If I am affiliated with Singapore Management University, my decision to participate, decline, or withdraw from participation will have no adverse effect on my status at or future relations with Singapore Management University.
  • I have read and fully understood the contents of this form, and hereby give consent to the Singapore Management University research team and its affiliates for this project to collect and/or use my data for the purpose(s) described in this form.

Please fill in the details below to confirm your participation:

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Decline Participation

I do not want to participate in this research

You can still participate in the game.


Your Objective

The company has hired you to help them become more competitive in the energy pack market. Your job is to ensure that the company survives in the next few years, by recommending production and research plans to the company on a yearly basis.

Industry Overview

After years of research, the energy pack industry is now able to manufacture products to meet customers' needs. So far, the production has been quite low, but the industry is now poised to expand its production. Each company operates on a slightly different technology, and it competes with another based on the price and performance attributes of its product(s). So far, every company in this industry, including yours, has focused on developing 'traditional' stationary energy packs, which is now technically feasible. Each company has the option to spend more on research to develop a new, portable energy pack product. Meanwhile, the industry-wide research collaboration, subsidised by the government, has just ended. This can translate to a more competitive posture by each firm competes with others for the larger market share.

Energy packs are assessed by its customers in 4 areas:

  • Price
  • Mass per unit of energy - massiveness, expressed in kg/kilowatt-hour
  • Energy loss - The energy loss in three months records the percent of energy lost from a fully charged stationary energy pack if it has not been put to use in three months
  • Charging duration - the amount of time needed to fully charge a typical unit of a traditional stationary energy pack from a fully discharged status

These four characteristics jointly determine how many units of each type of energy pack customers will buy, and from which company.

Product Information

Traditional Stationary Energy Packs

The customers of Traditional Stationary energy pack products are primarily price-conscious, and then only secondarily performance-conscious. For all non-price performance attributes (mass per unit of energy, energy loss and charging duration), the smaller the attributes, the more attractive the performance of the energy pack. In general, the demand for this product increases first as the price decreases, and then secondarily on the attractiveness of the three non-price performance attributes (the lower the better).

Companies can invest to improve production efficiency to reduce the cost of production, and this investment takes effect in the next year. More than US$200,000 worth of investments in production efficiency must be made in a year to have a material reduction in their fixed and variable costs.

Companies can also choose to invest to improve non-price performance attributes - massiveness, energy loss and charging duration. However, when compared to production efficiency, companies must make investments in a specific performance attribute for two consecutive years for tagible improvements to materialise. The investments per year must also be substantial so as to sustain the research effort.

  • Fixed costs start at US${{gameFixedCost()}} a year as long as they forecast at least 1 unit of order.
  • Variable costs start at US$27,500 per unit produced and change according to the specifications given that year
  • A rough estimate shows that an investment of US$300,000 in production efficiency will result in a reduction between 1.5% and 2% of the costs next year.
  • An investment of at least $200,000, per year, over two consecutive years is expected to improve the performance of a specific attribute by between 3% and 10%.
  • Investments made to sustain the research tend to have a larger impact on the performance improvement.

Market intelligence have shown that customers prefer well-rounded products over specialised products, hence, companies are should spread out investments in the equally, to develop well-rounded products.

Emerging Portable Energy Packs

During the collaboration, some companies are on the verge of discovering technology that would enable the production of portable energy packs. Additional investments in research could make the production of viable portable products possible. The customers of this product value the three performance attributes much more than price. The demand for this product increases when the three attributes improve (the lower the values, the more attractive the product to a wider customer base) beyond a certain threshold.

Investment in any one performance attribute may have some spill-over effects on another non-price performance attribute. Producing a product with improved non-price performance attribute raises the variable cost of production.

Company Capabilities

Budget Limit

The company faces funding constraints and cannot afford to do everything at the moment. Profits or losses will affect the budget available for you to execute certain plans. If the company is losing money, production and intelligence activities may continue, but product research activities will be restricted.

Production Forecasting and Market Share

The company will require you to assist them in the production forecast, and the pricing of the energy packs for the next few years.

  • If a forecast is given, the company will always produce based on the forecast, and a bit more if there is overwhelming demand.
  • If the forecast exceeds the demand for orders received by the company for the year, the some extra units may be sold at a loss, while the leftovers will be discarded due to contamination issues.
  • It is possible to manufacture both products, if the technology allows for it, or forecast no production for the year. The company can forecast zero production for the year, and hope to half their fixed costs for that year.
  • All costs of production will be borned by the company, and accounted for at the end of a year. Cost projection for that year, based on your forecast and research plans, will be given at the bottom of the "Management Decisions" dashboard.

Market Research and Intelligence

It is possible to find out more about the competitors, by purchasing reports from the "Market Intelligence" dashboard. The accuracy of the reports depends on the quality purchased. Information that can be purchased includes competitors' sales, product prices, product performance levels, and industry trends. All reports purchased will be available for the rest of the game. Report updates must be purchased for the latest figures.

Company Performance

Review the Company's Performance:
Unit Sales (Stationary)
Year Forecasted Production Orders Received Units Sold
Year {{currentYear()-$index-1}} {{stationarySalesdata[0][$index] | number:0}} - {{stationarySalesdata[1][$index] | number:0}} - {{stationarySalesdata[2][$index] | number:0}} -
Unit Sales (Portable)
Year Forecasted Production Orders Received Units Sold
Year {{currentYear()-$index-1}} {{portableSalesdata[0][$index] | number:0}} - {{portableSalesdata[1][$index] | number:0}} - {{portableSalesdata[2][$index] | number:0}} -
Price of Units Sold by your Company (US$)
Year Stationary Portable
Year {{currentYear()-$index-1}} {{priceHistorydata[0][currentYear()-$index-1] | number:0}} - {{priceHistorydata[1][currentYear()-$index-1] | number:0}} -
R&D Spending
R&D Spending
Year Performance Attribute Production Efficiency Market Intelligence Total
{{$index+1}} {{stackedData[0][$index] | number:0}} {{stackedData[1][$index] | number:0}} {{stackedData[2][$index] | number:0}} {{stackedData[0][$index]+stackedData[1][$index]+stackedData[2][$index] | number:0}}
Income Statement for Past Years (Numbers inside brackets are negative - i.e., 'losses' or 'expenses')
Total Revenue
R&D Expenses
Product Attribute
Production Efficiency
Other Expenses
Variable Costs
Market Intelligence
Gross Profit
Operating Expenses
Fixed Costs
Operating Profit
Cumulative Profit
Year {{$index+1}}
{{year.stationaryRevenue| number:0}}
{{year.portableRevenue | number:0}}
{{year.stationaryRevenue + year.portableRevenue | number:0}}
({{year.massResearch+year.energyResearch+year.durationResearch | number:0}})
({{year.productionResearch | number:0}})
({{(year.stationaryProductionCost + year.portableProductionCost) | number:0}})
({{year.marketResearch | number:0}})
{{ grossProfit(year) | number:0 }} ({{ Math.abs(grossProfit(year)) | number:0 }})
({{year.fixedCost | number:0}})
({{ Math.abs(grossProfit(year) - year.fixedCost) | number:0 }}) {{ grossProfit(year) - year.fixedCost | number:0 }}
({{ Math.abs(cumulativeProfit($index)) | number:0 }}) {{ cumulativeProfit($index) | number:0 }}

Market Intelligence

Purchase/View Market Research Reports

US$ {{basicReportCost | number:0}}
US$ {{premiumReportCost | number:0}}
US$ {{exclusiveReportCost | number:0}}

Sales Reports


Price Reports


Product Reports


Trend Reports


Management Decisions (For Year {{currentYear()}})

Production Costs

Fixed Costs

Fixed costs change based on the forecasted production and sales figures. The expected fixed cost provides an estimated figure that will be incurred this year, based on the production figures below.

Unit/Variable Costs

Producing each unit of battery pack incurs variable costs. Variable costs increase when the battery packs' specifications are improved. The expected cost per unit provides the estimated figure, based on the attributes for the battery pack type, specified below.

Base Fixed Cost, Per Year

{{gameFixedCost() | number:0}}
Expected Fixed Cost

{{baseFixedCost() | number:0}}
Base Cost, Per Unit
Expected Cost
(Stationary, US$)
Expected Cost
(Portable, US$)
{{gameVariableCost() | number:0}}
{{baseVariableCost("stationary") | number:0}}
{{baseVariableCost("portable") | number:0}} Not Available ?

Production Decisions



Unit Price
${{decision.stationaryPrice| number:0}}
${{decision.portablePrice| number:0}}
* A lesser 'Massiveness' value is better
{{decision.stationaryMass| number:2}}kg/kW per hour
{{decision.portableMass| number:2}}kg/kW per hour
Energy Loss in 3 Months
* A lesser 'Energy Loss in 3 Months' value is better
{{decision.stationaryEnergy| number:2}}%
{{decision.portableEnergy| number:2}}%
Charging Duration
* A lesser 'Charging Duration' value is better
{{decision.stationaryDuration | number:2}} Hours
{{decision.portableDuration | number:2}} Hours

Budget Allocation

Research and Development Investments
Current Limit
{{lowerLimit("mass")| number:2}} kg/kW-hour
{{lowerLimit("energy") | number:2}}% in 3 Months
{{lowerLimit("duration")| number:2}} Hours

${{budget() | number:0}}
Exceeded Budget
$({{decision.massResearch+decision.energyResearch+decision.durationResearch+decision.productionResearch | number:0}}) ${{decision.massResearch+decision.energyResearch+decision.durationResearch+decision.productionResearch | number:0}}
Exceeded Budget
${{budget() - (decision.massResearch+decision.energyResearch+decision.durationResearch+decision.productionResearch) | number:0}}
Exceeded Budget

Operational Projection for Year {{currentYear()}}

Stationary (US$)
Portable (US$)
Total (US$)
{{projectedRevenue("stationary") | number:0}}
{{projectedRevenue("portable") | number:0}}
{{projectedRevenue("stationary")+projectedRevenue("portable") | number:0}}
{{baseVariableCost("stationary")*decision.stationaryForecast | number:0}}
{{baseVariableCost("portable")*decision.portableForecast | number:0}}
{{(baseVariableCost("stationary")*decision.stationaryForecast)+(baseVariableCost("portable")*decision.portableForecast) | number:0}}

{{ projectedRevenue("stationary") - (baseVariableCost("stationary")*decision.stationaryForecast) | number:0 }} ({{ Math.abs(projectedRevenue("stationary") - (baseVariableCost("stationary")*decision.stationaryForecast)) | number:0 }})
{{ projectedRevenue("portable") - (baseVariableCost("portable")*decision.portableForecast) | number:0 }} ({{ Math.abs(projectedRevenue("portable") - (baseVariableCost("portable")*decision.portableForecast)) | number:0 }})
{{ projectedRevenue("portable") + projectedRevenue("stationary") - (baseVariableCost("portable")*decision.portableForecast) - (baseVariableCost("stationary")*decision.stationaryForecast) | number:0 }} ({{ Math.abs(projectedRevenue("portable") + projectedRevenue("stationary") - (baseVariableCost("portable")*decision.portableForecast) - (baseVariableCost("stationary")*decision.stationaryForecast)) | number:0 }})
({{baseFixedCost() | number:0}})
{{ currentSpending()+decision.marketResearch | number:0 }} ({{ Math.abs(currentSpending()+decision.marketResearch) | number:0 }})

{{projectedRevenue('stationary') - (baseVariableCost('stationary')*decision.stationaryForecast) + projectedRevenue('portable') - (baseVariableCost('portable')*decision.portableForecast) - (decision.massResearch+decision.energyResearch+decision.durationResearch+decision.productionResearch+decision.marketResearch) - baseFixedCost()| number:0}} ({{Math.abs(projectedRevenue('stationary') - (baseVariableCost('stationary')*decision.stationaryForecast) + projectedRevenue('portable') - (baseVariableCost('portable')*decision.portableForecast) - (decision.massResearch+decision.energyResearch+decision.durationResearch+decision.productionResearch+decision.marketResearch) - baseFixedCost())| number:0}})

Please click on the "Submit Decisions" button below to proceed

Your decisions will be recorded by the system.

You have exceeded your budget, please reduce your spending before submitting