50 Years MARGA Business Simulations

50 Years MARGA Business Simulations

‚MARGA is 50 years strong! We are pleased and proud of what we have achieved - together with our long-standing partners, the renowned business school ESMT Berlin and Handelsblatt Media Group! We still have a lot of plans for the future. 50 years of MARGA are our motivation to further advance simulation-based learning in terms of content, didactics and technology. Whether as a pure online program, as a face-to-face event or combined in a blended learning format, MARGA creates dynamic solutions for innovative personnel, team and organizational development. For this, we and the entire MARGA team were recently awarded the Comenius EduAward medal. We look forward to continue shaping the future together with our customers.‘ Dr. Christoph Heinen and Andreas Nill, Managing Partners of MARGA Business Simulations (September 2021).

Dr. Christoph Heinen & Andreas Nill
Managing Partners

Dr. Christoph Heinen & Andreas Nill Managing Partners

Our partner ESMT Berlin:

Our partner Handelblatt Media Group:

"We congratulate our long-time partner MARGA Business Simulations on its 50th anniversary this year. As a long-time cooperation partner, we are proud to have accompanied the entire development of business simulation since 1971."

What is behind MARGA?

MARGA is a classical general management business simulation which was founded in 1971. Since then, the simulation has gone through many stages of development and has established itself in numerous companies as a permanent tool for the professional development of trainees, junior executives, high potentials as well as experienced specialists and managers, both in talent management and in change management.

In the meantime, universities around the world are also using the MARGA business simulation as a module in their business-related degree programs. In this way, they enable their students to try out the management content they have learned in theory in direct relation to practice.

The business simulation MARGA conveys business contexts and makes management tangible. In this complex and dynamic business simulation, teams manage their own virtual company. They develop strategies and implement these in managerial decisions. In doing so, they are faced with an exciting competition against other teams. In this way, management know-how is imparted in a particularly practical and sustainable manner.

A brief insight into the MARGA success model

What does MARGA Business Simulations offer today?

A lot has happened since 1971!

Over the past 50 years, the MARGA learning world has continuously evolved, always keeping pace with the latest didactics, methodology and technology.

All business simulations are offered as both OPEN and customized INHOUSE programs. The target groups range from students to trainees, young professionals, high potentials, specialists, or executives to experienced managers.

All MARGA simulations have one thing in common: they convey business contexts and make management tangible. Teams manage their own virtual company and position their business on a realistic market. They develop corporate strategies and translate them into operational decisions. In doing so, they are in direct competition with their competitors, just as in reality.

Today, in addition to the user-friendly and intuitive simulation software, MARGA offers a complex and yet clear learning environment with an extensive portfolio of individual additional offerings such as tutorial notes, recorded webinars or individual online courses. In addition, since 2002 all business simulations are also conducted completely online.

The annual international MARGA Online Competition is still a highlight and at the same time the MARGA flagship. In 2020, an additional global online business competition exclusively for students was launched: MARGA for Students.

The MARGA business simulations are used by companies worldwide for their talent management and change management as well as by universities as a tool for management training.

In Talent Management, different topics can be focused on, depending on the strategic orientation of the professional education:

* General Management

* Financial Basics

* Financial Management

* Service Management

* Strategic Management

* Technology Management

* Team & Leadership

In Change Management, the MARGA business simulations are used to make corporate transformation processes transparent. By managing the change processes of their own virtual company by themselves, participants take on the responsibility and directly experience the pressure to change, but also experience the difficulties which arise during the operational implementation. MARGA offers several standardized business game scenarios on the topic of change processes, into which individual influencing factors can additionally be integrated.

The current MARGA formats

The MARGA business simulations are offered as open or customized inhouse programs. The target groups range from students to trainees, young professionals, high potentials, professionals, executives, and experienced managers. 

Besides the two annual global MARGA Online Competitions for young professionals and students, MARGA also offers further online, face-to-face or blended learning formats.

In addition, with its Online Course ‘Financial Basics’ and the two-day Board Game Seminar, MARGA conveys the basics of accounting in a highly comprehensible and tangible manner.

A background in business administration is not a prerequisite for the participants.

MARGA is more than just a business simulation

All MARGA programs are characterized by particularly individual tutoring. MARGA tutors support the teams intensively and also proactively to an unlimited extent, so that participants can discuss content-related issues with experienced and qualified experts at any time by telephone, e-mail, or web conference.

Webinars are offered regularly to shed light on topics that participants encounter in the simulation. These are designed to be interactive and always involve the participants, e.g. through short surveys, blocks of tasks or reflection rounds in small groups.

Important key figures, deadlines and communication between team members can be accessed centrally via the dashboard, and access to analyses and controlling reports is also designed to be simple and targeted.

The MARGA Toolbox is a flexible modular system

The MARGA business simulations are technically sophisticated and yet intuitive to use.

 

In addition to the simulations, the ‘MARGA Toolbox’ provides participants with individual additional offers such as tutorial notes, recordings of the live webinars or individual online courses. These offerings consider different learning types and convey information which enriches the content of the simulation.

When compiling the customized in-house programs, the business simulations can be individually adapted to the customer's needs through various additional modules.  For example, a haptic board game can be used to teach the basics of accounting in a one to two-day classroom event and serve as a preparation or prelude to the subsequent online simulation.

From teaching to learning

The fact that the learning person or participant in a further education measure should take an active role is in principle nothing new. However, due to the pandemic in the 50th year of MARGA and the current importance of online learning, this aspect has now gained much more attention: It's about applying, developing, and analyzing, not just listening! In the case of a business simulation, it's about applying management tools, developing a business strategy, and analyzing the competitive situation.

And for this to succeed, active support is required from the MARGA tutors, who answer the participants' questions promptly or ask the right kind of questions in the sense of a coach.

A user-friendly learning environment that offers the right information quickly, i.e., in a performant and context-related manner, as explanations or further details in the current decision-making situation, also strengthens the learning motivation. We actively take up new technical possibilities in order to constantly optimize user-friendliness. In addition, MARGA has thrived on feedback from participants for 50 years. And in the future, too, the best ideas and suggestions from the MARGA Online Competition will not only be awarded prizes, but also implemented.

Corporate Social Responsibility – Triple Bottom Line

Inspired by corporate social responsibility (CSR) - i.e., operating the core business in a socially and environmentally responsible manner as well as being economically successful - the term triple bottom line (TBL) developed in the Anglo-Saxon financial sector. This approach is also known as the three-pillar model and consists of: social (people), ecological (planet) and economic (profit). The idea is that sustainable development can only be achieved through creating a balance between all three pillars.

Previous decisions and interrelationships at MARGA regarding the social and ecological dimensions were 'hardwired' into the model and affected customer demand, processes, and their costs; thus directly affecting the bottom line and therefore the economic dimension. Future developments take into account the introduction of key performance indicators to capture the performance of all three dimensions. This will enable a multidimensional target system and create more transparency in the sense of ’value-oriented’ corporate management.

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