How Coevolutionary Gaming Facilitate Group Decision Making


The coevolutionary war game is a nontraditional form of strategic meant to facilitate effective decision making for global companies and other organizations that cannot simply rely on the traditional approaches. This is mainly because it has been designed to help with the navigation of the more complex strategy landscapes. The games involve an organization splitting into groups, each with a maximum of 20 executives and senior managers. Thereafter, within a period of three days, five moves and responses are used to trigger a simulated multiyear trajectory, which no team directly controls. This paper features an analysis of the coevolutionary war game and how it is used for decision making, and it also considers its limitations.

Coevolutionary Gaming and Decision Making

According to Cares and Miskel (2007), these games do not actually develop strategy, but the idea of it is that the players will be able to identify and understand some of the competitive dynamics that enhance its development. Therefore, this insight will be useful in the creation of even more robust strategies for companies. This is the way the coevolutionary gaming facilitates group decision making. Basically, the games enable a company to see its strategy dynamics from two sides; from its own perspective and the perceived competitors’ perspective. This is important because it enables the organization to know what to expect from competitors once it introduces its products. Therefore, decision making can be made at this early stage to avoid any negative effects later on. This happens when the organization is presented with an opportunity to unmake its strategy in response to the anticipated reaction from its competitors.

The coevolutionary gaming also facilitates decision making in the sense that it encourages the development of a crisis strategy basing on some of the possible attacks they are anticipating. The attack team will enable the organization to learn about some of the surprises they would have been challenged with once they went to the market with the product. In most cases, companies always end up discovering the strategy. This however, only happens after three or four changes have been made, and this may be years after the introduction of a product (Kelley & Nahser, 2014).Therefore, decision making is facilitated in the sense that they are made before the actual problem arises by exposing the company to the possible ways in which competitors will react once they are in the real market (Cares & Miskel, 2007).

Limitations of the Coevolutionary Gaming

While analyzing how the game works, it is highly possible that there may be some limitations about it. The most obvious is that communication processes may be affected. To be able to effectively show how this may happen, the Johari Window will be used.

Open/Free Area Blind Area
Hidden Area Unknown Area

         Table 1: Johari Window

The first quadrant is usually a representation of things known to self, and the things others know about you. It includes things like behavior, skills, knowledge, attitudes and even history (Shenton, 2007). The coevolutionary gaming seems to set groups of people, working together towards a specific goal, against each other. Therefore, for each group to ensure that they are successful in their tasks, they will tend to limit communication with others from the other groups. Sharing their knowledge will seem limited to specific people. The second quadrant represents things unknown to an individual but that are known to others. If there are people working on the other group, who are aware of this kind of information, it will be difficult for them to come and communicate this to an individual (Shenton, 2007).  This is basically because the coevolutionary game will expect the teams to attack each other (Cares & Miskel, 2007). Therefore, instead of focusing on improving each individual, the result is that the members will start using this knowledge about each other, against the individual. The third quadrants, featuring the hidden area is basically a representation of the things known to self but is unknown to others. The fourth quadrant represents things unknown to self and unknown to others.

It is always important to focus on the Open Area as the more people know about each other, the more productive, cooperative, and effective they will be as a team working towards a specific goal (Shenton, 2007). This area can be enlarged when all individuals disclose information about themselves to each other. Unfortunately, since the coevolutionary gaming makes it seem like they are working towards different goals, this may not be possible.

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