A study on the efficacy of exposing students to a coffee supply chain simulation, designed and conducted by at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, was published on July 14 in the Journal of Innovative Education.

The simulation provides students experience in different parts of pricing negotiation in a coffee supply chain. It folds in the ethical dilemmas businesses face as they push to lower costs. According to UH Hilo management Assistant Professor Todd Inouye, students who complete the activity significantly improve their ethical awareness and scope of responsibility while feeling more confident in negotiating.

Todd Inouye
Todd Inouye

James Kling, who specializes in supply chain management at Niagara University, approached Inouye one day with a problem: current supply chain simulations were dated and boring, and failed to provide a high standard of experiential learning. Inouye and Kling then developed the new simulation from the ground up. It has been run in multiple master of business administration programs and undergraduate classes at Niagara University. In the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters at the UH Hilo College of Business and Economics, the simulation was part of the course on International Management (MGT 333).

The article and class activity were presented at the Academy of International Business Conference as a finalist for the Consortium for Undergraduate International Business Education Award for Best Paper on International Business Education. It was also a finalist for the Instructional Innovation Award at the Decision Sciences Institute annual conference.

For more go to UH Hilo Stories.