Comparing Competitive and Cooperative Strategies for Learning Project Management

Nembhard, D., K. Yip and A. Shtub, Journal of Engineering Education, April 1, 2009, 181192


Many organizations use project management to organize and administer resources in time and in place in an effort to optimize costs and meet certain constraints. These constitute cognitive skills acquired through training and experience that have successfully been shown to be trainable through simulation. However, past research on simulation-based project management training focused on individual learning. In this paper, we are interested in investigating whether a competitive or cooperative strategy is more desirable in using simulators for project management training. Several theories suggest that cooperative learning is more beneficial to learning than competitive learning. To investigate this problem, an experiment was set up based on the simulation-based Project Management Trainer (PMT) software. The results suggest that using both PMT cooperative and competitive strategies yield learning in project management. However, cooperative strategies yield better results in the overall outcome.

Keywords: competition; cooperation; learning