Ex ante strategy evaluation: the case for business wargaming

Jan Oliver Schwarz (PhD candidate at Berlin University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany)

Business Strategy Series

ISSN: 1751-5637

Publication date: 26 April 2011



The aim of this article is to introduce business wargaming as a tool for ex ante strategy evaluation. Reviewing criticism of other approaches, such as scenarios and computer‐based simulations, this article explores whether business wargaming is a suitable response to this criticism.


This article reviews and discusses the literature on strategy testing and business wargaming.


Business wargaming is capable of responding to criticism of scenarios and computer‐based simulations when applied to the ex ante evaluation of strategy. Business wargaming, which arose from military wargaming, is a strategic simulation that is dynamic and participative, allowing managers to experience how their strategy will compete and endure in their business environment.

Research limitations/implications

Additional research is needed to explore the application of business wargaming in practice as a tool for the testing of strategy.

Practical implications

The article suggests that business wargaming is a valuable tool for testing strategies in a simulation, which is participative and dynamic.


This article fills the research gap on strategy testing and points to a tool – business wargaming – that has been applied intensively in the military field.



Oliver Schwarz, J. (2011), "Ex ante strategy evaluation: the case for business wargaming", Business Strategy Series, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 122-135. https://doi.org/10.1108/17515631111130095

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