Management Decision Making

Category: Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)
Type: Individual or Team


Two (2) parts: an objective test and interactive role play or presentation. A 60-minute objective test will be administered onsite at the NLC. Team competitors will take one (1) objective test collaboratively.

Objective Test Competencies: Management Functions and Environment; Business Ownership and Law; Information and Communication Systems; Strategic Management; Human Resource Management; Ethics and Social Responsibility; Financial Management; Careers; Marketing; Economic Concepts; Business Operations

Case: A problem encountered by managers in the following areas: human resource management, financial management, marketing management or information systems management. Competitors will assume the role of management and present a solution to the case study.

Skills: Making critical decisions that provide the right direction and a winning position in today’s business world is essential to good management. Business executives must make high-quality, nearly instantaneous decisions all the time. The ability to make the right decisions concerning vision, growth, resources, strengths, and weaknesses leads to a successful business. It is management’s responsibility to manage for today and tomorrow, to manage for optimum efficiency, and to manage to compete in the marketplace.


Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)

Performance Guidelines—Final Round

  • Two (2) 4"x6" note cards will be provided to each competitor and may be used during event preparation and performance. Information may be written on both sides of the note cards. Note cards will be collected following the presentation.
  • No additional reference materials allowed.
  • Turn off all electronic devices.
  • Individuals/teams should introduce themselves, describe the situation, make their recommendations, and summarize their cases.
  • If participating as a team, all team members are expected to actively participate in the performance.
  • All questions raised in the case must be addressed during the presentation.
  • Objective test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Final performances are not open to conference attendees.

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.
General Performance/Demonstration

Performance Guidelines

Fifteen (15) competitors/teams—or an equal number from each section in the preliminary round—will advance to the final round. When there are more than five preliminary sections for an event, two competitors/ teams from each section will advance to the final round.

In the case of team events, all team competitors are expected to actively participate in the performance/demonstration.

Competitors cannot be replaced or substituted for prejudged events with the exception of the chapter events—American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, Local Chapter Annual Business Report, and Partnership with Business Project.

All competitors must comply with the FBLA‑PBL dress code.

Prejudged materials and résumés will not be returned.

Technology Guidelines

  • The following will be provided for the final round of technology presentation/demonstration events that allow viewing: screen, power, table, and projector. It is up to final round competitors to decide if they wish to use the provided technology.
  • Competitors utilizing Apple products or other devices that do not have a VGA port or HDMI will need to provide their own adapters.
  • Internet access will be provided for:
    • 3-D Animation
    • Coding & Programming
    • Computer Game & Simulation Programming
    • Digital Video Production
    • E-business
    • Electronic Career Portfolio
    • Mobile Application Development
    • Public Service Announcement
    • Social Media Campaign
    • Website Design
  • Internet access may not be WiFi, so competitors should plan appropriately when selecting laptops/tablets on which to present.

Performance Competencies

  • Demonstrate excellent verbal communication.
  • Display effective decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Express self-confidence and poise.
  • Work well as a team when applicable.
  • Exhibit logic and systematic understanding.
  • Conduct a professional business presentation.
  • Answer questions effectively (when applicable).

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for presentations over the allotted time.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.


  • Preliminary performances/demonstrations are not open to conference attendees.
  • Final performances/demonstrations may be open to conference attendees, space permitting (with the exception of interview and prep/case events). Finalists may not view other competitors’ performances/demonstrations in their event.
  • Recording performances/demonstrations is prohibited.
  • All electronic devices must be turned off.
  • All attendees must follow the dress code and wear their name badges.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid FBLA national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 1 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit four (4) entries in all events except LifeSmarts, Virtual Business Finance Challenge, and Virtual Business Management Challenge.
  • Each competitor can only compete in one (1) individual/ team event and one (1) chapter event.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.
  • All members of a team must consist of individuals from the same chapter.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, and Partnership with Business Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, Local Chapter Annual Business Report, and Partnership with Business Project).

Additional Materials

Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials
    Video #1

Rating Sheet

Format Guide

Website Resources
Management Functions and Environment
1. Describe current and emerging trends in business (e.g., acquisition/downsizing, e-commerce, data mining, labor market, and social issues).
2. Describe the impact of demographic issues on business
3. Define the four functions of management and describe management roles, functions, skills, and values.
4. Compare and contrast the planning function to other management functions.
5. Explain the importance of organizing in business.
6. Describe how organization provides accountability by delegating authority and assigning responsibility
7. Describe the nature of managerial control (e.g., control process, types of control, and what is controlled).
8. Determine the evaluating/controlling strategy for a given business situation
9. Analyze leadership and management styles and their characteristics, benefits, and limitations in a variety of business situations
10. Analyze leadership and management styles and their characteristics, benefits, and limitations in a variety of business situations
11. Define forms of global partnering (e.g., licensing, joint ventures, exporting, importing, and franchising) and analyze business situations to determine opportunities for global partnering.
Business Ownership and Law
1. Compare the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of different types of business ownership and organization in both service- and product-based businesses
2. Analyze ownership change transactions (e.g., mergers, acquisitions, hostile takeovers, and restructuring).
3. Identify management levels and describe the interaction between and among management levels.
4. Describe the types of organizational structures and identify the factors that influence an organization’s structure.
5. Identify current laws and regulations affecting the establishment and operation of businesses.
6. Explain the purpose, list the parts of a business plan, and develop an effective business plan
7. List and explain components of a legally enforceable contract.
8. Analyze the impact and relationship of government regulations and community involvement on business management decisions
9. Analyze the relationships among contract law, law of sales, consumer law, agency law, and environmental law.
10. Describe the role of organized labor and its influences on government and business.
Information and Communication Systems
1. Define communication and discuss its implication for effective management in the manager’s role.
2. Apply communication skills (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing) in a courteous, concise, and correct manner
3. Demonstrate effective communication techniques and skills (e.g., verbal, nonverbal, and technological communications and effective listening skills) in working with individuals, groups, and supervisors.
4. Examine communication barriers and ways to eliminate them.
5. Write internal and external analytical reports (reports that examine a problem/issue and recommend an action).
6. Examine potential communication challenges in international business.
7. Apply appropriate strategies to manage and resolve conflicts in work situations
8. Plan and facilitate an effective meeting (e.g., agenda, handouts, etc.)
9. Make an oral presentation with appropriate media and aids to an audience.
10. Evaluate the impact of liaisons with community, governmental, and professional organizations on the business environment.
11. Read and comprehend technical and nontechnical reading related to job performance.
12. Interpret data on graphs, charts, diagrams, and tables commonly used in this industry/occupation.
13. Use correct grammar, punctuation, and terminology, and communication skills to produce and edit clearly written traditional and electronic documents.
14. Select and use word processing software and accompanying features to enhance written business communications.
15. Use database, spreadsheet, presentation, scheduling, and integrated software packages to organize, prepare, manipulate, manage, and present information.
16. Use computer networks (e.g., Internet, online databases, and e-mail) to facilitate collaborative or individual learning and communication
17. Operate electronic mail applications to communicate within a workplace.
18. Employ collaborative/groupware applications to facilitate group work
Strategic Management
1. Identify examples of strategic plans, tactical plans, and operational plans.
2. Describe the strategic planning process within an organization.
3. Use planning tools (business and action plans, company goals and objectives, SWOT, benchmarks) to guide an organization’s activities.
4. Develop business plans to meet company needs (e.g., company vision, goals, objectives, and management plan)
5. Identify major management tasks involved in implementing the work of an organization
6. Organize business activities related to a company’s vision, mission, and values to achieve established action plans
7. Control an organization’s/department’s activities to monitor business activities and to make business decisions.
8. Discuss benchmarking and discuss the importance of benchmarking in evaluating company performance
9. Adjust growth projections impacting facilities and equipment to foster profitable operations.
Human Resource Management
1. Identify important human relation skills needed by managers
2. Develop a staffing plan and prioritize staffing needs to minimize costs while maximizing business contribution.
3. Analyze the impact of outsourcing on businesses
4. Identify methods/procedures for recruiting employees, publicizing job openings, interviewing, and selecting applicants for employment
5. Recognize the benefits and challenges in managing a diverse workforce.
6. Discuss factors and outline the procedures used in employee performance documentation, promotion, and termination including grievance processes.
7. Identify legislation affecting the recruitment and selection process (e.g., affirmative action, right to privacy, and Americans with Disabilities Act).
8. Review legal issues (e.g., harassment, employee rights, privacy, drug testing, labor disputes, discrimination, and substance abuse) and the potential impact to the business.
9. Investigate and evaluate the elements of an employee compensation package and benefit plan
10. Explain the purpose and characteristics of orientation programs for new employees, staff development, and other training and continuing education programs.
11. Investigate the impact of new technology on the workforce.
12. Resolve staff issues/problems to enhance productivity and improve employee/employer relationships.
13. Explain the role of labor unions and management, the collective bargaining process, and advantages and disadvantages of union membership.
14. Compare various motivation theories and explain their importance for understanding employee behavior including job rotation, job enlargement, and job enrichment.
15. Explain the concept of authority, delegation, responsibility, and accountability as a requirement of any managerial position.
16. Develop, interpret, and explain written organizational policies and procedures to help employees perform their jobs according to employer rules and expectations
17. Organize work teams and schedule employee work assignments.
18. Develop company health and safety programs to ensure compliance with regulations and employee protection
Ethics and Social Responsibility
1. Display characteristics of an acceptable work ethic (e.g., attendance, and attire)
2. Differentiate social, ethical, and environment issues facing business.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical behavior in a business environment (e.g., confidentiality of information, employee right to know, hiring practices, plagiarism, copyright violations, sexual harassment, mission statement, code of ethics, etc.).
4. Identify the impact of unethical behavior on a business.
5. Identify ethical considerations resulting from various situations (e.g., technological advances, international competition, employer-employee relationships, and consumer relations).
6. Identify ways in which a business organization demonstrates social responsibility (e.g., providing jobs, paying taxes, and contributing to special community projects).
Financial Management
1. Describe methods of obtaining capital, and explore differences among various sources of capital
2. Describe methods of obtaining capital, and explore differences among various sources of capital
3. Compare the types of financial service providers, and describe common banking services.
4. Analyze cost/profit relationships and other financial data to guide business decision making.
5. Monitor results of revenue and explain its impact on inventory, personnel, insurance, and promotion.
6. Manage the cash flow of the business including identifying the cost of operations, the ways that companies can control costs, and sales/production records
7. Analyze basic financial statements and reports (e.g., cash flow, income statement, and balance sheet) and apply to business decisions.
8. Identify and assess business risks, select risk-management strategies, and develop and evaluate a risk-management plan.
9. Forecast future budgetary needs and prepare a budget to include short- and long-term expenditures.
10. Describe types of records needed and implement suitable internal accounting controls to ensure the proper recording of financial transactions
11. Describe credit plans, credit cards, credit policies, credit ratings, credit agencies, collection procedures, and credit analysis.
12. Identify reasons for taxes, types of taxes, and the effects taxes have on business decisions.
13. Describe the purpose of insurance and the types of insurance for business
14. Analyze the components of a financial plan. Co
1. Develop a career plan in business management
2. Demonstrate skills related to seeking and applying for employment to find and obtain a desired job.
3. Identify the steps to follow in resigning from a position.
4. Identify the characteristics of a successful supervisor/manager
5. Continue professional development to keep current on relevant trends and information within the industry and for career advancement
1. Explain the role of marketing in the economy.
2. Analyze marketing information/research to make informed decisions.
3. Explain marketing concepts and identify and apply the components of the marketing mix.
4. Describe promotional strategies (e.g., telemarketing and e-commerce).
5. Analyze the impact of e-business on profitability.
6. Describe different pricing strategies and the importance of price
7. Discuss ways to maintain product and service quality and customer satisfaction.
8. Explain the importance of packaging and branding in relation to customer/sales satisfaction
9. Discuss the channels of distribution, distribution transportation, and product handling.
Economic Concepts
1. Identify basic micro and macro economic concepts (i.e., supply and demand, leading economic indicators, business cycle, and economic cycle).
2. Compare and contrast basic economic systems, free markets, and economic-political systems.
3. Describe the current economic environment and its effect on business
4. Describe economic indicators impacting financial decision making and use them to detect economic trends and conditions.
5. Describe the importance of international trade and how global competition has affected how American businesses operate
6. Identify various forms of competition (e.g., pure competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly).
Business Operations
1. Identify, interpret, analyze, and synthesize information used in decision making in the business environment.
2. Develop and manage quality-control processes to minimize errors, maximize operational effectiveness, and to expedite workflow
3. Implement personal and jobsite safety rules and regulations to maintain safe and healthful working conditions and environments
4. Develop and implement security policies/procedures to protect employees and to minimize chance for loss
5. Identify methods and tools to design or redesign products.
6. Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of a production schedule.
7. Identify factors considered when selecting suppliers (e.g., quality, price, and reliable delivery)
8. Define inventory control and evaluate a system for maintaining inventory control.
9. Employ planning and time management skills and tools to monitor, plan, and control day-to-day activities required to enhance results and complete work tasks
10. Utilize organizational and project management skills to improve workflow, minimize costs, and monitor and evaluate business projects.
11. Maintain property and equipment necessary for ongoing business activities.
12. Manage purchasing activities to obtain the best service/product at the least cost
13. Use appropriate technology tools and computer-based equipment (containing embedded computers or processors) to control devices and for business applications.
14. Plan physical layout, furnishings, and equipment for a business environment and analyze for maximum efficiency.


NBEA Standards
  • Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Communication
  • Economics & Personal Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Technology
  • Management
Career Clusters
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Finance
  • Human Services
  • Law & Public Safety
  • Marketing, Sales, & Service


States may submit up to 4 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 1.


The top fifteen (15) scoring individuals/teams advance to the final round.


Test: 1 hour
Prep: 20 min
Equipment Setup: N/A
Performance: 7 min
Warning: 6 min
Time Up: 7 min
Penalty Over Time: N/A
Q & A: N/A