Role 1 – Victoria Absolan
This role play is about organisational control & design.
Your business simulation is a series of meetings designed to resolve an important management problem.
The issue is about what organisational design to use in order to maintain sufficient management control.
The role play aims to illustrate how you approach finding a solution to the problem as well as the solution.
Your culture should influence both your approach (i.e. your mind-set) and your solution.

Role 1 – Victoria Absolan
You are the Managing Director of Australian energy company – Energy Australia.
Your company is a market leader in Australia.
It has enjoyed substantial global expansion over the past 3 years as the world’s energy markets privatize.
This has presented substantial market opportunities for your company.
You sell your company’s management expertise into developing countries where the Government is privatizing the energy industry.
Your competitive advantage is your track record in Australia. You are engaged by Governments to project and manage major infrastructure projects (e.g. power stations) and to train locals in best practice management systems.
Energy Australia has been very successful and you have quickly established a global business.
You have subsidiaries operating in 10 countries in Asia.
You have allowed most subsidiaries substantial autonomy (i.e. multi-domestic strategy) because success is based upon local market knowledge.
You have adopted an area design model where each country is a separate and autonomous operation reporting to three regional Vice-Presidents (North Asia: China, Taiwan, Japan; S-E Asia, and South Asia: India, Pakistan).
You have appointed host country managers (i.e. locals) to all your subsidiaries.
You are the Chairperson of the global business and are supported by a Board of Directors comprising two Deputy Chair persons – Hiu Tung Ha (Vice-President North Asia) and Evy Suwandi (Vice-President SE Asia).
While the global business is performing well, you are having problems in some Asian countries.
In particular, the Malaysian and Indian offices appear to have serious problems and have proved unprofitable despite significant market potential.
You need to act.
You have engaged a consulting firm to investigate the problem.
They have reported that Energy Australia needs to redesign its organisational structure and control systems.
This will allow better performance management.
You are meeting with Ha & Suwandi to discuss the report’s findings and decide on a course of action.
In your discussion, include: (2) problem identification - what do you suspect is wrong with the current system and why can’t it help you manage the Malaysians and Indians? and (b) solutions.
Things are complicated by Suwandi being in charge of one of the problem countries: Malaysia.
Ensure you take into account the influence of culture on organisational design.
Read Schneider & Barsoux’s and Hofstede’s relevant chapters.
Have as many meetings as necessary (and asides to show us how you are feeling) but one meeting may be enough!
Try to contrast the way your cultures would approach the issues.

Role 2 – Hiu Tung Ha
You are the Vice-President North Asia.
Refer to the background above.
You are part of the senior executive team.
This is an important management problem for the company.
You will probably have a different view on (a) the problems and (b) the solution to the other two.
Treat it as a business simulation.

Role 3 – Evy Suwandi
You are the Vice-President S-E Asia.
Refer to the background above.
You are part of the senior executive team.
This is an important management problem for the company.
But you are also responsible for Malaysia!
Treat it as a business simulation.

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These solutions may offer step-by-step problem-solving explanations or good writing examples that include modern styles of formatting and construction of bibliographies out of text citations and references. Students may use these solutions for personal skill-building and practice. Unethical use is strictly forbidden.


Show an email sent by Natalie’s assistant to both Hiu and Evy using the projector and make it look like an e-mail trail:

From: Shaira Rogers <>
To: Hiu Tung Ha <>, Evy Suwandi <>
CC: Victoria Absulan <>


The Managing Director wants to confirm your meeting with her and sets the appointment on May 7, 2015 at Australia Headquarters at exactly 10:00 in the morning.

Please e-mail back your confirmation as soon as you receive this message so that we can arrange everything you need here in the country.

Thank you and have a good day.


Shaira Rogers
Executive Secretary, Energy Australia

Show clock at 10:00 AM
Evy is already waiting in Victoria’s office and is seated on the couch and just looking around waiting....

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