© 2003-2007
MML Consulting


Olin Life In China:
An American Insurance Company Enters China.

Second Edition

A role-play simulation designed to teach cross-cultural negotiation strategies. (2007)


Maureen Maguire Lewis
The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Senior Editors

Dr. Oded Shenkar and Dr. Roy J. Lewicki
The Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University


90 pages, including appendix and bibliography.

Level of Difficulty

Appropriate for advanced undergraduates, graduate MBAs, and executive education levels.

Issues Involved

Chinese business culture, negotiation strategies and tactics, the World Trade Organization, insurance joint ventures, devolution of state-owned enterprises in China


A fictional Ohio insurance corporation, Olin Life Insurance Company, wishes to expand. Olin’s CEO, James Terence, views expansion into Asia, specifically China, as a chance to grow the company for the long term. Terence is not alone. With China’s 2002 accession to the World Trade Organization, hundreds of European and American insurance companies are seeking ways to tap into what they see as the limitless Chinese market: China's population of 1.3 billion people live long lives and has one of the highest savings rates in the world. As China progressively opens its markets and dismantles its state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the need for some sort of safety net for millions of Chinese workers increases with each month.

Historically, the SOEs provided workers with a systematic safety net, called the “iron rice bowl.” This phrase meant that arrangements for taking care of all aspects of people’s physical lives — jobs, housing, food, medical needs, and education — were provided by the enterprises. The “iron” meant that these benefits were unbreakable, lasting, and reliable. Now that the SOEs are disappearing, so too are the benefits that protected Chinese workers and their families from cradle to grave.

James Terence will send three of the company’s top officers to Shanghai to begin a negotiation process with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

To Order

You have two ways in which to purchase our Complete Student Packet materials:

1) You may personally, via credit card or purchase order, order the Student Packets. Each separate packet contains roles for eight students. You will receive these materials through the mail.

2) You may also ask your students to purchase the role to which you assigned them. In that case, the student needs to go through PayPal, using either a debit or credit card. (Simply click the "Buy Now" button corresponding to their assigned role, below.) Once the student's account has been verified, the student receives his/her individual role packet by e-mail attachment in a PDF format.

If you have any questions, please call 919.475.6442.

For Instructors:

Item Number Title Unit Price* Ordering
OC01 Complete Instructor's Book $70.00
OC02 Complete Student Packet
(contains materials for 3 Chinese roles, 3 American roles and 2 process observers)
($12 per student)

For Individual Students:

Item Number Title Unit Price Ordering
OCUS1 US Role 1: May Terence $12.00
OCUS2 US Role 2: Erin Solomon $12.00
OCUS3 US Role 3: Thomas Rainey Taylor $12.00
OCUS4 US Role 4: Process Observer $12.00
OCC1 China Role 1: Ms. Li Yu Song $12.00
OCC2 China Role 2: Mr. Ma Jianju $12.00
OCC3 China Role 3: Mr. Yong Pan $12.00
OCC4 China Role 4: Process Observer $12.00

* Prices do not include shipping costs.

Click here for ordering information

Sample Pages

To discuss payment options or look at sample pages, please contact info@culturescrossing.com.