Benny's Choice

Published 01 Jan 1999
Reference 4819
Topic Strategy
Region Asia
Summary

The chairman (ethnic Chinese) of a large, Sumatra-based pulp and paper company, is considering what to do to save his previously very successful business empire, which is now in a critical situation following the collapse of the Indonesian rupiah. The case explores different alternatives open to Benny to save the company from bankruptcy. In particular he considers closing one of the plants, though he knows the consequences this is likely to have on the local community. What can be done to save his empire? If closure is a solution, then how to do it in the local cultural context?

Teaching objectives

The case makes explicit the defining moment when a leader is confronted by critical decisions which are very difficult to make in times of crisis, and when the outcome of the general socio-political and economic situation is hard to anticipate. Used with executives, it can be used to explore how to make tough, ethical choices, and how to define and implement change strategies in SE Asia at a time of great uncertainty.

Keywords
  • AR1999
  • RD0399