Elena Warburton, a Moscow-born Georgia State University (GSU) student, has created an international role-play negotiation simulation aimed at helping U.S. companies conduct business with Russia.

The release of the product, she told GlobalFax during an interview last week, is timely in view of the increased stability of the Russian marketplace. Most foreign investment now coming into Russia hails from Europe, though valuable opportunities exist for U.S. firms interested in breaking into the market, she said.  

The role-play simulation is available through Duke University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the organization that initially commissioned the project in collaboration with GSU strategic management professor, Marta Szabo White. The Duke CIBER center also has similar programs available for firms interested in learning more about business practices in Chile, China, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.

Titled “Investing in the Russian Oil Industry,” Ms. Warburton’s role-play tracks the negotiations between executives of Global Oil, a fictional multinational corporation specializing in oil industry investments, and representatives of the Russian government. The production sharing agreement negotiated in the role-play includes discussion of cost recovery, environmental protection, workplace safety obligations, employment and education.

The lessons learned in regard to negotiation style, differing business practices and cultural norms, however, are not exclusive to Russia’s oil industry, stressed Ms. Warburton.

“The simulation puts today’s Russia in context for any U.S. firm doing business there,” she explained.

Contact Ms. Warburton at warburtone@peoplepc.com. For more information, visit www.mypeoplepc.com/ members/warburtone/GLOBOINRUSSIA. Visit Duke CIBER online at www.ciber.fuqua.duke.edu/ciber. Visit www.globalatlanta.com for full text.