Scandals & Company Culture

I was thinking of the best way to represent the scandals and controversies that the automotive industry has created for itself over the years, in a way that is more nuanced than “click here for an emission defeat device,” and work best with the slider spam that is Automation. My idea is that there would be a new screen accessible from the general campaign screen, in which you would attempt to influence the general ethos of the company. This would be where you would influence how your company ultimately acts and behaves in it’s day to day operations.

The main part of this new screen would be a slider/selectors for each aspect of your company. The idea is that this will work kinda similar to how dealerships used to work, where you’d set a general level and then, depending on how big your company is, it will head to that level over time. So at the beginning while you’re still a small company you can easily change your stance on things, while for a huge late-game corporation you’ll have to slowly drag the company over to your new way of doing things. Here are the general categories I came up with so far:

Government Compliance

  • Represents how active your company is in complying with laws & regulations.
  • Ranges from “above and beyond” compliance, to actively subverting regulations (think VW defeat device). Middle ground is industry standard, with the highest setting only used if you get caught in a bad enough scandal and are forced into such a state
  • Influences how much leeway you get on various environmental/safety/wage regulations, in addition to minor multipliers on things like engineering time & costs from any additional bureaucracy needed for your stance

Labor Union Relations

  • Represents the stance your company takes in negotiations with any labor unions that exist
  • Ranges from completely accepting demands to actively fighting against the union
  • Influences range of wages & shifts you’re allowed to use at your factories. Risk of strikes goes up the more aggressive a stance you take in negotiations
  • Would be relatively fast to change your company’s stance on
  • In addition to strikes, crises can also include active government intervention (if you go too ham on the strikebreakers) or an worker’s collective/ownership crisis (if you concede too far in the other direction)

General Company Culture/Bureaucracy

  • Represents how compliant your workers are to internal corporate rules, along with general bureaucracy if you don’t split that in a separate slider
  • Ranges from a “move fast & break things” free-for-all to strictly hierarchical IBM like structure
  • Mainly influences how often you are going to end up with HR type scandals, along with bureaucratic time & monetary multiplier costs in various aspects of your company.
  • Bureaucracy can be tied in a way to engineering familiarity, to represent resistance to new ideas
  • Slowest category to change, may take over a decade for a super large company
  • Crises mostly involve someone in your company creating a scandal by doing something culturally inappropriate

I setup the ranges for these such that optimal settings for these wouldn’t just be maxing it out one way or the other (most the the time…), but leaving it in the middle would produce “good enough” results. In addition, I imagine these stances would influence each other too, I.E. if your company regularly disregards the law then they are also more likely to end up in some scenario involving illegal strikebreakers during a labor strike.

Anyway that’s my idea for representing your company’s culture in Automation. I may split bureaucracy to its own category too, but I’m still thinking of how the details for that would work; I’ll edit my post if I do split it off.


Interesting stuff for sure :slight_smile: and while I think this is out of scope for Automation 1.0, it is something that in one way or another could fit into our Automation 2 bucket hehe.