And in every details of that game and all those I have played since I encountered this "problem" which often I think is not a misconception but a choice : you can never build an organisation, a system where you have put in place procedures, where you can give orders.
I have often thought about this issue over the years. Though I must admit I tend to think of it in a city/country/world builder perspective when thinking about various solutions. To summarise:
You build a city requiring a number of complex interactions to maintain and grow the city into a success.
Your success leads you to being promoted to running an area comprising a number of cities.....at this point most games (in my experience) require you then to individually manage each of the cities into successes i.e. the same tasks as previous but now multiplied by the number of cities. Personally I think that this is where the design goes wrong. What I would prefer is that when you graduate to this level you are faced with a new set of tasks/goals and a different set of interactions and the previous level (i.e. at city level) becomes an optional choice i.e. you can employ city managers to carry out the tasks associated at City level while you are involved at the country level. Upon achieving success at this level...
You then graduate to say continent level or world level at which point you have country leaders managing the countries while you focus on a new set of tasks/goals.
The idea obviously being in games such as this - you automate the processes below you whilst finding new challenges in front of you developing a perception in growth/progression for the player.
In considering along this lines though I also believe the ability to literally focus back down levels to say a city level perspective would be useful in terms of micromanaging a problem that might occur i.e. a devastating earthquake, or your home town wishes to celebrate your being world president and you must return to the throw out the cow pattie for the local festival, or your sponsoring of a new technology may have rendered a country out of work as synthetic beef replaces the ranchers of that country, or the city manager whom you employed has just been busted accepting bribes requiring an interim coverage as you employ a new city manager etc etc. Basically creating a situation by where you can step in and problem solve issues before leaving them to automation again. That capacity for event creation I think would be a powerful tool for maintaining player interest.
None of this would be a simple task I guess....but the idea of automating the repetitive processes that multiply with growth is a very attractive one.