BOARD BRIEF CHINA- BALANCING FLEXIBILITY AND CONTROL: OPTIMIZING YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE IN CHINA

GLOBAL NAVIGATION/ CHINESE SERVICES GROUP
Jul 29, 2008

China presents great opportunities for global corporations, but also great challenges to some of their traditional decision-making structures. Cultural differences and rapid change in China mean that headquarters-oriented organizational systems used in Europe or the U.S. may not be flexible enough for China. At the same time, empowering local managers too much can lead companies to stray from standards protecting core corporate values. Extra risk controls and increased board attention to corporate education and in-country leadership selection may be required. In this Board Brief, Global Navigation examines these challenges and how companies can strike the right balance between flexibility and control. RAY FRIEDMAN, who studies business practices in China as the Brownlee O. Currey Professor of Management at the Owen Graduate School of Business, is quoted.