Leadership Challenges Faced By Executives Relocating to China


Management Today | December 23, 2011

Grace Cheng, managing director, Greater China at Russell Reynolds Associates recently discussed the leadership challenges associated with Chinese organizations hiring foreign-born or returning Chinese expats with UK publication, Management Today. Referencing the Russell Reynolds Associates' report, Making the Leap:

A 2009 briefing by Russell Reynolds Associates, looking at westernised Chinese executives recruited from multinationals into Chinese firms, concluded that fewer than half make the transition successfully. Most don't last a year.

One challenge leading to a higher failure rate is the structure of personal/business relationships in China, and the inability of executives to navigate Chinese business culture.

Similarly, in Chinese entrepreneur-led businesses, look out for the yuanlao, says Grace Cheng, managing director, Greater China at Russell Reynolds. These are the first generation of employees who helped set up the company and enjoy privileged status. 'Along with the boss and his family,' she says, 'these are the people whose egos you need to take care of.

Learn more about the steps executives must take in order to successfully transition in​to Chinese organizations: Making the Leap.

About Russell Reynolds Associates

Leadership for a Changing World. In today’s global business environment, success is driven by the talent, vision and leadership capabilities of senior executives. Russell Reynolds Associates is a leading global executive search and assessment firm with more than 300 consultants based in 40 offices worldwide. Our consultants work closely with public and private organizations to assess and recruit senior executives and board members to drive long-term growth and success. Our in-depth knowledge of major industries and our clients’ specific business challenges, combined with our understanding of who and what make an effective leader, ensures that our clients secure the best leadership teams for the ongoing success of their businesses.

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Leadership Challenges Faced By Executives Relocating to China