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跨国公司怎样实现管理层的多元化

实践证明,多元化的团队更能提出有创意的解决方案。然而,财富全球500强中,在总部所在国以外聘请首席执行官的仅有14%。而这个比例在2008年就已经达到了13.6%。按照这样的速度,这个数字几乎要到2200年才能提升到50%。如何提高管理层的多元化程度?有不少切实可行的做法可以借鉴。

    本月早些时候,在成都召开的财富全球论坛举办了一场关于市场进入策略的分组讨论会,这次会议给人印象最深的一点是与会公司最高管理层的国际性多元化。

    美国商务部前部长卡洛斯•古铁雷斯指出,在食品公司家乐氏(Kellogg,K)担任首席执行官时,他的前任是一名澳大利亚人,他的继任者则是一名加拿大人。巴西人薄睿拓执掌着全球最大啤酒酿造企业百威英博(ABInBev),它的规模遥遥领先于其他啤酒公司,但巴西只占该公司啤酒销量的四分之一。(顺便提一下,百威英博董事长基斯•斯多姆是荷兰人)。吉利(Geely)是中国汽车制造业全球化的一面旗帜,最近它并购了瑞典的沃尔沃(Volvo)——后者的营收接近吉利的五倍。吉利创始人兼董事长李书福也因此频频出现在新闻头条中。他计划把沃尔沃的制造业务引进中国,并首先在成都建立一家工厂,此举将使外国人在吉利的中国业务中担任关键角色。在此之前,我们在财富全球论坛上还听到了联想(Lenovo)首席执行官杨元庆的发言。这家公司的最高管理团队有14人,来自七个不同的国家。

    看到这些企业的最高管理层有着如此强烈的多元文化色彩自然令人振奋。不过,现实情况是它们并不具有代表性。财富全球500强中,在总部所在国以外聘请首席执行官的仅有14%。在规模较小,国际化程度较低的公司中,非本国首席执行官的比例明显偏低——而在100家最大的非金融跨国公司中,这一比例达到31%。在这100家公司中,非本国董事的比例也大致处于同一水平。

    最常见的情况是,大公司的最高层中仅有一名外籍人士,他可能会感到过于孤单。(想象一下,作为联想最高管理团队中唯一的一名外国人会面临怎样的困难。)在非本国高层中,来自公司总部所在地区的管理者也特别多,表明除了国家偏好之外,还存在着地区偏好。有些公司不存在这样的情况,但其中很多都是跨境并购的结果,比如百威英博。在出现成功案例的同时,也不乏失败案例。例如,阿尔卡特朗讯(Alcatel-Lucent,ALU)合二为一后,来自法国和美国的联合首席执行官之间就出现了权力分配问题。

    同样,最高层全球化的普及速度似乎也不是非常快。2012年,在财富全球500强中,非本国首席执行官的比例为14.4%,而在2008年这一比例就已经达到13.6%。按照这样的速度,几乎要到2200年该数字才能提升到50%。值得注意的是,就全球500强的非本国首席执行官比例而言,瑞士居于世界最高水平。美国公司的非本国首席执行官比例为14%,与全球平均值相当。在金砖国家的全球500强公司中,仅有一家公司的最高管理者是非本国人士。

    外籍高管偏少的部分原因是近年来跨境任命高管的现象显著减少。一项研究发现,在中国、印度、巴西和俄罗斯的跨国公司中,高级管理层中外派人员的比例已经从20世纪90年代后期的56%降至本世纪前十年末期的12%。少量大型样板公司的数据显示,在大型跨国公司中,外派人员的比例一般不到总雇员人数的1%——通常只有0.1%左右。还有证据显示,在欧美跨国公司中,相对于留在本国的管理者,外派人员在升职方面通常要花更长的时间。不仅是研究者,管理者也已经注意到了这个现象。因此,在经济学家情报社(EIU)近期召开的人才管理峰会上进行的一项调查中,尽管有超过60%的受访者认为在主要新兴市场或发达市场任职在原则上应有助于职业发展,但仅有27%的人认为自己所在公司的人才发展战略体现出了这一点。大约同样比例的受访者称,他们公司的政策并没有向外派人员倾斜。37%的受访者表示,自己所在的公司总是设法在所有关键职位上招聘本土人士。

    One of the most striking takeaways from a panel on go-to-market strategies at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China earlier this month was the international diversity in the C-suite of the companies represented.

    Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Commerce Secretary, pointed out that his predecessor as CEO at Kellogg (K) was an Australian and his successor a Canadian. Brazilian Carlos Brito runs ABInBev, which is by far the world's largest brewer but sells only one-quarter of its beer in Brazil. (ABInBev's chairman, Kees Storm, is Dutch, by the way). Li Shufu, the founder-chairman of Geely, the standard-bearer of globalization among Chinese automakers, recently generated headlines when his company swallowed Volvo of Sweden -- with nearly five times Geely's revenues. His plans to bring Volvo production to China, starting with a plant in Chengdu, will result in non-Chinese holding key roles within the Chinese operations. And earlier at Fortune's Global Forum, we heard from Yuanqing Yang, CEO of Lenovo, whose top management team of 14 includes nationals from seven different countries.

    As encouraging as it is to see such multiculturalism at the top of these organizations, the reality is that these examples are unrepresentative. Only 14% of the Fortune Global 500 have a CEO from outside the country where the company is headquartered. The percentage of non-native CEOs is significantly lower for smaller, less international companies -- and rises to 31% for the 100 largest nonfinancial, transnational corporations in the world. The percentage of non-native directors is about the same at those 100 companies.

    Most often, big companies have only one outsider in the top ranks, a lone ranger who may feel too alone. (Imagine the difficulty of being the only foreigner in Lenovo's top management team.) Non-natives also tend to be disproportionately from the same region as where the company is headquartered, suggesting regional as well as home bias. Many of the exceptions to these patterns are the results of cross-border mergers or acquisitions, as at ABInBev (BUD). But for every such case of success, it is easy to specify a failure, e.g., the unworkable power sharing between French and American co-CEOs at Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) after the two companies merged.

    Nor does the incidence of top-level globalization seem to be increasing very rapidly. The 14.4% incidence of non-native CEOs in the Fortune Global 500 in 2012 is up only from 13.6% in 2008: at this rate, it would take almost until 2200 to get up to 50%. Note that Switzerland leads the world in terms of the incidence of non-native CEOs in the Fortune Global 500. The U.S. falls right at the global average of 14% non-native CEOs. Only one of the Fortune Global 500 companies from the BRIC countries is led by a non-native.

    Part of the reason for this shortage of foreign executives: cross-border assignments have suffered significant cutbacks in recent times. According to one study, the proportion of expatriates in senior management roles at multinationals in China, India, Brazil, Russia, and the Middle East declined from 56% to 12% from the late 1990s to the late 2000s. Data on a small sample of large companies suggest that the proportion of expatriates in large global companies is usually less than 1% of total employment -- often only around 0.1%. There is also evidence that at U.S. and European multinationals, expatriates tend to take longer to ascend the corporate ladder than managers who stay at home. And managers, not just researchers, see this happening. Thus, while more than 60% of respondents to a recent survey conducted during EIU's Talent Management Summit agree that a posting in a major emerging or developed markets should in principle help one's career prospects, only 27% believe this is reflected in their company's talent development strategy. About the same percentage say their firm has no policy towards ex-pat postings, and 37% assert that the organization always tries to recruit local staff for all key roles.

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