Managing the China Challenge: How to Achieve Corporate Success in the People's Republic

Brookings Institution Press
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Multinational corporations now look toward China with both trepidation and anticipation.The speed and scope of Chinese economic growth is changing the global distribution of power and resources, possibly to the detriment of the major industrial powers. But this same transformation presents tremendous opportunities for companies who understand China well enough to leverage both its accomplishments and its deep-seated problems for corporate benefit.

Longtime China scholar Kenneth Lieberthal brings to bear a unique combination of experiences as former top government official, political scientist, professor of international corporate strategy, and consultant. In Managing the China Challenge, he draws on his deep understanding of China's political and economic systems and the priorities of local and national leaders to illuminate the strategies foreign companies must master to succeed in the Middle Kingdom.

In straightforward language, using numerous concrete examples to support his ideas and recommendations, Lieberthal cogently presents not only how to benefit from doing business in China, but also how to avoid the serious risks that the endeavor entails. The implications Lieberthal lays out for corporate strategy are wide-ranging and critically important.

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About the author

Kenneth G. Lieberthal is director of the John L. Thornton China Center and senior fellow in Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution. Before joining Brookings, he was a professor of both political science and business administration at the University of Michigan from 1983 to 2009. He also served as senior director for Asia on the National Security Council (1998–2000). Among his books is Governing China: From Revolution to Reform (W.W. Norton, 2nd edition in 2004).

Dominic Barton is the global managing director of McKinsey & Company. He was McKinsey's chairman of Asia, 2004–09, based in Shanghai.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Jun 1, 2011
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Pages
149
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ISBN
9780815722052
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Business Development
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / International / General
Business & Economics / Workplace Culture
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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By the time of Barack Obama's inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, he had already developed an ambitious foreign policy vision. By his own account, he sought to bend the arc of history toward greater justice, freedom, and peace; within a year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, largely for that promise.

In Bending History, Martin Indyk, Kenneth Lieberthal, and Michael O'Hanlon measure Obama not only against the record of his predecessors and the immediate challenges of the day, but also against his own soaring rhetoric and inspiring goals. Bending History assesses the considerable accomplishments as well as the failures and seeks to explain what has happened.

Obama's best work has been on major and pressing foreign policy challenges—counterterrorism policy, including the daring raid that eliminated Osama bin Laden; the "reset" with Russia; managing the increasingly significant relationship with China; and handling the rogue states of Iran and North Korea. Policy on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however, has reflected serious flaws in both strategy and execution. Afghanistan policy has been plagued by inconsistent messaging and teamwork. On important "softer" security issues—from energy and climate policy to problems in Africa and Mexico—the record is mixed. As for his early aspiration to reshape the international order, according greater roles and responsibilities to rising powers, Obama's efforts have been well-conceived but of limited effectiveness.

On issues of secondary importance, Obama has been disciplined in avoiding fruitless disputes (as with Chavez in Venezuela and Castro in Cuba) and insisting that others take the lead (as with Qaddafi in Libya). Notwithstanding several missteps, he has generally managed well the complex challenges of the Arab awakenings, striving to strike the right balance between U.S. values and interests.

The authors see Obama's foreign policy to date as a triumph of discipline and realism over ideology. He has been neither the transformative beacon his devotees have wanted, nor the weak apologist for America that his critics allege. They conclude that his grand strategy for promoting American interests in a tumultuous world may only now be emerging, and may yet be curtailed by conflict with Iran. Most of all, they argue that he or his successor will have to embrace U.S. economic renewal as the core foreign policy and national security challenge of the future.

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