EBS in China
(7 pages of text)
Environmental & Best Safety (EBS) China was the subsidiary of an American mid-sized firm in the safety products and services industry. Between 2000 and 2015, it had employed at different points a variety of strategic approaches to the Chinese market, including local market exploration and learning, autonomous local research and development (R&D), the transfer of local knowledge to centralized R&D, and the return of localization. The global business of EBS had experienced a continuous downturn over the last five quarters. The situation in China was even worse, with sales significantly under the initial target for the Chinese market, which had been the fastest-growing market for EBS over the last 10 years. In 2015, the global EBS president and the head of EBS China needed to make a decision about the next stage in the business strategy of EBS China. The meeting would be critical for EBS China to re-position itself within EBS worldwide.
When used in an international business course, this case provides insights about the strategy of small or mid-sized multinational corporations in the process of globalization. The case can fit within a module on transnational strategy, the HQ–subsidiary relationship, or the organization of global R&D. When used in an organizational behaviour course, this case can be used in a module on leadership or one on organizational communication in a globalized context. The case illustrates difficulties and complexities in the communication between headquarters and subsidiary decision makers.
United States; China, Medium, 2015
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