IBM China Development Lab Shanghai: Capability by Design
Posted: 8 Mar 2012
Date Written: June 23, 2011
When IBM shifted from a traditional territory-based multinational organization to what it called a globally integrated enterprise, it established its headquarters for "Growth Markets" in Shanghai and "Established Markets" in New York. This positioned its China Development Labs (CDL) in Shanghai as a key platform for serving growth markets including the BRIC countries and other rapidly developing regions. Though quite young, CDL Shanghai had grown to become one of IBM's largest labs. The case examines IBM's early-mover establishment of its corporate research lab and CDL, and through the examination of three product development vignettes looks at the systematic approach taken to the development of lab personnel and capabilities.
Learning Objective: Examine the deliberate strategy of capability development within the China lab of a large multinational.
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