The Size, Structure, and Performance of Corporate Headquarters

70 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2003

See all articles by David J. Collis

David J. Collis

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

David Young

Ashridge Strategic Management Centre

Michael Goold

Ashridge Strategic Management Centre

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

Corporate headquarters have not been extensively researched. This paper reports on a survey of the structure and staffing of over 600 corporate headquarters in Europe, USA, Japan and Chile and explores the extent to which they are contingent on corporate strategy (corporate portfolio, structure and policies), ownership and regulation, and country of origin. The results confirm that factors in each of these areas are important determinants of the size and structure of headquarters. The dependence of corporate performance upon the structure and staffing of headquarters is also explored. Although the results are capable of alternative interpretations, they provide no support for the view that "lean and mean" leads to better performance.

Keywords: corporate center, corporate headquarters, corporate strategy, staff, performance

Suggested Citation

Collis, David J. and Young, David and Goold, Michael, The Size, Structure, and Performance of Corporate Headquarters (2003). Strategy Unit Working Paper No. 03-096. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=475162 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.475162

David J. Collis (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

David Young

Ashridge Strategic Management Centre ( email )

3 Devonshire Street
London W1W 5DT
United Kingdom

Michael Goold

Ashridge Strategic Management Centre ( email )

3 Devonshire Street
London W1W 5DT
United Kingdom

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