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The Chinese philosopher Confucius said: “People at birth are naturally good. Their natures are similar; their habits become different.” The cultural differences between Germany and China could hardly be greater. Behaviors and habits in each country naturally shape the corporate culture and leadership style of German and Chinese top managers.

Despite the culture differences, the business partnership and cooperation in technology and innovation between China and Germany are more intensive than ever before. Both countries benefit from the strengths of each other. For Chinese companies, Germany is one of the most innovative countries and one of the most important trading partners. The active international Private Equity firms headquartered in China are constantly seeking strategic investment opportunities in Europe — particularly in Germany, a world leader in the industrial sector with solid growth prospects. Meanwhile, German companies are investing billions in China to expand production sites and sales in East Asia, as other global players worldwide.

When organizations work together and deploy executives and top managers in their foreign subsidiaries, it is important to be sensitive and to take cultural differences into account, ideally to use them profitably.

Our China Desk

A company’s people — executives, senior managers, local talent — are the decisive factors in its success. For years, we have been supporting both Chinese companies working in Europe and German companies in China.

Our China Desk in Germany acts as a network hub for Spencer Stuart’s offices in Europe and China. Through our international network and collaboration with our experts around the world, we advise clients on selecting the “best-fit” candidate for senior leadership roles, optimizing team effectiveness, and aligning business strategy and corporate culture. In the face of market volatility, competition pressures, digitalization and increasing customer expectations, companies need consistently high-performing boards and management teams to keep pace with developments and lead a successful business transformation.

Strong and experienced advisers can support companies as they confront challenges with strategy, leadership, organization and transformation. Spencer Stuart is a global leadership consulting firm that is trusted by organizations around the world to help them make the senior-level leadership decisions that have a lasting impact on their enterprises. We offer tailor-made solutions and in-depth insights for companies, management teams and top executives:

  • Executive Search – We find and evaluate the top candidates (expatriates as well as local talent) for leadership positions in successions, interim or transformation situations.
  • Executive Assessment – We evaluate individual leaders, executive teams and finalists for senior leadership roles to provide a complete view of executive strengths and potential, which helps clients in decision making. We advise new executives on an effective onboarding process and support them to develop a strategic leadership plan.
  • Leadership Consulting – We assess organizational culture and help create alignment between culture and strategy. We also help identify and overcome potential cultural barriers both pre- and post-merger; successful M&A often depends on cultural integration and on having the right executives in key positions. We focus our detailed evaluation on the professional knowledge, management skills and intercultural skills of executives and management teams in the target company. We identify potential risks and weaknesses in the merged entity and support our clients in building effective leadership teams.




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Our intercultural competence

We understand the business culture of clients

We respect country-specific differences between Germany and China — both in terms of corporate culture and management behavior. Our consultants have deep experience in cross-border projects. We support clients with tailor-made solutions that take account of cultural differences and help them to secure the top candidates from local and expatriate candidate pools.

We speak the language of clients

For each project, we assemble a leading team that combines industry knowledge with functional and geographic expertise.

We advise our clients in their native language — German, Mandarin, English and a variety of other European languages.