Organization of Staff Function in Multinational Companies

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Organization of Staff Function in Multinational Companies
Marta Zanini, Member
Which are in MNCs the trends or best practices regarding the staff function in terms of:
- Centralization / delocalization
- In-outsourcing
- Grouping of several functions under one role (e.g. staff function general manager)
- Responsibilities allocations between HQ/ Affiliates
My questions are:
1. What type and size of activities are undertaken in staff functions?
2. What determines those choices?
3. How do these choices change as the geographic scope of the MNC expands?

Staff Functions / Corporate Centers
Hermann Doppler, Member
There is good decription of the different possibilities in a Brochure from BCG. You will find it if you search for "Designing the Corporate Center: How to turn Strategy into Structure"

The Staff Function in Multinational Companies
Marta Zanini, Member
@Hermann Doppler: Thank you, I'll read it as soon as possible, meanwhile another good article could be this one "The Size and Composition of Corporate Headquarters in Multinational Companies: Empirical Evidence" downloadable from Harvard University's DASH Repository.

Role and Staffing of Corporate Headquarters
Feraidoon Bakhtiari, Member
Corporate Headquarters are more or less the same as temple of gods and goddesses in Olympus. They have the power of forecasting, planning, organizing, controlling, and assessing the performance of all those who are either under them or who are influenced by their power of decisions.
They see (must see) the battle field on which their followers are striving to achieve the set goals.
They have their own agents to take responsibilities in front lines, but at the same time they know all the tricks/terms/techniques and have necessary tools to evaluate the performances, achievements and results gained.
They could either be old experienced investors and shareholders, or young and ambitious high flyers and idea men who have proved themselves to be qualified to have a spot on top of the mountain.
Corporate Headquarters are indeed think tanks responsible for setting goals, establishing strategic policy orientations as well as evaluating prioritized objectives which have been defined in a SMART way.

Factors in Staff Structure, Roles and Responsibilities for MNCs
Dr. Ademola A. Asaya, Member
First of all, I would prefer to replace the term 'Function' with "Structure":
- Function suggests localized operations, and
- Structure conveys strategic and tactical approach for expanding the presence of an organization internationally or globally.
If an MNC is headquartered in the USA with global presence in Africa, Asia, and EMEA, host country laws and regulations could dictate how the MNC franchises operate or function locally.
Each franchise, e.g. HP (UK), Julius Berger (Nig), Apple (CH) may be setup based on the parent company template with similar objectives, culture, operational core competencies, and functional roles.
However, there are also local conditions - country to country, that shape, or can influence how the organization may need to respond to competition, activities of labor unions, legislative demands for environmental compliance, treatment of employees, and so on. Staff roles and responsibilities may now be based on what needs to be achieved from that locality.


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