Publication Date

Spring 2015


Developing a leadership pipeline was the number one strategic business challenge in the American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai 2010 survey, even ahead of increasing market share and new innovations. With local leaders replacing expats at astonishing levels, the development of Chinese managers is critical to success. For instance, an Aon Hewitt survey showed that between 2007 and 2010, the number of MNCs replacing expats with locals nearly doubled to 46%. In addition, MNCs in China experience turnover rates 25% above the global average with the average retention period of a middle manager in Shanghai amounting to less than two years. The fact that highly skilled leaders can expect up to 40% increases in salary at a new organization certainly encourages turnover. While employee development can act as a retention tool, programs should be systematically focused on key competency needs to ensure the continual development of a strong pipeline.


Suggested Citation
Kovack, K. S. (2015). What are the key competencies and skills required for leaders in China for the greatest ROI?Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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Copyright held by the authors.