Skip to main content

A new organization’s breaking out of cocoon: Advantech’s dilemma in building a “direct marketing force”

Abstract

Focusing on the recognition and resolution of conflicts between newly-created business units and existing ones, this teaching case depicts the reasons, process, and problems in Advantech’s creation and management of its direct marketing force (DMF) during the company’s changing from a multinational corporation (MNC) to a globally integrated enterprise (GIE). It also describes the designed structure and business processes of DMF, and shows the underlying conflicts among the channel sales force (CSF), key account sales force (KASF) and DMF. Also demonstrated in the case are the methods Advantech adopted to solve the conflicts, including seeking a good combination of the traditional “spider” and “starfish” models, reconciling between centralization and decentralization, creating a crossover-collaboration mechanism among different divisions, and promoting a knowledge sharing system across different regions.

References

  1. Advantech. 研华科技公司. 2007. 2007 年研华将持续深耕军衔制化设计服务、垂直领域市场, 奠定全球产业计算机之领导地位 (Advantech continues to develop military ranks design service and explore vertical market to become the leader in computer industry in 2007). 计算机测量与控制 (Computer Measurement & Control), (3): 307.

  2. Advantech. 研华科技公司. 2007. 研华再显雄志: 立足大中国, 面向全世界—记2007 研华科技北京媒体说明会 (Advantech grows stronger: Keeping a foothold in the mainland of China and facing the whole world—The media briefing of Advantech in Beijing in 2007). 电子技术应用 (Application of Electronic Technique), (2): 11.

  3. Anderson, C. 2006. The long tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more. New York: Hyperion.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Brafman, O., & Beckstrom, R.A. 2008. The starfish and the spider: The unstoppable power of leadless organizations. London: Penguin Books.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Eisenhardt, K.M. 1989. Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4): 532–550.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Jiang, Q. 姜奇平. 2008. 海星与蜘蛛的原型 (The prototypes of the starfish and the spider). 商学院 (Business Management Review), (8): 140–141.

  7. Lü, B. 吕本富. 2008. 蜘蛛和海星的混血儿会改变商业世界吗 (Could the mixed-blood of starfish and spider change the business world?) IT 时代周刊 (IT Time Weekly), (2): 77.

  8. Xu, Y. 2009. 全球整合企业将带来什么? (What will the global integrated enterprises bring to us?) 商务周刊 (Business Watch Magazine), (1): 34–35.

  9. Yin, R. 2003. Case study research: Design and methods (3rd edition). Thousands Oaks: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fengbin Wang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wang, F., Tao, Z., Li, B. et al. A new organization’s breaking out of cocoon: Advantech’s dilemma in building a “direct marketing force”. Front. Bus. Res. China 5, 597–618 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11782-011-0147-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • multinational corporation
  • centralization
  • decentralization
  • direct marketing force