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Chinese change management

China faces four serious challenges to become truly innovative, says David De Cremer.

Chinese change managementChina must overcome four serious challenges relating to leadership and focus if the country is to realise its ambitious innovation goals, according to a new article entitled “The great war of China” co-authored by David De Cremer, KPMG Chair of Management Studies at Cambridge Judge Business School.

With a mature domestic market and double-digit growth now a thing of the past, China is rightly targeting innovation in science and technology as the way forward in a global economy, says the article in Business Strategy Review, published by London Business School, co-authored by De Cremer and Jess Zhang of Hult International Business School.

To reach those goals, the article argues, China need to develop more inclusive leadership that allows a bottom-up approach to innovation; the country needs to look beyond speedy economic growth to take the time to develop insights and ideas that make a long-term difference; it needs to focus not only on commercial success but also knowledge creation; and it needs to decentralise decision-making.

Although China now accounts for 14 per cent of global research and development spending, those statistics may be misleading. “The image persists that the China is very good at implementing and pursuing R&D, but not at producing real breakthroughs,” says the article.