Wang, a local Chinese leader, has a hard time convincing his German headquarters that they should buy some needed equipment from a manufacturer in China. The German office insists that the equipment should be imported from Europe to ensure quality. When Wang can’t get anywhere, he involves his European colleague Hans. Hans agrees with Wang and tells headquarters that the source in China is far cheaper and can offer equal quality to what’s available in Europe. Corporate listens to Hans and not only agrees to purchase the equipment for China locally, but makes China the primary sourcing agent for the equipment globally, at a huge savings to the company.1

Why did corporate trust Hans and not Wang? Was it just a matter ...

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