Ursula Mense-Petermann, Matthias Klemm
May 19, 2016
Starting from the “strong” theses put forward by the American management literature postulating the emergence of a new manager type - the global manager - and of a transnational elite among such global managers (“World Class”, Kanter 1995) this article analyzes processes of transnationalization of management on the organizational level, focusing on global assignments of middle managers. Building on the case of the Volkswagen Corporation, the relationship is discussed between the normative “Leitbild” (guiding concept) of the global manager and the empirically observable processes of transnationalization of management. It is shown that the “Leitbild” of the global manager postulated by the American business literature is accepted by the organization; however this is done in the form of talk (Brunsson 1989). We argue that this talk has consequences for the processes of transnationalization of management, but does not lead to the emergence of an integrated elite in the sense suggested by Kanter.