The article Practical Advice for Companies Betting on a Strategy of Globalization in Knowledge@Wharton has a useful reminders about how to balance between local staff vs. head office staff. As with anything, the suggestion is to start with a clear vision:
The success of any international venture also depends on the human resources policy that the company pursues. ‘It took us years to create local talent,’ said Alvarez-Pallete. He believes it is essential ‘to decide what part of the business you are going to manage locally, and what it is that creates the most value.’
The article recommends a balanced approach – hire local talent, but only put those people in-charge who have similar values as the head office. The diversity they bring will enhance performance and the fact that they understand corporate culture, will make communication easier.
As a result, he leaves in charge those people who are closest to the corporate culture and goals laid out by headquarters. Falcones added that ‘diversification contributes wealth in terms of human resources. It is one of the most important assets brought by globalization. It is incredible how much we can learn about good business practices when we can understand different cultures.’
Not sure how easy it is to find these people – especially if the cultures / geopolitical between head office and local office are large…