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Virtual centres of excellence: An integrated approach to managing corporate real estate globally

Paul C. Harrington (Real Estate Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Plumtree Court, London EC4A 4HT, UK; Tel: +44 (0) 207 212 2950; Fax: +44 (0) 207 212 8394; e‐mail:

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 1 July 2004



The emergence of new markets and new opportunities means that few businesses can afford to ignore the impact of emerging markets. Consequently, these new markets are putting more pressure on corporate real estate teams to operate and plan globally. Competitive success is now seen as a function of speed to the market and this speed to market can only be met when the right facilities are made available in the right location with appropriate financial funding. This paper seeks to offer a practical approach for corporate real estate managers in the development and operation of a global centre of excellence and covers organisation structure, operational guidelines and highlights examples of successfully engaging local line management, support staff and outsourced suppliers. The development and use of virtual teams on a global basis leverages the corporations’ functional expertise to reach optimum efficiency in delivering support services. Virtual teams also provide less intrusive local oversight among very diverse emerging economies, helping to promote local ownership yet delivering best practice cognisant of local culture and sensitivities.



Harrington, P.C. (2004), "Virtual centres of excellence: An integrated approach to managing corporate real estate globally", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 205-214.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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