Welcome to the May 2017 PMWJ

Death of the Country Manager: Geopolitics Revisited, Country Risk – – and Welcome to the May 2017 Edition of the PM World Journal

David L. Pells

Managing Editor

Addison, Texas, USA


Welcome to the May 2017 edition of the PM World Journal (PMWJ). This 57th edition continues to reflect the international nature of this publication; 21 original articles, papers and other works by 20 different authors in 12 different countries. News articles about projects and project management around the world are also included. Since the primary mission of this journal is to support the global sharing of knowledge, please share this month’s edition with others in your network, wherever in the world they may be.

Since last August, on the recommendation of several international advisors, I have used this opportunity to mention important trends or issues that I see as journal editor. This month I return to a topic that has been of personal interest to me for many years – international “geopolitics”.

When I was an undergraduate studying business many years ago, I read case studies involving large American corporations such as IBM, IT&T, Standard Oil and others. In many cases, those large companies had a ‘country manager’ in each country where they did business, to both represent the company as well as oversee business development and operations in country; that is no longer the case. In the 1990s when I was running around Russia and pursuing projects in multiple countries on behalf of some U.S. companies, I became familiar with ‘country risk’, a concept used by the U.S. Export-Import Bank and other financial institutions to determine whether and how they would provide financing for equipment sales and/or overseas projects.

Over the last ten years or so, I have followed a global geopolitical think tank, a private intelligence company based in Austin, Texas called Stratfor. The company, founded by George Friedman, one of America’s preeminent experts on national security, international affairs and the intelligence business, provides regular analyses and briefings on trends and events occurring in various parts of the world. [1] My editorial this month was stimulated by an April article by Stratfor’s Mike Rosenberg titled “Closing the Gap Between Business and Geopolitics.” [2]

Death of the Country Manager

According to Mr. Rosenberg, “Not long ago, most international companies had people in place to oversee operations at the national level… These country managers were widely respected in their firms for local knowledge… Much like ambassadors, country managers played a two-way role, representing their firms in the country while also explaining the nation’s environment to their organization’s personnel. And in many cases, executives from the country itself filled the country manager role, further cementing the flow of information in both directions…”[2]

As Mr. Rosenberg goes on to describe, “starting in the 1980s, this classic structure of business was gradually replaced by the matrix structure, which typically comprises global business units, global corporate functions and giant geographical areas of responsibility.”


To read entire paper, click here



About the Author

David L. Pells

Managing Editor, PMWJ
Managing Director, PMWL



David L. Pells is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal (https://www.pmworldjournal.net/) and Managing Director of the PM World Library (http://www.pmworldlibrary.net/). David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, energy, defense, transit, technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from thousands to billions of dollars. He occasionally acts as project management advisor for U.S. national laboratories and international programs, and currently serves as an independent advisor for a major U.S. national nuclear security program.

David Pells has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice. He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world. David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and Russian Project Management Association. Since 2010 he is an honorary member of the Project Management Association of Nepal.

Former managing editor of PM World Today, he is the creator, editor and publisher of the PM World Journal (since 2012). David has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington and an MBA from Idaho State University in the USA. He has published widely and spoken at conferences and events worldwide. David lives near Dallas, Texas and can be contacted at mailto:[email protected].

To see other works by David Pells, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/david-l-pells/