The German professor Hermann Simon has been studying for twenty years a category of companies which he refers to as ‘hidden champions’. These are companies which, even though they are small or medium-sized, are world leaders in their fields. They play a major role in exports and consequently in the trade balance and job creation in their countries. In spite of this, they are not well-known because they have very sophisticated niche strategies, and usually produce industrial goods, and are therefore not in direct contact with the general public. These companies are obsessed with the quality of their products, as well as their growth and independence. They are managed with a strategic foresight which one would happily welcome more often. Stéphan Guinchard has been working with Hermann Simon for seven years. He has tried to identify French ‘hidden champions’, and to analyse the methods which have made them successful.
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This session was published in issue n°106 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Le défi français.
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