Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
U.S. manufacturing companies' offshoring of investments to China over the past 4 decades before 2017 has played a significant role in China's economic growth. However, as China's economy expands and the country's standard of living improves, U.S. manufacturing executives are required to take a refreshed look at current investment strategies to adjust for rising costs and a tighter regulatory environment. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore economic strategies that U.S. manufacturing leaders used to offshore effectively to China. The study included in-person interviews of 9 purposeful sampled manufacturing leaders, fluent in English, from 2 U.S. organizations with China operations headquartered in Shanghai. The conceptual framework for this study was the total quality management theory. Four themes emerged in the data from these interviews, on-site observations, and company documentation review, including: (a) movement of innovation closer to production in China; (b) increased localization of the legacy offshoring business; (c) enhancement of China-based cross-functional teams; and (d) incrementally investing to achieve production scale. These findings suggest that U.S. manufacturing leaders need to adapt to a changing and dynamic China market by focusing on local issues to maintain global competitiveness. The implications for positive social change include equipping manufacturing business leaders with information to address offshoring-related decisions more effectively. Additional social change benefits include the overall rise in international safety standards in China, resulting from offshoring investments and the training of manufacturing workers, which prepare them for more advanced roles in the workforce.