Translated title of the contribution: S Real Estate Company: The Critical Moment of Reform

Jian Han (First Author), Ziqian Zhao (Participant Author)

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


This case discusses the implementation of a corporate culture shift and its implied talent management challenges. Company S was a large state-owned real estate company that had ranked among the best in China’s domestic competition during the first decade of the 21st century, when the Chinese real estate market was experiencing explosive growth and rocketing housing prices. The government purposely put on a leash on the industry by promulgating tighter down-payment and financing policies, which negatively affected market demand and thus intensified market competition. In previous years, although Company S had been growing quickly in size, it still fell behind the growth rates of other leading competitors in the feverish market. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, the senior management team revealed a very ambitious plan: by 2018, the business would increase its turnover six fold and its net profit three fold compared with their 2011 levels. To achieve its goal and recapture lost glory, Company S announced a new cultural slogan — “wolf culture” — and set 2011 as the debut of the company’s next ten year plan. Soon everyone in the company began talking about wolf culture and how it fit in with the company’s current culture. A variety of meanings and implications were stretched from the specific term, and they were not shared by all. At this point, the parent company of Company S decided to put more emphasis on its real estate business, increasing pressure on Company S to recapture its leading place in the industry. The company totally reconfigured its past operations from a “high quality and high profit” model to one emphasizing expedited turnover. This required a highly performance-oriented culture to be implemented in daily operations. General managers of Company S’ city subsidiaries (the “head wolves”) came under unprecedented pressure. They were directly responsible for city companies’ financial performance, and they had to deal with the complicated individual management problems. Some faced conflicts between the corporate system and the city company’s actual conditions, while others had to simultaneously deal with slackness at work and a lack of talented staff. Students can be split into groups to assume the roles of corporate senior managers and city company general managers in order to discuss the challenges of the different roles and understand each other’s goals and constraints. The goal of the discussion is help students learn how to approach the talent management problem from different angles.
Translated title of the contributionS Real Estate Company: The Critical Moment of Reform
Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015

Case number


Case normative number


Case type


Update date


Published by



  • 国企
  • 改革
  • 文化
  • 绩效

Case studies discipline

  • Organizational Behavior
  • General Management
  • Human Resource Management

Case studies industry

  • Real Estate and Rental and Leasing


Dive into the research topics of 'S Real Estate Company: The Critical Moment of Reform'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this