E-Management: In Control, 10 Time Zones Away

Thanks to new technology, managers now run businesses around the world without leaving the U.S.

One of the small triumphs of global commerce is that anyone who craves Cajun-spiced drumsticks can now find them at 285 Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits restaurants in 21 countries, from Australia to Saudi Arabia. But the worldwide spread of America's fat-drenched fast food is an old story. What's new is the way that more and more of these businesses are run: by managers based in the U.S. who direct and assist their overseas branches through the Internet, e-mail, phone and videoconferencing. Call them virtual bosses. They offer a more efficient way for hundreds of U.S. multinational firms--from restaurant franchisers and hoteliers...

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