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ATLANTA-With major corporations centralizing corporate real estate departments, there are fewer executives running those departments, according to a recent CoreNet Global Applied Research Center study.

While the study, “Corporate Real Estate Trends in Organizational Structure,” found a few examples of departments being run by 10 or fewer people, most departments are run by larger staffs. The study points to globalization and outsourcing as the reasons behind the centralization of corporate real estate. The findings are based on surveys of 56 of 112 invited experts in the corporate real estate industry. The experts were comprised 89% by end users–94% of which hailed from Fortune 500 companies–and 11% by service providers.

“The evolutionary cycle of the corporate real estate department is in overdrive,” says CoreNet Global director of global research Eric Bowles. “We predicted with 2004′s Corporate Real Estate 2010 report that centralization would occur, but globalization and outsourcing has greatly accelerated its occurrence.”

The study also found that there are wide variations in sizes of departments, outsourced organizations still need senior managers inside, increased centralization is more for cost reduction and less for driving mission and conflict arises between centralization and the need for flexibility and speed.

“Centralization has tied the hands of many companies which on the one hand want to be innovative, flexible and progressive, but on the other face the cold reality of cost control and efficiency,” Bowles says.

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