The worldwide research on corporate real estate management (CREM) over the past decades leaves no doubt that this area has a decisive influence on the success of a company. However, there are still great uncertainties about the impact of CREM decisions on the firm success and the underlying causal relationships. Depending on the perspective from which CREM decisions are made, the goals and the targeted contributions to success can vary greatly. In research work, CREM has been for example examined from the perspectives of the labour productivity at the workplace, the influence on competitiveness in sales and factor markets, the financial contribution in context of corporate finance or the efficient provision of real estate resources from the viewpoint of construction and the real estate industry. In their influence on the success of a company, CREM decisions can result in competing, complementary or independent effects. Empirical studies show that the high complexity of the target system is one of the most important challenges for CREM. So far, there is no holistic concept that explains the different success contributions of CREM in their mechanisms and classifies them holistically. The purpose of this article is to develop a holistic model to explain the relationship between CREM decisions and business success and to test it empirically.

In a first step, a literature-based multidimensional framework for corporate real estate's contribution to corporate success is derived. In a second step, the framework has been validated empirically on the basis of a dataset collected from computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) among the CREM managers of the 200 largest German companies. The answers of the decision makers are positioned in a solution space using multidimensional scaling. This is followed by an comparison whether the empirically generated structure represents the dimensions and mechanisms of the framework. Finally, hierarchical-agglomerative cluster analyses are performed to validate the results.

The results show that the influence of CREM on corporate success can be divided into three mechanisms: operating performance, real estate performance and financial performance. On the other hand, CREM success can be differentiated according to its maturity. If both considerations are combined, the result is a two-dimensional framework that contains all the effects of CREM on the firm success. The mechanisms of the framework can be empirically confirmed in their essential elements. The article provides an overview of the very broad, interdisciplinary literature on the connection between corporate real estate management and corporate success. The mechanisms are systematised in a holistic concept. The deeper understanding of the different CREM effects on corporate success is the basis for the effective development of CREM concepts in theory and practice.