A corporate network allows an enterprise to gain competitive advantages in an era of exploding needs for geographically dispersed information processing. A corporate network is made up of LANs linked by WANs. This paper provides a framework for its performance management. The framework, in the form of a life cycle, is broken down into demand forecasting, internetworking, data distribution, local configuration, performance evaluation, and system operation. By viewing a corporate network as an integrated entity, this framework replaces an ineffective and often ad hoc approach with structured and integrated management. A transaction delay model is proposed for managing user performance effectively. Furthermore, a design support system is developed and a real-life case is illustrated to demonstrate the applicability of the framework and model. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.