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The Changing Japanese Multinational: Application, Adaptation and Learning in Car Manufacturing and Financial Services

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  • Richard Whitley
  • William Kelly
  • Diana Sharpe
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    Abstract

    The combination of increasingly international operations, the continuing domestic recession, and the gradual opening of the Japanese economy to foreign investment might be expected to change many features of Japanese multinational companies. In particular, the level and mode of central control of overseas units, especially their reliance on expatriate managers, could change as firms become more willing to use foreign subsidiaries as sources of innovation and learning rather than as delivery pipelines for domestically designed and developed products. These changes are more likely in sectors dominated by non-Japanese firms, such as international financial services. Interviews with managers of 14 Japanese manufacturing and financial service firms in the UK and Japan confirmed substantial differences in their internationalization patterns in the 1990s, both between and within sectors. Car manufacturers in particular invested major resources in transferring significant features of their domestic operations to UK units, usually with expatriate managers, and one was investing in developing an international cadre of managers. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 (05)
    Pages: 643-672

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:3:p:643-672

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    Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2380

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    Cited by:
    1. Hadjimarcou, John & Brouthers, Lance E. & McNicol, Jason P. & Michie, Donald E., 2013. "Maquiladoras in the 21st century: Six strategies for success," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 207-217.
    2. Sharpe, Diana Rosemary, 2006. "Shop floor practices under changing forms of managerial control: A comparative ethnographic study of micro-politics, control and resistance within a Japanese multinational," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 318-339, September.
    3. Soltani, Ebrahim & Wilkinson, Adrian, 2011. "The Razor's edge: Managing MNC affiliates in Iran," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 462-475, October.

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