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The determinants of expatriate staffing by Japanese multinationals in Asia: control, learning and vertical business groups


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  • Ren� A Belderbos

    (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

  • Mari�lle G Heijltjes

    (Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands)


We empirically examine the determinants of the decision whether or not to appoint an expatriate as the managing director of overseas affiliates for a sample of 844 Japanese manufacturing affiliates operating in Asia in 1995. Confirmation is found for hypotheses derived both from a control and coordination perspective on expatriation and from a knowledge creation and learning perspective. Strategic dependence of the parent on the affiliate increases the propensity to appoint expatriates, whereas localisation of the affiliate reduces it. Organisational experience in the country, both by the affiliate and by the firm, increases the probability that host country nationals will be appointed. Inter-firm relationships within vertical keiretsu groups impact on expatriation policies through inter-organisational knowledge exchange in host countries and the mitigation of localisation requirements owing to intra-group transactions. Journal of International Business Studies (2005) 36, 341–354. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400135

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 36 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 341-354

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Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:36:y:2005:i:3:p:341-354

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Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK

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Cited by:
  1. Shujiro Urata & Toshiyuki Matsuura & Yuhong Wei, 2006. "International Intrafirm Transfer of Management Technology by Japanese Multinational Corporations," Discussion papers 06006, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  2. Chiao, Yu-Ching & Yu, Chwo-Ming Joseph & Peng, Ju-Tzu Ann, 2009. "Partner nationality, market-focus and IJV performance: A contingent approach," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 238-249, July.
  3. Peng, George Z. & Beamish, Paul W., 2014. "MNC subsidiary size and expatriate control: Resource-dependence and learning perspectives," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 51-62.
  4. Chung, Hsi-Mei, 2014. "The role of family management and ownership on semi-globalization pattern of globalization: The case of family business groups," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 260-271.
  5. Riaz, Suhaib & Glenn Rowe, W. & Beamish, Paul W., 2014. "Expatriate-deployment levels and subsidiary growth: A temporal analysis," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-11.
  6. Naoki Ando & Dong Kee Rhee & Namgyoo Park, 2008. "Parent country nationals or local nationals for executive positions in foreign affiliates: An empirical study of Japanese affiliates in Korea," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 113-134, January.


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