Japanese firms and the decline of the Japanese expatriate

Paul W. Beamish, Andrew Inkpen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional wisdom holds that Japanese firms use large numbers of expatriates and are reluctant to allow local nationals a significant role in subsidiary management. Japanese firms have been criticized for their unwillingness to capitalize on the internal diversity in their international managerial ranks. It has been suggested that a rice paper ceiling in Japanese firms restricts local managers from advancement opportunities and involvement in corporate-level decision making. The research reported in this paper directly challenges the notion that Japanese firms are unwilling to reduce their use of expatriates. Using a comprehensive database of Japanese subsidiaries, this paper shows that the number of Japanese expatriates is declining and has been for some time. One explanation for this decline is that Japanese firms have had no choice because of a limited supply of managers for expatriate positions. A second explanation is that Japanese firms are beginning to recognize the importance of empowering local management and are becoming more truly global in how they compete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of World Business
Volume33
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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Expatriates
Japanese firms
Subsidiaries
Managers
Wisdom
Data base
Decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing
  • Finance

Cite this

Japanese firms and the decline of the Japanese expatriate. / Beamish, Paul W.; Inkpen, Andrew.

In: Journal of World Business, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1998, p. 35-50.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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