The purpose of this study is to analyze MNC expatriates in Japan, and we do this for the biggest 643 Japan-based foreign MNC. This research covers specifically the performance and expatriation and does this in three specific fields: the relative size, the level of ownership in percentage, and the age of the MNC in Japan. We basically ask a simple question: Do companies with expatriates outperform the other companies which rely on local staff? We find a positive correlation between expatriation and the performance of the Japan-based foreign MNC affiliates. Better performing affiliates tend to be led by expatriate top managers and there are also more expatriates on the board. The higher the ownership share of the affiliate, the higher the chance of expatriate top manager representation and the more expatriate board members are sent to the Japan-based foreign MNC affiliates. The performance correlates also positively with the percentage of ownership. Concerning relative size and expatriation, we find partial confirmation. The relative size of the affiliates correlates positively (at least) to expatriate board members but negatively to performance. The age did not show any correlation with either expatriation or performance.
Ralf Bebenroth is an associate professor at the Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration at Kobe University where he teaches both economics and business administration in Japanese language. Besides, he is trustee in the biggest Japanese Forest Association (NPO Houjin 22 seiki yama-mori saisei netto). Ralf Bebenroth also consults to German investments, especially in the Kansai area.