2000, Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien, Tōkyō.
This paper analyzes the international management control (IMC) system that Japanese multinational companies (MNCs) employ to coordinate the activities of their subsidiaries in China. It focuses on the role of Japanese expatriates in this IMC system and assesses their performance. In the process, it offers a comprehensive evaluation of the organizational fit of the Japanese IMC model within the current Chinese business environment. Taking Japanese firms as its the subject, the analysis identifies areas of incongruity explains the underlying reasons for problems with the IMC model. In doing so, this paper argues that the Japanese expatriate-based control system in China (as in many other parts of the world) continues to be characterized by an ethnocentrism that prevents a real internationalization of overseas operations in the ‘transnational’ sense.