IHRM and expatriation in Japanese MNCs: HRM practices and their impact on adjustment and job performance

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Furusawa, M. ; Brewster, Chris (2016)

Studies of international human resource management (IHRM) have pointed out that Japanese multinational companies (MNCs) tend to use more parent-country nationals (PCNs) than do western MNCs. The ethnocentric staffing policies imply that the management of expatriation has a greater influence on the success of Japanese MNCs. We use survey data from 149 Japanese repatriates to examine the relationship between IHRM practices – selection, preparation and corporate support – and expatriate adjustment and job performance, as well as identify differences by the location of assignment. We find that selection criteria, language ability and familiarity with local cultures are positively related to work adjustment, and that leadership and relational abilities are slightly associated with job performance though there were no significant relationships between considerations for family situations and adjustment or job performance. The results also reveal that HRM practices while abroad, in particular the interactive exchange of information between expatriates and the headquarters, have a significant influence. Pre-departure preparation programs are not related to the dependent variables. The data also suggests that living and working in China is a particular problem for Japanese expatriates.
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