Top Management Characteristics of Foreign MNC Affiliates and Affiliate Performance in Japan: Knowledge-Based and Upper Echelon Perspectives


Drawing from the knowledge-based view of MNCs and the upper echelon perspective, we examine the relationship between top management characteristics of MNC affiliates and affiliate performance. Using a sample of 643 foreign MNC affiliates operating in Japan, we found that when the length of an affiliate operation was shorter, the affiliate performed better under the expatriate managing director rather than the Japanese manager. We also found that when the size of an affiliate was larger and the length of operation was shorter, the affiliate performed better under the larger rather than smaller proportion of expatriates in top management teams. Implications for research and practice of top management staffing of MNC foreign affiliates are discussed.

Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University

Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: (81) 78 803 7036
Fax: (81) 78 803 7059

Donghao LI
Wakayama University