Article

Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 215-230

First online:

The regional nature of Japanese multinational business

  • Simon CollinsonAffiliated withWarwick Business School, The University of Warwick Email author 
  • , Alan M RugmanAffiliated withKelley School of Business, Indiana University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

In the world's largest 500 firms, there are 64 Japanese multinational enterprises (MNEs) with data on regional sales, but only three operate globally; whereas 57 of them average over 80% of their sales and foreign assets in their home region. Why is there such a strong intra-regional dimension to their activities? Using empirical data and a new framework for analysing both downstream (sales) assets and upstream (production) assets we analyse why most large Japanese firms appear to have firm-specific advantages (FSAs) that are based in their home region. A structural contingency approach is applied to two case studies to explain how home-region-bound FSAs constrained the ability of Japanese MNEs to implement internationalisation strategies.

Keywords

Japan multinational enterprises firm-specific advantage regional strategy structural contingency approach internationalisation