Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 215–230

The regional nature of Japanese multinational business


DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400347

Cite this article as:
Collinson, S. & Rugman, A. J Int Bus Stud (2008) 39: 215. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400347


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.


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

Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Warwick Business School, The University of WarwickCoventryUK
  2. 2.Kelley School of Business, Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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