Expatriate performance management and firm internationalization: Australian multinationals in China

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 2011, 49 (3), pp. 365 - 384
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This paper presents the results of an empirical study exploring the expatriate performance management systems of 16 Australian multinational firms operating in China. The results show that highly internationalized firms tend to be better at deploying the 'hard' components of performance management (goal-setting and performance appraisals), and yet most firms, and in particular highly internationalized ones, are poor at managing 'soft' control mechanisms like training and mentoring. The results give some support for the notion that expatriate performance management takes on increased importance as a firm's international operations become more dispersed; however, it also suggests a lack of appreciation of the value of soft control mechanisms in achieving this. The study contributes to international human resource management literature by identifying the relationship between the degree of internationalization of firms and the nature of expatriate performance management. © The Author(s) 2011.
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