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An empirical study on expatriation success of MNCs: evidence from Japan

Yanghua Zhou (Sakushin Gakuin University, Utsunomiya, Japan)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 17 July 2020

Issue publication date: 19 May 2021




The purpose of this study is to address the research gap and quantitatively examine how the psychological contracts (PCs) between Japanese expatriates and Japanese multinational corporations (MNCs) influence the expatriation success of both Japanese expatriates and Japanese MNCs.


This study constitutes exploratory research, using a quantitative analysis as the main research method and a qualitative approach as a complement. A questionnaire survey was conducted, and data from 100 Japanese expatriate respondents were analyzed.


The results indicate that the fulfillment of PCs is indeed important for expatriation success. The age factor of expatriates also has significant impact on expatriation success. There is no complementary relationship between the fulfillment of Japanese expatriates and MNCs.

Research limitations/implications

Other organization variables may also be considered. Future research could also examine organizations' perceptions of Japanese expatriates' fulfillment of PCs. It is necessary for developing advanced methods to conduct increasingly precise research and provide improved methodological contributions.

Practical implications

The efforts of both individual expatriates and MNCs are therefore indispensable to achieve successful expatriation. Attention should be paid to the training and development of younger expatriates.


This study allows the author to address the gap in studies regarding the expatriation success of both Japanese MNCs and expatriates from the perspective of PCs. This study has created a scale to measure the expatriation success. This study explores the interaction effect of the fulfillment of PCs by expatriates and MNCs, which has not been addressed in the literature on expatriation success.



I wish to express my deep appreciation for Professors and other members in the editorial board for their support. I would also like to thank the anonymous referees for their important comments. Additionally, I am incredibly grateful to those interviewees and respondents who answered my questionnaire.


Zhou, Y. (2021), "An empirical study on expatriation success of MNCs: evidence from Japan", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 394-408.



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