Purpose - This study tries to explore through multiple case studies how expatriate performance management is conducted in multinational enterprises (MNEs) of different national origins. Design/methodology/approach - Multiple interviews were conducted with expatriate employees and human resource managers of five MNE subsidiaries operating in the information technology industry, namely, Applied Material (American), Philips (Dutch), Hitachi (Japanese), Samsung (Korean), and Winbond (Taiwan). Findings - The findings show that all of the firms surveyed use standardized performance forms set by headquarters, which are not tailored to local operating environments. Also, lack of on-the-job training for expatriates was found to be prevalent among the five MNE subsidiaries. Divergent practices in goal setting, performance appraisal, and performance-related pay were largely attributed to the parent company's culture. The nature of the expatriate mission was another reason for different arrangements in expatriate performance management. Originality/value - This study is one of the first to explore expatriate performance management practices of multinational firms. There does not seem to exist a prevalent form of expatriate performance management and such a practice is to some extent more strongly subjected to the influence of the parent company's culture.
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