One way or another? An international comparison of expatriate performance management in multinational companies

Anna Katharina Bader, Benjamin Bader, Fabian Jintae Froese*, Tomoki Sekiguchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to the high costs and strategic importance of expatriate assignments, expatriate performance management (EPM) plays an increasingly important role for multinational enterprises (MNEs). However, research on EPM is still in its infancy. Drawing from the convergence/divergence debate in international human resource management, this study investigates and compares EPM strategies and practices across MNEs from three different country clusters to better understand whether EPM practices tend to converge, diverge, or crossverge (i.e., show aspects of both). Results from surveying 132 Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and Japanese MNEs reveal prominent differences (divergence) at the EPM strategic level such that Japanese MNEs tend to pursue more ethnocentric staffing strategies and design EPM systems specifically tailored to expatriates. On the practice level, we found both commonalities and differences between Japanese and Anglo-Saxon and Germanic MNEs, pointing toward crossvergence. Theoretical and practical implications of our results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-752
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue number5
Early online date16 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Human Resource Management published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • comparative human resource management
  • convergence
  • divergence
  • expatriate
  • expatriate performance management

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