Journal of International Business
Online ISSN : 2189-5694
Print ISSN : 1883-5074
ISSN-L : 1883-5074
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FOREWORD
SPECIAL TOPICS ARTICLES
  • An Investigation of The Case of Mobile Telecommunication Sector from The Perspective of Knowledge
    Masanori YASUMOTO
    2020 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 1-17
    Published: 2020
    Released: October 23, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    Facing with the increasing complexity of the system, more and more firms attempt to share their technologies with other players both within and across borders. Opening technologies as such is typically encouraged by cooperative standardization by multiple firms, which also results in technology spillovers. For the problem, it has been considered important not only to lead the standardization but also to secure intellectual property rights by acquiring patents related to the standardization.

    Yet, securing intellectual property rights through patents is reported to bring about “the paradox of openness.” Firms attempting to secure the rights to technologies have to disclose the technical information concerned at the same time. This means that the more patents firms acquire, the more spillovers of their technologies will follow. In fact, it has been revealed that emerging firms have acquired their technological development capabilities and gained competitiveness by exploiting the patents of leading firms. In this context, why can some firms lead technological and industrial developments and maintain their advantage while disclosing their technologies with a large number of patents they hold?

    To address the issue, This article focuses on the argument on the “architecture control” over an opened system. Then, this article examines the knowledge of the firms generating influential technologies (patents) that are frequently cited by other firms in the mobile telecommunication sector. The results show that accumulated system knowledge that integrates various technologies across subsystems, rather than the volume and variety of technologies (patents), can help the leading firms generate a series of technologies that can secure these firms’ architectural controls.

    Firms’ efforts on standardization and patenting encourage the openness and spillover of technologies. Nevertheless, the results above indicate that firms with system knowledge that integrates various technologies can control the developments of technologies and industries and thereby secure their advantage. In the international labor division driven by technological openness through cooperative standardization, firms to lead technological and industrial developments are required to not only focus on the standardization and patenting of individual technologies but also pour efforts to shape system knowledge behind these technologies.

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ARTICLES
  • Case studies on the effect that providing technological training have on engineers and operators
    Yutaka FUJIOKA
    2020 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 19-33
    Published: 2020
    Released: October 23, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    This research examines the effects of international horizontal transfer of production technology systems on engineers and operators who provide technological training. A production technology system is defined here as one that represents a combination or macrocosm of various production technology elements.

    Previous studies on technology transfers reveal that the main mode of international transfer of production technology systems was vertical, from parent factories in Japan to their subsidiaries overseas. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in international horizontal transfer of production technology systems, in which an overseas factory trains another subsidiary in a different country.

    This study developed the following two propositions: whether technical guidance can positively affect the development of (1) human skill and (2) conceptual skill, of engineers and operators as trainers in international horizontal transfer of production technology systems. These propositions are verified through exploratory case studies of two Japanese multinational manufacturers.

    Consequently, it was revealed that technical guidance directly contributes to fostering both human and conceptual skills of engineers and operators who provide the training. Moreover, technical guidance may indirectly contribute in particular to the development of conceptual skill, through the explicitness of production technology systems.

    These findings provide new theoretical angles with which to consider who can best teach and create organizational knowledge, who can instruct and grow the most, and what kind of relationship between the trainer and the teaching material can most effectively nurture the trainer.

    However, these are the case study results of just two Japanese multinational manufacturers, and their external validity is not necessarily high. In addition, they may be overlooking other important control variables. Therefore, this author would like to examine in future this study’s validity by quantitatively reverifying its propositions with large-scale samples while controlling other significant variables.

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  • An Empirical Study Based on the Theory of Optimum Stimulation Level
    Hiroyasu FURUKAWA, Kyung-Tae LEE
    2020 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 35-47
    Published: 2020
    Released: October 23, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    We examine the effect of cosmopolitanism on novelty- and variety-seeking activities. Consumers with a global mindset that seek cultural diversity are emerging and are referred to as cosmopolitan consumers. They are open-minded, appreciate diversity, and consume imported products. Therefore, they recognize not only a domestic market but also a global market. Consid-ering the increasing number of cosmopolitan consumers, they are assumed to seek new information about unfamiliar products (novelty seeking) and try various products (variety seeking) from the world market. However, the relationships between cosmopolitanism and novelty- and vari-ety-seeking activities are unknown. Thus, we show here the effect of cosmopolitanism on novelty and variety seeking based on optimum stimulation level (OSL) theory.

    An online survey by a research company was conducted for data analysis. A total of 806 Japanese consumers participated and shared their consumption activity about fast-moving con-sumer goods and smartphones. Results confirmed a positive and null effect of cosmopolitanism on novelty seeking and variety seeking, respectively. However, a positive effect of cosmopolitanism on variety seeking was found in samples with low preference for domestic products. Furthermore, the results confirmed the positive effect of OSL on novelty and variety seeking and positive effect of novelty seeking on variety seeking.

    Our results demonstrate the mechanism of how cosmopolitanism increases novelty- and varietyseeking activities. Our study’s theoretical extension on OSL contributes to international business studies. To achieve market entry, identifying an appropriate target market is critically needed. Cosmopolitan consumers tend to seek novelty information and consumers with low pref-erence for domestic products tend to seek product variety. Novelty and variety seekers are usually considered as either innovators or early adapters. That is, targeting cosmopolitan consumers has a potential for stimulating international sales.

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  • Katsuhiro INAMURA
    2020 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 49-64
    Published: 2020
    Released: October 23, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    While prior research on staffing in multinational subsidiaries has reported that staffing decisions have a substantial influence on the performance of the subsidiaries, empirical findings are mixed. Focusing on the change in a host country’s institutional environment, this study investigates how the environmental change in China as a host country affects the relationship between subsidiary staffing decisions and performance. Evidence from 355 subsidiaries of the Japanese companies in pre- and post-WTO China shows that the localization of top managers has a positive influence on subsidiary performance in pre-WTO China, but in contrast, it has a negative influence in post-WTO China. Those results suggest that the influence of top manager staffing on subsidiary performance is dependent on the host country’s institutional environment and that the relationship between them can change over time along with the change in the institutional environment within a country.

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  • A Case Study of a Multinational Corporation’s Regional Headquarter
    Hui PAN, Yasuo SUGIYAMA
    2020 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 65-80
    Published: 2020
    Released: October 23, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    The form and roles of regional organization adapted to the regional strategies in MNC are relatively unexplored issue in the existing literature of international management. In particular, most existing research on regional headquarters (RHQs) describes their forms and roles, but few studies discuss changes of them. This paper attempts to reveal the dynamic process of the changing role of RHQs and analyzes its driving forces through a case study. We focus on Asian Regional Headquarter of Japanese multinational automobile supplier. We describe the co-evolution of subsidiaries’ capabilities, regional environment, and the Regional Headquarters’ functions. Through the lens of this evolutionary perspective, unlike with the previous studies, we argue that the functions of Regional Headquarters change all the time. The changes are driven by both the capabilities of associated subsidiaries in the region and the environment of the region, which are in turn, influenced by the activities of the regional headquarters. Furthermore, by showing this dynamic mechanism, we have suggested the impact of regional organizations on the growth of multinational corporations as a whole.

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NOTES
  • -From the Perspective of Foreign born Human Resources and H1-B Visa -
    Takabumi HAYASHI, Atsuho NAKAYAMA
    2020 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 81-94
    Published: 2020
    Released: October 23, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    This paper redefines the internationalization of R & D based on the nationality of the inventor of those patented technologies, thereby clarifies the limitations of internationalization of R & D using conventional methods.

    When we rely on the approach, the internationalization of research and development of these U.S. IT companies will appear different from the past.

    The utilization of foreign-born R & D personnel in the United States with H1-B visas by these IT multinational companies in the United States played a role that could no longer be ignored in the creation of new science and technology knowledge. This implies that new R & D internationalization indicators that take into account the use of these companies' new foreign nationals at home and abroad are essential.

    When examining the cases of US IT major eight MNCs, especially GAFA's, the following point can be pointed out. When looking at the knowledge creation mechanism of patented technology inventions of these companies from the perspective of international R&D system, there is not only the crossborder aspect of R & D, but also foreign R & D personnel in the United States.

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  • A Case Study of United Arrows
    Shinichiro HORIUCHI
    2020 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 95-109
    Published: 2020
    Released: October 23, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    In this paper, the authors interviewed concerned personnel and conducted a field survey in the stores in Taiwan (UA Taiwan) to analyze international expansion and overseas international human resource management in United Arrows Ltd. (UA), which is a large corporation listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and operates a large-scale business chain under the business category “specialty boutiques”, small retailers in fashion industry.

    As a result, it was found that this company, which has developed a chain of directly-managed stores in Japan and provides customer service centered on regular employees, has established wholly-owned subsidiaries in Taiwan with 100% financing and is expanding their directly-managed stores as they have done in Japan.

    UA Taiwan relies on PCNs for management of subsidiaries and international transfer of services - executives, including the president of a subsidiary, concurrently serve as non-resident executive-level personnel, and Japanese dispatchers play an important role in international transfer of services as local managers. On the other hand, it also provides customer service centered on regular employees led by HCN store managers like in Japan.

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