To what extent have Japanese automobile – Toyota manufacturers been able to retain their competitive position as multinationals in international markets.
Analysis and Structure:
1. make cross-industry and cross-country comparisons amongst Asia Pacific multinationals. Consider therefore a number of perspectives, including the aims of Japanese multinationals in relation to global strategies.
2. When did the Toyota move towards FDI? Where did the investment go? Are there differences in FDI histories or patterns with other industries or countries? How and when did a firm become an MNE or TNC? Why did firms decide to become multinationals? What therefore was their strategy or motivation? Entry mode? Are differences in strategy and capabilities because of timing of FDI, because manufacturers are unlike services, or because multinationals come from different countries? To what extent are choices and decisions related to existing FDI theories and approaches? Have selected firms, industries or nations been market, efficiency, resource or asset seeking? Are there different patterns in the timing, location, strategy and entry mode of multinationals from different nations?
3. How did MNEs, once they have decided to ‘multinational-ize’, succeed as multinationals? What O advantages, capabilities or resources did they possess to succeed, or what advantages, capabilities or resources did they need to acquire or develop when ‘multinational-izing’? Does the case fit the OLI or the LLL framework better?
(a) Production and operations? Management of global production chains, or SCM?
(b) R&D, innovation?
(c) Brand, design, product, and marketing? Distribution networks or relations?
(d) Management skills and experience? Human resource management skills, training?
(e) Building external networks and client relations, in host economies, as in service industry?
(f) Access to resources such as finance and capital? Or key supplies?
4. Management and organization. To what extent have strategic needs evolved after the act of FDI, and how is this related to management, organisation, levels of centralization, decentralization, or regionalization? Employment of expatriates v locals? Usefulness of FDI theories and approaches?
5. Role of government in stimulating inward FDI, and allowing and supporting outward FDI? Notion of institutional advantage? Political economy and macro-economic perspectives in FDI theories and approaches?
6. Conclusion. AP multinationals have some common characteristics that have allowed them to compete globally and in Europe, alongside companies from North America and Europe? Or differences between AP nations fundamental? Japanese, Korean or Chinese multinationals show very specific and important differences? Or differences between industries more important? Or general trends in 1980s, 1990s, or since 2000 show similar pattern over time?