Self-administered questionnaire was employed to gather data for this study. The survey instrument was developed using several different questionnaires as a guide[8,19,24]. First part of the questionnaire consists of thirty-eight items, which seek to know the perception of local managers towards their career advancement opportunities in their companies compared to their Japanese counterparts of the same standing. This covers six areas: perceived barriers of control of power and decision making authority, opportunities for promotion, benefits and compensation system, performance appraisal, feedback and lastly stereotype and discrimination. A five-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) was employed. All the six perceived barriers have acceptable reliability estimates, the Cronbach’s Alpha value ranged from .74 to .83. The second part of the questionnaire seeks information on the company and respondent’s background.
A pilot study was arranged with 30 local managers that were available to help with improvement of the questionnaire. Their feedback and comments led the questionnaire to be revised so that the final form of the questionnaire was deemed to consist of questions that all the respondents could be able to answer without difficulty. A reliability test on the questionnaire was undertaken using SPSS software and almost all the Cronbach’s Alpha value were well above .70. Indeed, in some cases the alpha values were above .80. Having validated the questionnaire through pilot testing, a sample of 543 local managers working in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing Japanese subsidiaries in Malaysia were randomly selected from the list of “Japanese Related Companies in Malaysia” provided by Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO). The survey was mailed to local managers at their respective subsidiaries. The response rate was initially not encouraging and thus reminders were sent out. Furthermore the researchers have made personal telephone calls to most of the respondents to improve the response rate. As a result, 317 valid responses were received which the researchers felt to be reasonable for this kind of study. Taking into account the invalid responses and undelivered survey, the response rate for this study was 69%.