Purpose – This study aims to examine the impact of various human resource management strategies on the performance management of the managers of international subsidiaries, who have been termed inpatriate managers. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative methodology was used to explore the influence of various strategies on the inpatriate manager's performance management, in a sector of the Australian healthcare industry. Findings – Evidence emerged from the study that the type of human resource strategy used by a multinational corporation may have a significant impact on the purpose and acceptability of the entire performance management process. Research limitations/implications – This study is not without limitations. The sample size is not large enough for generalizations and the research was restricted to the healthcare industry in Australia. Practical implications – A constructive six-step solution is provided, for improving the international performance management process. Originality/value – The findings in this study are important for two reasons. First, the study has identified a central, yet neglected employee in the international business research arena, the inpatriate manager. Past research has focused heavily on expatriate staffing but rarely considers the inpatriate manager. Second, the study contributes to a fuller understanding of the impact of strategy on performance management, which has been identified as a vital process for organizational competitiveness. Therefore, this study represents a valuable step in the development of international business research.