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National Culture of Malaysia Essay

Professor Geert Hofstede conducted one of the most comprehensive studies of how values in workplace are influenced by culture. He defines these dimensions as follows: Power Distance: ‘the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) expect and accept that power is distributed unequally’. Uncertainty Avoidance: ‘intolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity’. Individualism versus Collectivism: ‘the extent to which individuals are integrated into groups’. Masculinity versus Femininity: ‘assertiveness and competitiveness versus modesty and caring’.

Figure 1 Figure 1 shows the statistic of national culture in Malaysia through the lens of the 5-D Models. From the graph, we can get a deep overview of Malaysia culture relative to other world culture.

1) Power Distance: Malaysia has a high power distance because of the hierarchy system among people. The hierarchy is referred to the rank (Tan Sri, Datuk, Puan Sri), the level of knowledge (Professor, Doctor) or the seniority (grandpa, grandma, brother, sister). The value of the high power distance is respect and humble. It is ethically when employee give respect to their manager.

2) Individualism: Malaysia is categorized as collectivism because Malaysia emphasizes the good of the group, community, or society over and above individual gain. Three difference races (Chinese, Indian and Malay) are working together to develop the economy of Malaysia and increasing the quality of life. The value of collectivism is support and unity to gain equal advantages. It is non-ethical if these difference races do not respect each other and have racial bias.

3) Masculinity: Masculine cultures are described as being dominated by money and power relationships and often are results-oriented while feminine cultures are more connected with interpersonal relationship and process-oriented. From figure 1, Malaysia possesses masculinity and femininity culture. The masculinity culture in organization is characterized as command structure and expects employees to obey the instructions without questions. Meanwhile, femininity culture more focused on sharing emotions, democratic, cooperation and communication.

4) Uncertainty avoidance: Uncertainty avoidance is about the way approached by society to avoid unknown situation in the future. Malaysia is categorize as low uncertainty avoidance because individuals are less concerned by the ambiguity and uncertainty and have a greater tolerance for a variety of option. Such society are less ruleoriented, take more risks and more ready to accept change. In multinational corporation environment, the need for the product development processes and organizational routines are increases to generate competitive advantage in multiple nations. Low uncertainty avoidance can create the value of critical thinking among employee to solve the problem and cultivate the sense of responsibility for the decision making. It is an ethical situation for being prepared for the uncertainty and generate creative and innovative person in the country.

Malaysia nowadays can be categorized as masculinity culture. People are live in order to work. Money and power is the sign of success driven by the competition and achievement. The value of the masculinity is the competiveness between workers to become the best and gain profit. It is ethical when we are trying our best to obtain great income or improve our quality of life.

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