Variations in the Asian collectivistic working culture in intercultural collaboration

A case of a South Korean Company in Malaysia

Kim Keum Hyun, Seung Yoan Rou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined the prevailing differences between the collectivistic values of South Korean and Malaysian workers in a multinational company operating in Malaysia. Descriptive data from participant observations and in-depth interviews were used to scrutinize the background of the variations in the collectivistic values, their impact on the employees’ behaviour and the intercultural conflicts between the two parties. This empirical work observed that South Korean and Malaysian workers shared the same elements of collectivistic values. However, their interaction revealed variations in the target group of loyalty in the process of achieving solidarity and object of commitment. In short, the dominant values perceived in this analysis manifested strong orientation towards family, teamwork, and the relationship among the Malaysian workers whilst South Korean workers prioritized organizational interests, loyalty, and uniformity for the sake of solidarity and sense of belonging. Findings of this study also suggested how the variations in the collectivistic values have led to a differing interpretation of the situation, work, and relationship, thus resulting in diverse approaches in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1633-1650
Number of pages18
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Volume26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Malaysia
worker
Values
loyalty
solidarity
target group
teamwork
participant observation
workplace
employee
Asia
Workers
commitment
interpretation
interaction
interview
Loyalty
Solidarity

Keywords

  • Collectivistic values
  • Intercultural collaboration
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Working culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

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