Variations in the Asian Collectivistic Working Culture in Intercultural Collaboration: A Case of a South Korean Company in Malaysia
Kim Keum Hyun and Rou Seung Yoan
Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 26, Issue 3, September 2018
Keywords: Collectivistic values, intercultural collaboration, Malaysia, South Korea, working culture
Published on: 28 Sep 2018
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.