Culture Blog


Cultural Intelligence – The Cure to Stereotyping

“I prefer hiring candidates from ethnicity A because those from ethnicity B are generally lazy and unproductive.” “Ladies do not make good bosses because they’re typically mean, controlling and moody all the time.” “Oh no, I’ve got a Millennial on my project team. These Millennials always feel they are so […]


When Is Conflict not a Conflict?

When you notice two people speaking very loudly and gesturing animatedly, would you assume they are arguing or just having a normal conversation? Or when someone comments negatively on the work you produce, does that affect you emotionally as a person? Do you welcome disagreements or challenges to your idea […]


Dealing with Conflict Across Cultures

During a regional management meeting several years ago, Donald (an Australian manager working in Singapore) delivered his progress update and unashamedly claimed full credit for the data gathering and completion of a particular project. The irony was that the actual contributors (Malaysians and Singaporeans) to the project of whom he […]


Leveraging Our Treasured Malaysian Cultural Values to Elevate Customer Service Standards

After a month of waiting, my car is finally back in commission following a replacement of a defective automotive part. My customer service experience was fraught with long waiting periods, lack of progress updates, unanswered calls and the general we-can’t-help-you-much-and-you-will-just-have-to-wait attitude. Even though my car was finally ready for collection, […]


Are You Known for Responding in a Timely Manner?

Ronald requires a third-party reviewer to provide feedback on his recent evaluation report for a construction project. He sent the documents via email to his peer, Thomas, two weeks ago but has not received a response. He decides to send a reminder email to Thomas. When Ronald returns to the […]


3 Keys to Developing Critical Thinking for Malaysians – From Local to Global

Let us imagine that you work as a senior finance personnel in the Kuala Lumpur branch of a multinational pharmaceutical organization. Recently, a decision was made to standardize your finance processes across all regions so as to create a One Finance Team rather than individual silos that operate with varying […]


The Valued Contributor vs The Silent Observer – Which Are You?

Have you ever had a 15-minute internal conversation with yourself to decide if you should share your idea or not, just to have your colleague voice out the exact same idea during a company meeting? And when that same idea was hailed as a fantastic solution to the problem at […]


3 Steps to Making Your Value Known When Working with Western Cultures

The Head of Project Management, an American named Michael, has called for a team meeting to discuss the details of an upcoming new project that is scheduled to begin in two weeks’ time. He has asked the team to be prepared to cover all aspects of the project – time, […]


Part 2: “It’s Not Part of My Job Description” – Malaysians Working Globally

Having worked for a multinational company for the past two and a half years, Rosita feels that she should be given a promotion with an increased salary for her contributions so far. She makes the request to her manager, Martin, during her annual performance review meeting. Martin, who has been […]


“It’s Not Part of My Job Description” – Working with Malaysians

Brian, a British expat living in Malaysia, receives an early morning email and walks over to one of his subordinates. Brian:        Zul, Nadia is on leave but one of her clients has just called up and requested for some information about their account. Can you help to […]