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Malaysian Managers Essay

Although it would all seem that Mills was geared towards the American perspective of leadership, he writes that there is something lacking with the American point of view in management, which can be found among Asian, Malaysians included: Humility. Americans tend to have the superiority complex that goes with the power. Once they get within a stone’s throw to the top level management, they tend to look only for themselves and not be geared towards the welfare of the people that they are managing.

One comparative advantage of Asian leaders, particularly Malaysian executives is that they tend to be more worker-oriented as the level of management goes higher. They tend to have this uncanny ability to grasp more knowledge on the welfare of their workers as their position gets higher. This may be attributed to the fact that they came from the same perspective. Mills explains this fact by saying that as the position of a Malaysian manager gets higher, he tends to compete with other managers, not by their accomplishments for the company but on he manages the people that reports to him.

He tends to show that he is more attached emotionally and mentally with his staff to promote his

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higher degree management skills. Americans lack this skill, often overlooked by them as they get higher to the level of management. They tend to forget how it feels to be of the lower part of the company and focuses more on achieving the higher position, which would again lead us into the concept of their superiority as they get higher. So what’s the biggest advantage of Americans?

Kerka(2003) explains that America can be a host of a lot of cultures. This tends to make Americans be adapted and complacent on the fact that although there are other cultures thrive in their territory, they would still survive. It becomes a way of life to them to live with and learn other cultures. Americans tend to grow up in an environment where they would know the twists and turns of a certain culture. Malaysians, on the other hand, are people that may have seen foreigners before, but not exactly lived with them for a long period of time.

Although this points out that this may be the main reason why Malaysians would try to compete with their American counterparts: justification on who would be better. This further explains why Americans can easily adopt to other territories that they venture into for business. So, what conclusions can we draw from these facts that we have presented? Both cultures tend to have differences that may arise from the cultures of their respective countries or the environment where they grew up in. Americans have the comparative advantage in terms of adaptability, emotionality, and passion for work.

Malaysians, on the other hand, exhibit strong emotional resonance towards their subordinates, dependability and self-accountability: the values that are only suited in their own country for practice. Culture plays a great role in how these different managers act in their respective companies as it somehow tells the managers what to do in certain situations that calls for their judgments. These differences may also show the differences in level of development and progress. Further studies may show that the Americans used to be like Malaysians in management and just evolved to the way they manage companies nowadays.

Future developments, such as searching for markets abroad, Malaysians may also evolve to the same line of thinking and management that Americans exhibit: that of extremely professional relationships towards their employees and staff and seek less emotional connection with them. Their methods in the future might prove to be the evolution of Malaysian managers, from the staff welfare-attached to the more progressive and less attached methods of the Americans. But, as Mills argued, Although evolution of the management process may take place, cultural differences will remain and may hinder this evolution.

For progress to take place, the Malaysians have to blend their cultural difference with the western style of management, although this may seem deviant from their own system of participative style of leadership and not the Western style of autocratic. Although in the end, they may realize that convergence may not be exactly the key for progress in their own culture. That is why they should study and monitor the effects of converging the system of management with their culture, for this may spell either success for their managers or failure for their system of leadership.


• Aramugam, Shanmugam, Mohamed Sulaiman and Syed Azizi Wafa. Subordinates’ Preference in Leadership Behavior: Expatriate or Local Bosses – The Case of Malaysia. Retrieved October 18, 2006. School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia. (http://www. management. usm. my/ms/Subordinates. htm) • Astorga, Henry. First-Generation Asian Immigrant Managers in the US: Highs and Woes. San Francisco. May 2003. East West Strategies. Retrieved October 19, 2006. (http://www. apmforum. com/columns/eaststrategy7. htm)

• Bennett, Milton and Edward Stewart . Cultural Assumptions of American Managers. Regent University. 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2006. (http://www. regent. edu/acad/schbus/maz/busreview/issue19/culturalassumptions. html) • Bloom, Nick and Van Reenen, John . Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries. Stanford. 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2006. (http://www. gsb. stanford. edu/FACSEMINARS/events/applied_microecon/pdfs/2005_11-4_Nick%20Bloom. pdf#search=’American%20managerial%20practices’)

• CSI Secretariat. TOWARDS WISE COASTAL PRACTICES FOR SUSTAINABLE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT – fostering intersectoral action worldwide. UNESCO-Paris. 1999. . Retrieved October 19, 2006. (http://www. unesco. org/csi/wise/wise1. htm) • Cullen, John B. and Maling Ebrahimpour. Quality management in Japanese and American firms operating in the United States: a comparative study of styles and motivational beliefs. (includes appendices) (Special Issue: Strategic Quality Management). 1993. Management International Review. Retrieved Octob

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