All of the ethnic groupings in Malaysia are basically group-oriented which makes them naturally good team players.

They are much happier working towards a clearly defined team goal than when given specific individual targets. Motivation comes from working within a team, not from being seen as a star performer.

The challenge for the expatriate manager is in how to harness the tremendous potential of the group. Group members want to feel as if the group is like a family and that the relationships extend outside working hours. This is another reason why managers need to take an overall interest in the happiness and well-being of team members. Take the time to chat and show some knowledge of their personal situation – the rewards will come in increased motivation and loyalty to both the organisation and the individual manager.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Malaysia

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Malaysia. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Malaysia and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips