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Cultural Differences and Why They Matter

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  March 25, 2021

By Kai Lun

 

Fun fact: Did you know in Sabah, there is a form of edible worm known as “Sago grub” or in local terms- “Butod”, which is a popular delicacy across the state?

 

This might come as a shock to some people, but it is 100% real and legit.

 

What you feel, when you question a cultural practice, is known as culture shock.

 

 

Cultures can exist on so many different yet similar levels. 

 

Just as we become habituated with a country’s popular culture- say for example liking dishes across differing cultures in Malaysia such as Nasi Lemak, Nyonya kuih, Biryani or Char Koay Teow, we slowly develop a mutual understanding  between one another, starting from smaller aspects in our lives such as off-limit topics in our day-to-day interactions with our Malaysian brothers and sisters.

 

In corporate life, there are variations of company and organizational culture as well. Broadly speaking, such ‘culture’ is the pattern in behavioural norms and functional values existing to guide employees on the systematic ways in which the company practises.

 

From the standpoint of a negotiation, there exists a variety of negotiators classified under “the grass is greener negotiator”.

 

As the name itself implies, these negotiators often tend to be under the impression that what they have is never enough.

 

Off the cuff job-hopping with no slight knowledge of the target company’s culture and practices usually stems from the yearning to develop one’s career on a faster track while finding a better fit in work culture.

 

The desire for an increment in job benefits and financial satisfaction is a never-ending demand.

 

Benefits, paired with a fat paycheck are certainly attractive; however, it is also important to keep in mind the existence of a wide range of organizational cultures across different companies and regions in the world.

 

For instance, Malaysians who chose to work in Singapore. On the surface they are earning x3 currency rate for an income, but how long has it been since they have been able to return to visit their family in their homeland?

 

Not to mention there are also organizations out there who put a certain culture style such as authority and order over the others to restrict and maximize employee productivity and performance.

 

Ultimately, switching jobs is not as simple as it seems. Diving right into the new job without understanding the company culture is only similar to putting our fingers into boiling water without prior temperature testing.

 

Nasi Lemak without the sambal is not Nasi Lemak. Pairing Nasi Lemak with a Latte, rather than Teh Tarik is certainly not a Malaysian cultural practice as well. 

 

Organizational/ company culture is a thing. Corresponding to our unique Malaysian culture, we need a basic understanding of each culture before we can truly blend in with the cultural practices- in both real and corporate life.

 

With that being said, Zom-In provides a variety of job offers. Browse and support our local SME’s by applying for jobs @https://www.zom-in.com/user/opportunity.php

 

#company #culture #malaysia 

 

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