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Unformatted text preview: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 6, No.3 &4, Fall & Winter 2007 72 Cross-Cultural Challenges and Adjustments of Expatriates: A Case Study in Malaysia Aida Hafitah Mohd Tahir and Maimunah Ismail * Abstract Due to globalization and vision to be an industrialized nation, Malaysia acknowledges the inflow of expatriates into the country to meet the demands for skilled and professional manpower. This paper reports on a study conducted among a group of expatriates in Malaysia. The objectives of the study are to examine challenges faced by the expatriates and adjustments made to the challenges. Cultural clashes between foreign and local values are inevitable in which expatriates experience challenges. In- depth interviews were conducted with 20 male and female expatriates working in various firms and institutions in Malaysia. The study highlighted the psychological, socio-cultural and work challenges. Adjustments were based on individual initiatives based on the psychological and mental strengths of the expatriates, combined with efforts of peer expatriates, parent firms and host organizations. Introduction Economic liberalization triggers many international organizations to expand their business along with establishing their reputation globally. In this regard, Bartol and Martin (1998) refer to globalization process a worldwide integration strategy where the purpose involves at developing relatively standardized products with global appeals, as well as rationalizing operations throughout the world. In achieving this objective, organizations require to send Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 6, No. 3 &4, Fall & Winter 2007 73 their designate representatives for overseas assignments in order to maintain the standards of their products or services abroad. Within the perspective of becoming an industrialized nation, Malaysia has progressively opened its market towards globalization and liberalization of trade and services. As a result, at present there are many international organizations expanding their businesses along with establishing their reputation in this country. As such the country acknowledges the inflow of expatriates into this country to meet the needs for skilled and professional manpower or human expertise in various fields. It is expected that the country still needs this foreign expertise for 10 to 20 years to come (Shephard, 1996). Hiring expatriates from abroad is one of the ways to expose the Malaysian workforce toward foreign expertise. It is reported that there were 21,859 approved expatriate postings in Malaysia in 1999 alone, as compared to 20,625 in the previous year (Malaysia, 1999; Malaysia, 2000)....
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course COMM 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Boise State.
- Fall '08