Intercultural communication competence between Malays and Chinese in Malaysian organizational and social settings Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z029p926v

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  • This study analyzed intercultural communication competence between Malays and Chinese in organizational and social settings in Malaysia. Two groups: Malays and Chinese in organizations in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), were studied. The intent of this study was to find similarities and differences in Malays and Chinese' communication styles. A total of forty-six respondents were surveyed: twenty-three Malay executives and twenty-three Chinese executives, in organizations in Malaysia. The organizations were selected based on their function, size, number of employees, ethnic composition, and location. The open-ended questionnaire was written in English and pretested. The revised questionnaire was sent to Kuala Lumpur to be administered by two interviewers who were from each ethnic groups. All of the responses from the questionnaire were interpreted and categorized by two Malay and two Chinese individuals who acted as coders. This study used thematic content analysis to analyze the responses from the two groups. Respondents' descriptions and explanations of their perceptions on conflict were studied. Coders from both ethnic groups were asked to recall a conflict situation in both organizational and social settings. Each group varied in their definition and perception of conflict. The results showed some similarities in their perception of appropriate and effective verbal and nonverbal messages in organizational and social settings. The results also showed some similarities and differences in their perceptions of inappropriate and ineffective verbal and nonverbal across ethnic group lines. The similarities can be explained by shared orientations to uncertainty, large degrees of power distance and collectivism. The differences may be due to cultural dimensions that are situationally variant. The findings showed both groups' preference for clear and explicit verbal messages in task orientations, and for nonverbal messages in relational-orientations.
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