Globalisation and ethnic integration in corporate Malaysia : the case of public-listed companies in the Klang Valley and Penang
This thesis offers a critique of the present literature on development in Malaysia, It argues that the present analyses have generally revolved around a state-centric perspective; hence, neglecting companies as a vital unit of analysis or even a foci of societal transformation. Although numerous studies have focused on ethnicity, few have examined ethnicity within companies, much less the impact of globalisation on companies' practices vis-a-vis ethnicity. Therefore, the objectives of the present research are four-fold: (1) to assess the general state of globalisation and ethnic integration among public-listed companies in the Klang Valley and Penang; (2) to examine the perceptions of executives with regards to globalisation and ethnic integration; (3) to examine the possible connection between globalisation and ethnic integration; and (4) to explore the underlying social dynamics of the connection between globalisation and ethnic integration. Companies are classified into foreign transnational corporations, Malaysian transnational corporations and local corporations, followed by comparative analyses of their globalising tendencies and ethnic integration practices. The thesis employs Granovetter's social embeddedness argument as a basis in formulating its analytical framework. The research findings show that most of these companies and their managers support globalisation and most of them have formal plans to go global. The research also found that most of these corporations show low degree of ethnic integration. However, when globalising tendencies are factored in, it is revealed that the companies scoring high on globalising tendencies also scored high on ethnic integration and vice-versa, with few exceptions. Finally, the qualitative findings strongly suggest company embedded relationships play a pivotal role in shaping the paradigms and practices of ethnic integration within the company. By showing the relevance and significance of ethnic elements in companies' embedded relationships, the findings call into question the assertions about the thinning of ethnic preference among managers and companies.