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Abu Bakar, R (1998) The management practices and organisational culture of large Malaysian construction contractors, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading.
- Type: Thesis
- Keywords: management; organization; Malaysia; contractors
- URL: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.242126
Globalisation has added further to the ongoing debates between universalist and relativists. Trying to resolve what is commonly labelled the convergence/divergence dichotomy, scholars asked whether organisations world-wide are becoming similar (convergence) or are maintaining their culturally based dissimilarity (divergence). Literatures have indicated mixed evidence. Increase in the globalisation of businesses and the rise of the Japanisation in the global arena have also raised the question as to whether one country’s management system is applicable in another country. This research sets out to investigate the extent to which large Malaysian construction contractors have adopted the Western and/or Eastern management practices and why. It also explored the types of organisational culture adopted by these business organisations and key patterns of association between the adopted management practices, the dominant organisational culture and the organisational contextual factors (age of firms, size·of firms, type of company and region of business operations). The sample was drawn from large Malaysian construction contractors who are registered under "Class GT’ with the Construction Industry Development Board of Malaysia. A total sample of 60 organisations were drawn from this targeted population. A 75 per cent response rate was obtained for this research. The research demonstrated that large Malaysian construction contractors adopted a mix of Western and Eastern management practices. Findings suggested that the extent of hybridisation or degree of application of Western and or Eastern management practices are statistically and significantly different with variations of the organisational contextual factors. Findings also supported the view that macro-level variables, such as organisational structure, are becoming more similar while micro-level variables continue to retain their cultural identity. In other words, macro-level variables are converging while micro-level variables are diverging. On the whole, findings supported both convergence and divergence approaches depending upon a variety of factors. The research also demonstrated that organisations are using simultaneous frames of organisational culture to function irrespective of organisational contextual factors. Existence of key patterns of association between the adopted management practices, dominant types of organisational culture and organisational contextual factors are observed in this research. Three main attributes: financial, human and demographic factors were identified as the factors influencing the selection on the type of management practices adopted by these organisations. The findings of this research should have significance to scholars of convergence/divergence dichotomy; for management in the international context particularly, to top management evaluating managerial compatibility in potential joint ventures with Malaysian based companies; and to those companies seeking competitive advantage within the domestic market.