Title: Cultural diversity as a competitive tool: trust and knowledge sharing from a Malaysian perspective

Authors: Thirunava Navendra; Sri Beldona

Addresses: Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business, University of Dallas, Irving, TX 75062, USA ' Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business, University of Dallas, Irving, TX 75062, USA

Abstract: A recent race-relations study found that contrary to government claims, racism ran deep among the ethnic groups in Malaysia (Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, 2015). Diversity training is not viewed as a trust-building competitive tool. In this paper, we argue that diversity training, shared values, and cultural collectivism influence intra-organisation trust within multi-national corporations operating in Malaysia. From an economic perspective, shared values and diversity awareness induced trust can arguably result in the positive spillover of knowledge-sharing. Studies in knowledge-based view of the firm show that strategic use of knowledge-sharing creates organisational value and is catalytic to a firm's competitive advantage (Fey and Furu, 2008; Wang and Noe, 2010). This paper highlights both the challenges facing Malaysian MNEs and the latent opportunities for improved collaboration, innovation, and firm performance through diversity and trust.

Keywords: cultural diversity; cultural collectivism; trust; shared values; knowledge sharing.

DOI: 10.1504/JGBA.2019.100764

Journal for Global Business Advancement, 2019 Vol.12 No.2, pp.169 - 188

Received: 24 Apr 2019
Accepted: 24 Apr 2019

Published online: 08 Jul 2019 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article