IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Management of Human Resources in Malaysia: Locally-owned Companies and Multinational Companies


  • Chris Rowley

    () (City University, Cass Business School, Faculty of Management)

  • Saaidah Abdul-Rahman



This paper is concerned with people management practices in companies in Malaysia. It examines the development of the main practice areas of the management of human resources (HR), the HR management (HRM) function and to what extent locally-owned companies (LOC) are influenced by multinational companies (MNC) operating in Malaysia. We found LOCs do not place a high priority on their HR practices and do not benchmark against the HR practices of MNCs. Overall, Malaysian people management generally would be better characterized as still more like 'personnel', than 'HR', management. Any acceptance and development of the HRM concept by Malaysian companies has been slow and cautious. This situation may prove problematic for future competitiveness and upgrading in the context of low wage cost competition from other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Rowley & Saaidah Abdul-Rahman, 2007. "The Management of Human Resources in Malaysia: Locally-owned Companies and Multinational Companies," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 18(4), pages 427-453.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:doi_10.1688/1861-9908_mrev_2007_04_rowley2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan Levin & Steven Tadelis, 2005. "Profit Sharing and the Role of Professional Partnerships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 131-171.
    2. Sharon M. Oster & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Aging And Productivity Among Economists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 154-156, February.
    3. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Arndt Werner, 2003. "Entrepreneurial Signaling: Success Factors for Innovative Start-Ups," Working Papers 0055, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Mar 2004.
    4. Barron, John M & Gjerde, Kathy Paulson, 1997. "Peer Pressure in an Agency Relationship," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 234-254, April.
    5. Coupé, Tom & Smeets, Valerie & Warzynski, Frederic, 2003. "Incentives in Economic Departments: Testing Tournaments?," Working Papers 03-25, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    6. David Austen-Smith, 2002. "Peer Pressure and Job Market Signaling," Discussion Papers 1352, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    7. Brent Boning & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "Opportunity Counts: Teams and the Effectiveness of Production Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 613-650.
    8. Armendariz de Aghion, Beatriz, 1999. "On the design of a credit agreement with peer monitoring," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-104, October.
    9. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
    10. Holzer, Harry J, 1994. "Job Vacancy Rates in the Firm: An Empirical Analysis," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(241), pages 17-36, February.
    11. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    12. S.J. Prais, 1981. "Vocational Qualifications of the Labour Force in Britain and Germany," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 98(1), pages 47-59, November.
    13. Finegold, David & Soskice, David, 1988. "The Failure of Training in Britain: Analysis and Prescription," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(3), pages 21-53, Autumn.
    14. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Human Resource Management; Local Companies; Multinational Companies; Malaysia; Transfer;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:doi_10.1688/1861-9908_mrev_2007_04_rowley2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rainer Hampp). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.