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Measuring shared cultural characteristics in Malaysia: scale development and validation

Hassan Abu Bakar (Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia)
Stacey L. Connaughton (The Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 29 April 2019

Issue publication date: 18 June 2019



The purpose of this paper is to assess statistically the shared cultural values scale that incorporates Malaysia’s multi-ethnic cultural values.


This study involved three phase statistical testing. In the first phase, the authors evaluated the 152 items for the affiliation, community embeddedness, respecting elders, harmony, faith, brotherhood, morality, future orientation, conformity and survival cultural dimensions with a sample of 270 employees from three organizations. In the second phase, 355 employees from two organizations completed a survey test-retest reliability and a factor analysis consisting of community embeddedness, focus on respect, conformity and future orientation as a four-factors solution with 22 items. Confirmatory factor analysis based on data from 310 employees in two organizations verified that the four dimensions correlated with affective commitment.


The results suggest that shared cultural characteristics is a multidimensional construct and at the individual level makes a unique contribution in explaining employees’ affective commitment. Managers from multinational corporations operating in this emerging market will benefit from this new scale because they can use it to identify specific individual cultural characteristics within their organization and develop a strategy to target employees’ affective commitment.


The new shared cultural characteristics scale for Malaysia’s multi-ethnic society demonstrates adequate reliability, validity and across-organization generalizability for this specific cross-cultural communication setting.



A previous version of this paper was presented at the 69th International Communication Association Annual Conference. The authors would like to thank Professor Sunil Venaik and the reviewers of this paper for their many helpful comments. The work described in this paper was supported by research grants from Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education Transdisciplinary Research Grant Scheme (Project 13305).


Abu Bakar, H. and Connaughton, S.L. (2019), "Measuring shared cultural characteristics in Malaysia: scale development and validation", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 246-264.



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