Human Resource Management in Brunei

Topics: Brunei, The Brunei Times, Media of Brunei Pages: 12 (3120 words) Published: February 25, 2013

BUSM 3201 Human Resource Management

Assignment 1: Case study on Brunei

Essay on Brunei’s Culture, Political and Legal system, Economy and Adaption to Technology

Done by:
Stella Alexius Maria Vincentia QUEK 3368025
SOH Wan Ling Glenys3396317
NG Charlotte3367859
Khoo Amos Teck Wang 3367797
LAU Yan Ling 3398976

Rousseau (1990) defines culture as a set of common values and understandings obtained through socialization (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2008). As such, the Islamic laws define the fundamental customs and lifestyle of Bruneians. Nevertheless, culture is an elusive behavior, which can be refined and redefined as the macro-environment changes. We explore how attitudes and perspective can be changed, in order to better adapt to technologies through laws and policies, without contradicting the essentials of Islamic culture thus improving their economy.

The General Order in Brunei provides employees with high social security and benefits; they are entitled to 'lifetime employment' (Dore, 1973). Thus leading to insufficient supply of jobs for the younger generation who makes up the largest percentage of the unemployment rate. Additionally, paternalism is evident in Brunei; superiors act as a father figure in the organization and employees show utmost respect for their managers. Thus illustrating the relationship between cultural influences and organizational behavior.

Foreign investments and tourism in Brunei have been severely impeded due to their inflexible Islamic culture, hence affecting Brunei's integration with the world. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan, the importance of 'liberation of visa regulations’ will ‘boost tourism and trade opportunities’ (Ying Chua, 2010). However in Brunei, regulations on foreign investments must comply with the standard of their Islamic laws, which hinder growth. Thus, exemplifying that culture affects its economy as it set the boundary of Brunei's business environment.

It is difficult for Brunei to fully integrate their economy with western countries due to very differing culture. Nonetheless, she can aim to be the capital for the Islamic world. For example, it can be the financial capital for the Middle Eastern countries, or even the world main supplier for Halal food in the world. This acts as a double-edge sword for Brunei because Brunei will not compromise their rich culture for economical gains. However before attaining such standards, Brunei has to examine their technological infrastructure and whether Bruneians are ready to adapt themselves for changes.

Bruneians pride themselves on their rich Islamic culture hence they are less receptive to changes that appear to be in conflict. The sultanate laws never inculcated the use of technology until the mid 21st century, the government through its education system (Ganske & Hamidon, 2006). However the older generation, which the workforce mainly consists, is less responsive to such drastic changes. Firstly, it is against their culture to voice differing viewpoints to their superiors as it is considered disrespectful therefore, severely curtailing their initiative thus breeding complacency and conformity. Secondly, the lack of formalization (Chan, Foo, Nelson, Timbrell, & Othman, 2010) contradicted the implementation of new technologies; ‘the announcement to embark on e-government (a B$1 billion project) was made in 2000 but it was not until 2003 that the actual planning started (Kifle & Cheng, 2009)’, this 3 years gap have left many Bruneians confused about the process and progress.

Language is part of a country’s culture. (Bakar, 2008). Therefore any language differences, will significantly hinder Bruneians’ adaptation to technology. Brunei’s national language is Malay while new technologies developed are instructed in English. This sudden change in the use language has adversely impeded on their adaptation....

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