International Business
The Role of Power in Cross Cultural Interactions

Although diversity can be a good thing, in many part of the world, diversity is not perceived as something beneficial (Lasserre, 2003). Instead, certain people may get worried and uncomfortable when the people around him are very different to him. In order to make himself feel comfortable, he may engage in acts to suppress the minorities, by imposing own ideas, rules, thinking style, culture against the others. Although from the theory point of view, diversity can be a god thing, as when different people from different culture are combined in a team, the can be more resourceful, more creative and innovative and more capable to solve problems. Besides, it is also shown that to stick to personal beliefs is never something good, as in many instances, the personal beliefs are wrong, or the assumptions used are invalid, or the culture or tradition is no longer relevant in the modern society. The problem in the world now is that in many nations, such a fact is not known, as people are lacking of wisdom on how to manage and utilize diversity, but instead, work aggressively to eliminate diversity and use of power to suppress the minorities (Miller et. al., 2002).

One good example is the case of government policies in Malaysia. According to the friends from Malaysia, the Malays are the majority while the other races (such as Chinese and Indian) are the minorities in that country. Obviously all the races have different culture. They have different lifestyle, behaviors, skills and different attitudes towards life. In the country, the Chinese are often the hard working and the race skillful in business and management. Thus, many of them are rich. However, the majority of the Malays are protected by the government. There are a lot of unfair practices in the nations, whereby the rights of the minorities are suppressed and discriminated. The many benefits are enjoyed by the majority. Even though, they majority may still be poor, due to corruption issues as well as the fact that protection cannot bring them great wealth or success. Due to a feeling of envy against the achievement of other races, as well as it is easier to get wealth from the other races through various way of suppression, the majority not only not willing to give up the privileges they have been enjoying, and yet demand more and more. As a result, the country has become a submerging country, whereby living standards deteriorated. All these are not known by the world largely, as the news and the information are protected. In contrast, in countries such as China, the privileges are given to the minorities, as it is seen that the minorities need help from the government more than the majority. The power is not used to suppress the minorities, but instead used to help those who really need help.

Overall, it can be seen that power can be used to affect the cross cultural interactions. In cases such as Malaysia, power is used to take advantages on the minorities, as the majorities are more comfortable to do so, rather than to compete or cooperate openly in the free market. According to many friends from the country, that is the reason that the nation is becoming more backwards in the recent years. The growth of private investment had stagnant and decreased. The only element contributing to the economic growth is purely from government investment, whereby the money is obtained from the oil and gas industry in the country. In fact, when the country may run out of natural resources such as oil and gas, it is possible that the clash of races may occur. There is time bomb due to conflicts between races, and all these happen when the people cannot see things from different perspective, and use power incorrectly – to suppress the minorities, to take advantages from the minorities, but not to work in a prudent and rightful way for better achievement.

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