The difference and similarity of the organizational commitment–rewards relationship among ethnic groups within Japanese manufacturing companies in Malaysia

Keisuke Kokubun, Misako Yasui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Growing number of research to identify antecedents of organizational commitment (OC) has been done not only in the West but also in the East including Malaysia because OC is found to be associated with various work-related outcomes. However, to date, the influence of ethnic identity on the OC–rewards relationship was not explored although the leader has to recognize the different cultural underpinnings of each community in a plural society like Malaysia. Therefore, this study investigates the differences in the relationship between rewards and OC between three ethnic groups, Malays, Chinese and Indians, in Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach: Hierarchical regression analysis was used to analyze survey data gathered from 12,076 employees who work for 32 Japanese manufacturing companies located in Malaysia. Findings: The results of the analysis show that satisfaction with the personal evaluation was more associated with OC and role clarity was less associated with OC in Chinese than in other ethnic groups. However, differences were not found in the relationships of other rewards with OC at the 1% significance level. These results indicate that the ethnic difference in the OC–rewards relationship is rather small. Research limitations/implications: The major limitation concerns generalizability. The validity of the current research should be tested by the data of various foreign affiliates located in Malaysia and other multiethnic societies. Practical implications: The results of this study could support the revision of human resource management practices, enabling workers to contribute to their companies on a long-term basis in multi-ethnic countries. Originality/value: Although previous research has elucidated OC–rewards relation in particular countries, it has not met the potential requirements of the managers who face the difference in OC–rewards relation among the employees of different ethnic groups. In this sense, this research was the first attempt to tackle this theme contributing to the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1421
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 4
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethnicity
  • Japanese companies
  • Malaysia
  • Organizational commitment
  • Rewards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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