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Change Management Issues and Challenges in Malaysian’s Employment Sector

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Each country has a level which improve the ranked once they achieved something that could be consider as proud of in economics of the country such as gross domestic product, gross national product and per capita income, however, many countries occasionally will have some kind of problems that caused the fall of the country ranking. Malaysia is closer to the ranking of developing countries if Malaysia does not face any decline in productivity, and this will open up the pace towards the high income status that will be recognized by World Bank. Malaysia will soon follow in the footsteps of other developed countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Korea and many more. According to Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia website stated, by 2020, Malaysia will finally be going to achieve as a fully developed country.

Seemingly, implementing change can be said as risky and will cause problems. It is also about the changes that will be made in the employment sector, where workers will assume that their jobs will no longer exist after the change is implemented. Sometimes it has caused disgust for the change that is occurring within the workforce.

Due to economic downturn among employment sector for the past few years, government has taken few initiative to improve and regain Malaysia’s ranking in the global. While, change in employment sector will obviously affect organizations the most.

organizations to strategically position themselves in order to survive the competitive environments within which they operate. As a result, businesses across the world are constantly changing their operations and re-strategizing to overcome the stiff competition existing in the business world. It has been observed that seven important environmental challenges to businesses in recent times include rapid change, rise of the internet, workforce diversity, legislation, evolving work and family roles, globalization, skill shortages and rise of the service sector.

Change is something that we see very clearly especially nowadays, almost every day change happened. As the world goes and keep on developing, some country are still drowning and continuously trying on surviving. Malaysia, which is also listed as a developing country, is competing and implementing changes led by Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, however, if those changes are not going to be sustained, then Malaysia will revert to the previous system which might slow down the development of this country.

Kanter, Stein and Jick (1992, p. 11) considered change to be ‘the shift in behaviour of the whole organisation’. In other words, most organisations are influenced by changes in the environment that require adaptation of internal processes (Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, Roth and Smith 1999). However, adding a new dimension to the definition of change, Robbins (1990) maintained that change should not be incidental in nature. All change initiatives must be planned in consultation with employees.

In fact, Armstrong (2003) identifies two main types of change: strategic and operational change. According to him, strategic change deals with broad, long-term and organization-wide issues such as strategic vision, mission and corporate philosophy. On the other hand, operational change relates to new systems, procedures, structures and technology that have immediate effect on work arrangements within a part of an organization

Interestingly, change is an indispensable phenomenon in the life of every organization. Thompson, Strickland & Gamble (2010) also observe that in the current business environment, many companies operate in industries characterized by rapid technological change, short product life cycles, competitive manoeuvres, fast-evolving customer requirements and expectations, all of which occur in a manner that creates swirling market conditions and uncertainty.

According to Moran & Brightman (2000), change management best definition would be the continuous activity of reintroducing the organizations’ new directions and structure or the job responsibilities of an employee as require by the stakeholders. as stated by Szamosi & Duxbury (2002), change management is a part of our lives and is needed in the employment sector by most organizations. Furthermore, both state and federal levels of government in Australia have undergone change and reform with the aim of increasing efficiency and human resource productivity (O’Donnell, Allan & Peetz 1999).

Based on few reading that has been made, change management can be defined as a process of changes which will be implement in an organization Basically this involved a creative and innovative strategies made by parties involved in controlling and implementing the change.

One of the factors that really hits Malaysia’s economic growth is in 2017, BANK Negara decided to reduce the prediction of economic growth of Malaysia for the next year. As we clearly seen in newspaper and television, the price for crude palm oil is decreasing.

As for manufacturer, economic downturn most probably influence the life-span on the business. They probably would not be able to receive any dividend. Once its effect the Ringgit Malaysia currency, their client might think twice to buy product produced by the manufacturer. Supplier may charge a bit pricey for the materials.

Company shareholders may become upset and may, along with the board of directors, call for the appointment of new company leadership. The manufacturer’s advertising agency may be dumped and a new agency hired. The internal advertising and marketing departments may also face a personnel shakeup.has lowered Malaysia’s economic growth forecast for 2018 to 5% from its earlier estimate of 5.5%-6%. For those in the loop, the move is largely unsurprising.

After all, the country’s economy has expanded below the 5.5%-level over the last two consecutive quarters. In fact, Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth has been decelerating since the third quarter of 2017, when the economy grew by 6.2% year-on-year (y-o-y).

The softer growth, given the fall in government development expenditure in the second quarter and the lacklustre performance of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude palm oil, meant that the earlier estimates could not be met. Furthermore, global purchasing manager indices and export volumes have been moderating.

In the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18), GDP growth came in at 4.5%, which was below the Bloomberg consensus of 5.2%. In comparison, GDP growth was 5.8% in the corresponding quarter of 2017 and 5.4% in 1Q18.

Once economic has gone bad, organization will start searching for a plan on how to keeping the productivity, but at the same time, they can reduce the expenses on employees’ salaries. Due to economic downturn, small company especially will start lowering the number of their employees from 20 to 12. This might also effect manufacturing sector, when the company who does not do well in the market might reduce the number of their employees and only keep the best employees who can do multitasking and have a great skills (Lowth, Prowle, & Zhang, 2012).

And regulations can also be initiated or developed by other parties than government, like social partners (e.g. collective agreements)

The government’s policy today is to give priority to the employment of Malaysians, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Aware about fears concerning a deluge of foreign workers in the country, he said the government had taken a number of measures to ensure that foreign workers were only employed if really needed by sectors that find it difficult to get local workers, mainly those categorised as 3D (Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult).

Dr Mahathir said that the presence of foreign workers was due to the attitude of Malaysians who did not want to do certain types of work, even though these actually could be done by them.

“So, these opportunities are grabbed by foreigners. In the end, they will become rich and we remain the same or become poor,” he said when officiating the 2019 Workers Day celebration at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here today.

Dr Mahathir said the government was also aware of the unemployment rate among youths and understood the need to empower the workforce and harness local talent.

Beside of that, Malaysia also has bilateral relations with other countries and this is one of the factors affecting the change in the employment sector. Among the most noteworthy is Malaysia’s cooperation is with China.

Malaysia and China have reached more than US $ 100 billion as a result of the volume of bilateral trade. And this proves that China remains Malaysia’s largest trading partner. This business relationship is not new, but it has been around for the past 10 consecutive years. This is especially evident when the Malaysian manufacturing sector receives a very high return on foreign investment compared to a few years ago. This has led to our country’s economy has slowly recovering and maintaining the relationship with China.

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What surprisingly, Malaysia-China relationship is not only stop at the trading business and partner, but it also continue with the “Twin Countries Twin Parks” .

According to Malaysia’s aerospace manufacturing exports is projected to grow 15 per cent to RM9.75 billion this year from RM8.48 billion registered last year.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking said the country’s aerospace manufacturing sub-sector growth trajectory would be supported by the continued orders of aircraft components and additional new products for aircraft sets.

‘The sector is set to strengthen its position as the regional leader in producing world class aerospace products to global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Airbus and Boeing.

“We welcome global suppliers to set up facilities in the country and hopeful existing players continue to expand its operations, increase capacities and ramp up production of aero-structures products,” he said after touring Spirit AeroSystems Malaysia Sdn Bhd facility here today.

Leiking said the aerospace manufacturing sub-sector currently contributes about RM6.97 billion equivalent to 48 per cent of the total Malaysia aerospace industry revenue.

“The government will continue to support Malaysian aerospace industry ecosystem. Under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), a specific strategy is currently being formulated by Aerospace Technical Working Group led by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA).

Looking at other countries that are using current technology especially in the industrial and agricultural sectors, Malaysia is trying to invest in technology, in line with foreign countries such as China, Korea, and Japan. High technology not only speeds up or increases productivity, but also reduces the mistakes that are often made. With the advent of cutting-edge technology, the government is aware that technological facilities should be expanded to be used by every sector of employment.

Like Korea and Japan, both countries are very advanced in terms of the technology used in their jobs.

The human factor magnifies the work redesigning process and gives it the right guidance. The HR manager needs to understand that several work-process changes projects the focus on technology and fails to focus on the organizational and human aspects of work. Most often, the technology strategy drives the organizational change. Dion (2012) stated that new technology advancement is reshaping business industries to industries where every business will need technology to compete successfully. In recent years, we have seen many of these technological changes; some are merely evolutionary, while others are more revolutionary becoming firmly entrenched in the way our organizations will need to deal with the social world.

A combination of technology with the human factor makes the balanced roadmap for making sesuatu . Therefore, for any change in the business, it is highly important that technology and human factors are taken for consideration. For making any change in the organization, the HR manager needs to rethink the customer needs. Every time the customers view the business making changes for their best interest, the business wins. These days, the HR manager needs to understand that identifying the aspects of processes, which are visible to customers and prepare formats for making changes. The important thing is making changes in the present methods and getting the process right. Customers are the most important facet of business and without successfully retaining customers any business cannot survive for long term.

The employment sector is largely monopolized by foreign workers. If you look at the city of Kuala Lumpur, foreign workers are scatter all over the place every weekend. This slowly show that other foreign worker are more capable in adapting to changes, they can be counted as a fast-learner. One of the reason why Malaysian’s employment sector has be filled up by foreign worker is the lower salary.

Changes are made to the business of ensuring the business is able to gain and retain customers. HR managers need to ensure than any change made does lead to the possibility of the business losing their customers. Improving communications in the change initiatives are one of the most important actions that HR managers need to take. Communication can be the key for developing the change initiatives and implemented. Information sharing is an important function of communication of change.

For employees who are aged, to accept something new takes a relatively long time, especially when there is a new technology. With the advent of advanced and sophisticated technology, it is likely to change the responsibilities of an employee, the possibility of an employee assuming the presence of a new technology and the changes it creates are a burden. Employees who age around 40 to 60 years old are known as rebel-employees, because they are reluctant to receive anything new in their life. A study done by (Finkelstein, Burke, & Raju, 1995) has stated that employees that has work for longest time in an organization normally being linked with unattractive on behalf of any improvement which referring to acquire new skills or exciting in facing new challenges in task given.

Based on seeing organizational change in terms of the diffusion model it is common to point out forms of friction that may slow down and obstruct the natural progression of plans and ideas. The focus here is on how people might disobey or deviate from planned change and managerial sovereignty.

Accordingly, culture does not refer to social structures and behaviour but in contrast to mental phenomena such as how individuals within a particular group think about and value the reality in similar ways and how this thinking and valuing is different from that of people in different groups (occupations, tribes, etc.). Culture refers to what stands behind and guides behaviour rather than the behaviour as such.

Employer for each and organization and each sector should be alerted regarding the change being made by the government. Employees should have been enlighten about the whole idea or plan of change, especially the critical employment sector such as manufacturing, service, agriculture and many more. Employees should be given clear disclosures about changes in their work, possibly if exposure is not been given to the employees, they might consider employers are ignoring their feelings and would probably think they might be kick out from the organization sooner or later.

When making changes, employers need to keep remind employees regarding company’s objectives, mission and vision. This is to prevent the change being ignored by the workers. If workers neglect, the efforts of the government and employers to change will be futile. Other than that, // be charismatic // it is crucial for managers to be able to communicate with employees. In order to do so, it is important for employees to perceive they have a good relationship with their managers and to feel they can communicate openly. Hence, managers should try to get to know their subalterns better and communicate in a more informal way. Management has to communicate with the employees, and listen to their opinions, before decisions are taken. Thereby, the employees will feel they are involved in the process and commit to the change.

Interaction’s strategic management and connection between the government and all of the employees in the organization should be highlighted in all type of employment. Internal communication efforts can involve routine communication with employees through a range of channels including face-to-face, company newsletters, and email to provide information about new employees, promotions, changes in benefit programs, and acknowledge employee achievements.

Communication is central to the implementation of planned change. Once a change is decided upon, it must be communicated to others who are affected or involved in implementing it. Caruth et al. encourage managers to communicate, and argue that communication is one of the most essential measures to prevent resistance. If managers communicate succesfully, they will know how subordinates feel and minimize the risk of subtle resistance. Furthermore, by asking the employees‘ opinions and use their advices, they can create a sens of involvement in the change.

Other solution that government and employers might try in order to persuade employees to adapt and learn the changes are through motivating them. Dealing and negotiate with employees regarding the advantages and the . Gaining acceptance at the staff level can be a challenge as getting buy-in by the employees’ who are going to work with happiness with the changes happen. Introducing changes within an organization can cause disruptions in patterns or behaviors that can cause loss of continuity, replace customary social structures and familiar relationships.

Employees often attribute changes in their work to the meaning of terminating their services in the sector in which they work. These dialogues sessions can enhance their understanding of the real changes in the employment sector. The parties (especially government and employers) who are responsible for making the change can organize such a program and ask employees opinion on what changes are being made or what they want to implement.

Managing employees’ acceptance of technology change can be a challenge for any organization. To successfully implement a technology change, several areas need to be affectively addressed. Challenges with internal conflict, or resistance by staff to the change must be managed. Employee training, communication and a multi-generational work force should all be considered and planned for when selecting a new technology. These items can be addressed with a well-defined implementation plan, an effective training plan and open communication between employees and management.

The need for change must be linked to the development of a country and not to be forgotten the cooperation of employees in implementing and adapting the change as well as the high spirit and zeal of achieving a national success. The efficiency and competitiveness of an employee in carrying out their assigned tasks and responsibilities. These are one of the characteristics that can drive change in employment sector. Change is sometimes necessary to improve and enhance the effectiveness of the work and can improve the productivity of an individual. But if there is something that prevent the change from happen, then the parties involved should be more aware in find solutions of such issues.

To avoid failure in making changes, governments and employers need to take prompt action and monitor and continuously review changes. Keep an eye out for any decisions and activities undertaken to bring change. Managing change is not an easy thing, if you fail to manage it properly, all the effort will be wasted and making changes is not that cheap. Change involves a very high amount of value. And if the changes are handled in a very sloppy way, the parties must restart the process by reviewing the mistakes made during the process of change.

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Change Management Issues and Challenges in Malaysian’s Employment Sector. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
“Change Management Issues and Challenges in Malaysian’s Employment Sector.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
Change Management Issues and Challenges in Malaysian’s Employment Sector. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 Jan. 2023].
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