Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2012 (Revised September 2014)

Doing Business in Malaysia

by C. Fritz Foley, Michael Shih-Ta Chen and Keith Chi-Ho Wong


This case focuses on the current business environment in Malaysia as of 2012 by introducing the main economic, political and cultural aspects of the country for those interested in doing business there. The advantages and challenges of investing and doing business in Malaysia are also noted by HBS alumni who have experience in the country. Finally, the case deals with the subject of talent recruitment and staff management, a top issue in developing economies. Stuart Dean (MBA 1979, a current Director of the HBS Asia-Pacific Advisory Board who lives in Malaysia and is CEO of General Electric ASEAN), who oversees GE's businesses across Southeast Asia, had to decide in 2012 whether he should appoint another expat for the position of Managing Director of GE Engine Services Malaysia (a division of GE Aviation), which is one of the leading aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities in the region, or to promote a local from within, for the first time in the company's history. Making the choice entailed criteria such as historical and culture sensitivities, and an ability to understand complex technology and socio-political and regulatory environments.

Keywords: emerging market finance; emergent countries; strategy; business history; Economic History; fieldwork; Emerging Markets; Business Ventures; Strategy; Malaysia;


Foley, C. Fritz, Michael Shih-Ta Chen, and Keith Chi-Ho Wong. "Doing Business in Malaysia." Harvard Business School Case 713-431, September 2012. (Revised September 2014.)