Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict (Print ISSN: 1544-0508; Online ISSN: 1939-4691 )

Research Article: 2018 Vol: 22 Issue: 1

Personal Value versus Cultural Competency towards Self-Confidence through Personal Branding of Employees between Expatriates and Local Employees

Rusman Frendika, Padjadjaran University

Ernie Tisnawati Sule, Padjadjaran University

Maman Kusman, Indonesian Computer University

Joeliaty, Padjadjaran University


The role of personality in work-related behaviors and values has gained renewed attention over the past decade (Garrod, 2005). As the opening of the free trade era, many local employees feel less confidence to compete with expatriates. This research investigates the differences of the influence of personal value and cultural competence towards self-confidence through personal branding. Based on cross cultural analysis among expatriate of Korean, Japanese, Chinese and local employees in the chemical industry in 2017 at the operational level in Banten Province-Indonesia. And fit the criteria of the companies are as many as 30 foreign capital companies engaged in manufacturing with a total workforce of 12,165 people. Because in this research the sample is labor in operational level, hence based on data of labor at operational level is 1,496 people consisting of expatriates as much 124 people and local workforce as much 1.372 people. So the size of the sample is too large, can be taken 10%-15% depending on the ability of researchers viewed from time and the size of the risk borne by researchers. The ANOVA and SEM AMOS multiple group analysis used and the empirical finding indicate that the personal branding have negative impact to self-confidence. Cross cultural analysis found that cultural competence more dominant influence towards selfconfidence than personal values between expatriates and local employees.


Personal Branding, Personal Values, Cultural Competence, Self-Confidence.


Along with the opening of the gate of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), it is now possible for expatriates to work in Indonesia, so in Banten province. Potential conflict of values and culture are found everywhere, while cultural competency and self-confidence become common problems among expatriates and local employees. Referring to some research, low self-esteem due to negative thoughts or limited self-image, creating a new image of positive self-image through visualization can lead to increased confidence. Intensify multicultural conflicts in knowledge and management (Hofstede & Bond, 1988). According to Bhaskar, Shrinivas, Harrison & Luk (2005) expatriates should have cultural competency, otherwise conflict of cultural could arise, which relates to their personal branding. Researcher has suggested that basically self-confidence is one of the personality traits not the innate or genetic trait and influenced by personal values and cultural competence in a cross-cultural way through a personal branding. So, this research will compare cultural competency, self-confidence and those related variable across different cultural group of Korean, Chinese, Japanese and local employees.

Personal Branding, Personal Value, Cultural Competence, Self-Confidence

Some opinions about personal branding such as stated by Peters (1997) that no age, no position, no matter what business we are in, we must all understand the importance of branding. Montoya (2003) said person's unique skills, Mobray (2009) states an art in shaping public perception actively. In contrast to Arruda (2007) stated extract, express, exude. McNally & Speak (2002) said competencies, standards and styles and Aaker (1999) said sincerity, excitement, sophistication, ruggedness outdoorsy. And I argue that personal branding is an effort to build a self-image based on competencies (creative, innovative), standard (workload, ethics), style (visionary, cooperative), visibilities (optimism, job target), relevant (mastery of technology, understood an environment), distinctive (skilful, sensitivity).

Value refers to Hofstede (1988) is beliefs and attitudes which presented the philosophical basis for the association of fundamental values. These values vary among different group of people in different cultures. Kamakura Dan Mazzon has adopted value structure of Schwartz by grouping into three parts; Achievement, Empaty and Hedonism.

Definition of cultural competence according to some researcher such as Hofstede (1983) is integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people to standard specifications classified into three types are: Cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and cultural adroitness. Gudykunsts (1992) said intellectual culture has a direct effect on communication, personality orientation, self-construal and individual values also mediate the influence of cultural communication. And Bennett (1993) explains that an ethnocentric view through a powerful acknowledgment and acceptance of difference.

And according to Waterman (1980), self-confidence defined as characteristics of people who are confident), working effectively, responsible, planned in doing tasks and future goals. Glimer (1978) stated selflessness, tolerance, no need of others' confession, optimism and no hesitation in making decisions; dare to face every challenge and be open to new experiences. Self-confidence is defined as the positive attitude of an individual that enables him to develop a positive assessment of himself and the environment and circumstances he faces.

The objectives of the study are thus: (1) To assess employee perceptions of personal branding between local and foreign employee; (2) To assess employee perceptions of self-confidence between local and foreign employee.


The essence of cross-cultural study is a comparative study aimed at comparing certain cultural variables and the consequences or effects of cultural influences, from two cultural contexts or more. Quantitative methods were selected to analyses the data generated from the questionnaire study. The subjected to analysis using SPSS v.20. An independent-samples t-test was conducted to compare personal branding perception scores observed. ANOVA and AMOS multiple group analysis were used to analyse the influence of personal values and cultural competence towards personal branding. Also conducted investigate of the differences between each level of the independent variables for expatriates and local employees. The researcher examined the internal scale reliability and the scale was found to have good internal consistency (Alpha=0.361). Table 1 shows the source and number sample.

Table 1
Location and the Number of Samples
No. Foreign Capital Company (FCC) Number of FCC Number of Expatriates Number of Locals Samples
1 Located in Cilegon City 13 39 26 65
2 Located in Serang City 11 33 22 55
3 Located in Tangerang City 6 18 12 30
  Total 30 90 60 150

Sample of expatriates (Cilegon=Korean 20, Japanese10, Chinese 9; Serang=Korean 10, Japanese10, Chinese 13; Tangerang=Korean 6, Japanese 6, Chinese 6) and local employees (60) at 30 chemical industries in Banten Province Indonesia. A questionnaire was designed to assess employee personal branding towards self-confidence. Given a number criteria (Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian) and other for length of work (Year>1; Year<1). Participant’s involved at this stage in the data collection process reflected a cross section of employees from a number of functional areas on site e.g. maintenance, operations, etc. Participants were asked to indicate their agreement with each of the 24 items included in personal branding perception questionnaire was assessed using 5-point Likert scale (1=worse and 5=excellent) and self-confidence perception questionnaire was assessed using a 5-point Likert scale (1=lowest and 5=highest).

Result and Discussion

ANOVA between-groups analysis of variance was conducted no statistical significance between personal branding towards self-confidence perception scores. For personal value [F=5.465, p=0.002<0.361], cultural competence [F=4.137, p=0.008<0.361] and personal branding [F=2.435, p=0.068<0.361] (Table 2).

Table 2
Output Generated From the Independent Between Group Anova
  Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Personal Values 211,067 3 70,356 5.465 0.002
1,493,300 116 12,873
1,704,367 119  
Cultural Competence 195,667 3 65,222 4.137 0.008
1,828,700 116 15,765
2,024,367 119  
Personal Branding 231,267 3 77,089 2.435 0.068
3,672,600 116 31,660
3,903,867 119  

The result indicated that was no significant difference those variables: Personal values, cultural competence and personal branding between expatriates and local employees because p-values<0.361. In line with Fischer & Smith (2006) that employees are influenced differently by the perceptions of fairness depending on their value orientation; informal communication. In contrast to Lam (2002) that values play a functional role in all sorts of work-related processes and outcomes. Sharma (2016) stated that perceived cultural orientation also have a direct effect on interaction comfort. It is based on freedom value according to conditions and experience, will more tolerant toward culturally distant service employees and they will be independently unaffected by other cultures.

Expatriates perceive that they high level of warm relation, high responsibility, openness attitude, more tolerance and fulfilment of expectation than local employees. In line with that Japanese share a common language, the same socio-cultural values, cultural heritage and national origin. Formalization of institutions also creates differences in the instrumental value of social capital in the hiring context.

Amos multiple group analysis showed that the influence of personal values toward self-confidence is negative (ϒ=-0.102) and cultural competence more dominant influence (ϒ=0.623), variance of personal branding (0.365). The contribution of both variables towards personal branding is (0.365=36.5%). Some studies support the view that labour heterogeneity improves performance through the use of higher skill levels, perspectives and problem-solving abilities (McLeod et al., 1996). And direct influence of personal values on self-confidence is negative (ϒ=-0.686), while the direct influence of cultural competence on self-confidence is positive (ϒ=0.445) and the personal branding effect on self-confidence is negative (ϒ=-0.434). Although the influence of personal values and personal brand directly or indirectly gives a negative effect, but cultural competence can give good contribution of (0.503=50.3%). In line with Rajagopal (2009) that cultural values are most important factors for a strong brand in a strategic position; culture plays a role in the personal brand perception of (Aguirre & Rodriguez, 2014); brand concept represents self-improvement, but does not represent openness (Matzler, 2016) (Table 3).

Table 3
The Result Matrix Calculation of the Influence of Personal Values and Cultural Competence toward Self Confidence
Laten Eksogen Variable Path
T P R2 Error
Personal values (ξ1) -0.686 -3.152 0.002 0.856 0.503
Cultural Competence (ξ1) 0.445 1.922 0.055
Personal Branding( η1) -0.434 -2.084 0.037

From the results showed there are no confidence differences between expatriates and local employees. It indicates all groups are less of positive outlook, realistic goals and skills because they did not felt as workers who have the competence and discipline as a characteristic. On the other hand, they felt confident if they have a clear status as part of their self-esteem. These findings support the research that has been done by Kim (2011) which states that the influence of personal values as the value of self-transcendence and self-improvement determines the level of behavior. Hofstede's claims (1988) that most Chinese adhere to respect certain rules. Researchers suggest that personal branding as a variable intermediary to confidence. For example, an employee who lacks confidence, even if he/she has a good attitude, high performance, good personality, etc., he/she will not have high self-confidence, because he/she has not felt as personal brand. But if he/she has the competence, style, work standard, visibility, consistency, relevance and realization as personal brand, then he/she will have high confidence. The Chinese seem more interdependent, risk averse and masculine and put more emphasis on social inequality and traditions. Interestingly, the Chinese also seem more ethnocentric and Westerners more innovative (Sharma, 2010).

As discussed earlier, that cultural competence can increase employee confidence in building positive outlook, realistic goals, skills, self-esteem and self-evaluation. Nevertheless, it makes sense that the needs of personal values and cultural competencies are expected to have a profound effect on the personal brand of labour, thereby encouraging high self-confidence. In line with Hofstede (1983) which states that the unique competencies, skills and abilities essential for effectively responding to people of different cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions and diversity factors others.

Researcher suggests the workforce has achievement, empathy, hedonism, humility, cooperation and responsibility in improving personal value, especially Chinese and Indonesian. And have cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, cultural prowess, cultural knowledge, solution skills and internalization attitudes that can enhance cultural competence. Chinese perceived a significant difference service employee in terms of ethnicity, nationality and culture (Tam, 2016). Long-term orientation is a characteristic of China's most remarkable culture, which is the reason for standard ethics in Chinese society (Tsui, 2001). Early empirical evidence conducted by Lam (2012) suggests a positive relationship between the appropriateness of personal brands and consumer brands across cultures, but the strongest relationship is moderated by cultural orientation. Cultural knowledge encourage cross-cultural understandings and created friendship circles with others from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and modify their attitudes and behaviors as they related to culture and ethnicity (Kim, 2014). Many scholars have also examined the influence of cultural values on brand awareness and came to the conclusion that values have a significant influence (Paasovaara, 2012). Finally, personal branding as a single variable representing personal values and cultural competence as well as helping in improving employee confidence.


This study provides empirical evidence showing that the personal branding setting itself is not only a key aspect of the case, but if it is described to support the characters needed for self-improvement, its attributes have the capacity to encourage excellent self-confidence. We also point out that all employees have to pay attention to the base-country culture. This is an important implication because it supports stronger confidence, that every foreign worker must understand the basic culture of the State where they work. According to Nolan (2017), found that confidence gains are in tune with the expansion of professionals that include acquisition of knowledge and skills as human capital, participation in collaborative learning community networks as social capital and the ability to exercise professional rights as decision capital. This process helps develop and strengthen individual skills and create a learning-focused climate (Jones et al., 2002).

And vital records that foreign capital company in Indonesia should investigate its business activities on the Negative Investment List (NIL), which contains restrictions on foreign ownership on certain business classifications. Also there is a rule of comparison of 1 foreign worker equal to 10 local workers. In addition to the competence and the suitability of work and the period of residence permit to work for 1 year.

There are several limitations that can be identified for current research. First, generalize these results to a wider population problematic because the findings are based on small employees and small areas. Nevertheless, this study should be replicated with larger and more professional samples. Secondly, only employees from four countries (Korea, Japan, China and Indonesia) were observed. The last limitation, other variables of religion and family background has not been identified. Future studies should seek to expand and deeply analyse the unidentified variables (religion and family background) that affect an employee's self-confidence. Both variables have an important role in shaping confidence.