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Strategic technology management and the performance of firms in the electrical and electronics manufacturing industry of Malaysia (1986 - 1995) - An exploratory study

Sikander, Arif (2011) Strategic technology management and the performance of firms in the electrical and electronics manufacturing industry of Malaysia (1986 - 1995) - An exploratory study. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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      Abstract

      Malaysia has experienced robust economic growth since 1986. The manufacturing sector has been the main driving force behind this sustained and impressive performance. One success story is that of the electronics and electrical industry in Malaysia between 1986 and 1995, and this thesis is an exploration of the firms involved in the gains that were achieved in the sector during that period. This period is also significant because an Industry Master Plan had been introduced by the Malaysian Government to promote growth and structural change in the manufacturing sector. Using the proposed model, this research explored the relationship between Technology Strategy (TS) and Technology Management (TM) and firm performance, the influence of the type and size of firm and the other background variables on the acquisition of successful factors.

      Strategic technology management (STM) approach, which places technology in a strategic context, emerged in the late eighties in response to failure of more traditional techniques for exploiting technology. STM in this study included aspects of both technology strategy (content) and technology management (process). Many studies in strategic management research have investigated the relationship between technology strategy, technology management and firm performance, but largely from a western viewpoint. This study addresses this gap in the literature and focuses on a newly developing country outside the western block namely, Malaysia.

      A survey instrument, developed from Strategic Technology Management (STM) literature, was dispatched to the Chief Executive Officers and senior management in 101 high-tech E&E firms. Statistical tools were used to perform Factor and Regression analysis on the variables representing various dimensions. The results were analysed in such a way as to identify TS and TM factors associated with success within this industry at that time. The results demonstrated that the factors of key positioning and strategic R&D were linked to performance, while the factors of technology leadership, up-to-date plants and facilities, technology consciousness, formal planning and external technology acquisition were not. The firms that were more likely to acquire the former factors were those that formed part of a multinational corporation and those involved in joint ventures. Foreign and locally-owned companies were less likely to acquire the factors associated with success within this industry at that time. This has profound implications both for practice within firms and for attempts to facilitate economic success by those in government.

      Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
      Murdoch Affiliation: Murdoch Business School
      Supervisor: Cook, Ian, Girardi, Antonia and Joseph, Richard
      URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/7937
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