Human capital, innovation and Malaysian manufacturing sectors performance


This study will provide significant impact and insights for the current government initiatives in transforming the manufacturing sectors to be more competitive to face the intense competition from the low cost production sites namely from China and India and Vietnam. The interlink between human capital, innovation activities, productivity and export performance at sectoral level is less understood and limited in the case of Malaysia for any useful policy recommendations. For instance, in Malaysia, studies mainly concentrated on the trade issues using macro economic data and not sectoral data.There is an urgent need for an exploratory analysis on the issues given the fact that Malaysia has commited in achieving high income status through; human capital development, improvement in innovation, productivity and performance. The aims of this research are to fill the research gaps by exploring the following issues:  (1) what is the level of sectoral innovation activities, productivity and performance of the different manufacturing sectors in Malaysia. (2) where the innovation activities and productivity is concentrated and what drives innovation activities and productivity within the manufacturing sectors. The unit of analysis used in this research involved analyzing the sectoral level data of various manufacturing industries in Malaysia. Descriptive statistical analysis is employed to explore the simple issues of the level of innovation, productivity as well as export performance using recent dataset.  In addition, to explore the drivers of innovation, productivity and export performance, the study employs a panel data regression analysis. Indeed, the complex interrelationship between the three can also be analyzed using this technique.



The dynamics of innovation patterns in selected high-tech and low tech manufacturing industries in Malaysia


Technological innovation is sector-specific and the formulation of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) related policies and strategic thrusts have to be tailor-made to suit the specific needs of the sector as well as the country. The development of technological trajectory in the industry is contextual to its predominant characteristics, such as its knowledge and learning process, actors and networks, and institutions. In this regard, knowledge is considered as the most fundamental resource and the process of learning is the most important process in innovation. The heterogeneous innovation actors are connected through complex relations that are often characterised by reciprocity and feedback mechanisms in several loops. This interaction occurs in the context of institutions, such as laws, rules, regulations, norms and cultural habits.Base on this standpoint and drawing upon the framework of innovation systems, the ultimate objective of this research is to investigate the accumulation of idiosyncratic competencies amongst the key innovation actors among the industries from different technological level. This research goes beyond the existing literature on sectoral innovation studies, particularly in the case of developing countries by addressing the different the technological  innovation and trajectory among the high-tech and low-tech industries. The case study method will be used to elicit empirical evidences from these industries. As STI policies can be more effective when they are based on a more comprehensive understanding of the nature of both the low-tech and high-tech industries, findings of this research are particularly important for the formulation of feasible STI policies in the nation. Moreover, as this research is expected to deliver valuable insight into issues, challenges and strategic thrusts for upgrading the innovation capabilities in selected sectors in the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) or research priority areas, it is very much in line with the current government initiatives to transform Malaysia into an innovation-driven and high-income country by 2020.


The influence of attitudes, cognitions and strategies on the success of organizational transformation in public sectors


Organizational tranformation is vital in driving the innovation led economy pursuited by the Malaysia government (Malaysia, 2010). Indeed, the economic transformation programs (ETP) stressed on the importance of organization to transform itself to delivery speedy services and to be efficient. However, there is little research on the determinants of successful organizational transformations. Examining the drivers of organizational transformation is important for a number of reasons. First, for policy purpose, identifying the drives of organizational transformation enables the policy makers and managers  to formulate policies that might intensive the success of organizational transformation. Second, it is vital to complement the current efforts of the government to transform existing organization in order to improve service deliveries of the public sectors so that a more progressive economic performance can be achieved especially in becoming high income nation by 2020. In this aspect, this study will consider the issues of how attitudes, congnitions and strategies drives the success of organizational transformation in public sectors. The findings provide insights on how the public sectors should be design to improve the success of transformation. The main objectives of the research includes: 1) to investigate the attitudes, cognitions and reactions of employees towards the change; 2) to examine the strategies for successful transformation process; 3) to examine the effect of attitudes, cognitions and reactions on transformation efforts and strategies; and 4) to identify the drivers, barriers that influence the transformation process. Selected public organization that has undergone significant transformation will be used as the sample of the study. Literature search suggest that three important variables as the prominent drivers of transformation namely attitude, cognition and strategies. Therefore, using the Burke’s Managing Change Model (1994), we examine the important of these variables, in detail, to the success of transformation. The study engaged in a questionnaire survey that captures those dimensions mentioned earlier.  We expect that leadership as well as other dimensions related to employees to contribute significantly to the success of the transformation process.



Innovation Auditing


Field work – Auditing the innovative small medium companies. This is an exercise for the InnoCert initiatives by the government to reward to most innovative companies.