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International Journal of Management Studies (IJMS) Vol. 15, Bumper Issue September 2008

Quality Management and Profitability Linkage: Does the Length of QM Adoption Act as the Moderating Variable?
Arawati Agus
Graduate School of Business
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ  Full Text
Manufacturing companies in Malaysia have never had it so tough. They are now confronting increasing prices of oil and raw materials, high advancement in innovation and technology, as well as high customer expectation on the quality of products and services. In addition, managers of these companies are well aware of the increasing competitive pressures in the world market. It is clear today that these pressures are due largely to the increased performance of those firms that have successfully implemented quality improvement. This paper presents the findings from an empirical study examining the relationship between quality management (QM) practices and profitability in the electronics and electrical industry in Malaysia. It is said that QM has the potential to not only enhance production efficiency and effectiveness, but also improves bottom-line results. Much has been written about the relationship between QM and performance. However, the link of QM practices to profitability in the electronics and electrical industry in Malaysia has not been fully addressed in empirical studies. To address this issue, this paper investigates the impact of QM practices on profitability in the Malaysian electronics and electrical industry using correlation, multiple regression, and hierarchical regression analyses. The findings revealed that quality measurement, supplier relations, and benchmarking in particular, appear to be of primary importance and exhibit significant impact on profitability. Findings of the study provided a striking demonstration of the importance of implementing effective QM practices for the electronics and electrical industry in Malaysia in enhancing its profitability. However, the study failed to provide the statistical evidence of the existence of the moderating effect of the length of QM adoption on the QM and profitability linkage.
 
Keywords: Quality management; profitability; electronics and electrical industry; correlation, and multiple regression analysis.
 

 
The Displaced Plantation Workers : A Case Study of Ruber Estates in Kedah
Shri Dewi Subramaniam, Asan Ali Golam Hassan & Muszafarshah Mohd Mustafa
College of Arts and Sciences
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ  Full Text
Eviction of plantation workers, due to the development of estate lands and changing land ownerships, has been a big and unresolved issue. Many plantation areas have been sold to make way either for housing projects or industrial sites. When an estate is sold, the estate workers lose not only their jobs, but also their homes and additional sources of income from farming and animal husbandry. They are also entitled to receive termination benefits. The majority of these displaced workers have skills only in the agricultural sector and many of them are old aged. The main objective of this study was to analyse the socio-economic situations of the displaced workers due to the development of the rubber estate lands in Kedah. The snowball sampling method was used to identify the respondents. The survey was based on 11 estates and 349 ex-workers of these estates were interviewed. The areas of this study were in Sungai Petani and Kulim. The results clearly showed that the majority of the evicted workers migrated to locations that were on average around 3km from their original estates. The majority of them worked with private sector companies upon their evictions. However, many of them are still in their estate houses, waiting for better compensation to be paid in the form of new houses elsewhere. It is suggested in this paper that the compensation should be in terms of home ownership, provided jointly by the government and firms. There have also been some suggestions to solve the issue through programmes provided by the Ministry of Agriculture.
 
Keywords: Migration; estate workers; displaced workers.
 

 
A Re-Examination of the Role of Foreign Direct Investment and Exports in Malaysia’s Economic Growth: A Time Series Analysis, 1970-2006
Tang Chor  Foon
College of Arts and Sciences
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ  Full Text
The main objective of this study was to re-examine the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) and exports in Malaysia’s economic growth over the period of 1970 to 2006. The Johansen and Juselius (1990) cointegration test was used to investigate the presence of a long-run equilibrium relationship between economic growth and its determinants. Besides, the vector errorcorrection model (VECM) and the Granger (1969) causality test were used to examine the short-and long-run causality direction between the relevant variables. The empirical results revealed that economic growth and its determinants were cointegrated. The Dynamic OLS results suggested that FDI and exports were positively related to economic growth. In addition, the Granger causality results strongly supported bilateral causality between economic growth and its determinants. This indicated that FDI and exports contribute to Malaysia’s economic growth. In fact, high economic growth will also cause FDI and export-orientated industries to grow rapidly.
 
Keywords: Causality; Cointegration; Export-led growth; FDI-led growth. JEL Classification Code: C32, F21, F43.
 

 
New Public Management in Malaysia: in search of an Efficient and effective service delivery
Siti Nabiha Abdul Khalid
School of Management
Universiti Sains Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ  Full Text
The Malaysian public sector has undergone various transformations since the Independence. From its custodial role in the newly independent country, the public sector had changed and taken an active role in the country’s economic development. However, since 1980s onwards, the philosophy and techniques of New Public Management (NPM) have been implemented in Malaysia. This again transformed the public sector from being an engine of economic growth to become a facilitator to the private sector and service provider to the public. In line with NPM’s underlying belief of the superiority of businesslike practices, various contemporary management practices and philosophy were implemented in the Malaysian public sector. The implantation of private sector practices in the public sector was enhanced with the introduction a performance measurement system which utilises the use of key performance indicators in 2005. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine and analyse the current improvement programme within the wider public sector reform programmes in Malaysia. The issues and consequences of using key performance indicators in the public sector are discussed. To understand further the reasons and the push for reform, contextual descriptions of the various phases of public sector reform in Malaysia are also discussed in this paper.
 

 
Are Foreign Multinationals More Efficient? A Stochastic Production Frontier Analysis of Malaysia’s Automobile Industry
Noor Aini Khalifah & Basri Abdul Talib
Faculty of Economics and Business
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
 
Putri Zharifa Amdun
Economic Planning Unit
Prime Ministers Department
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
This paper compares the sources of total factor productivity (TFP) growth of foreign (establishments with 51% and above foreign equity ownership) and local establishments in Malaysia’s automotive sector by applying a stochastic production frontier to a panel of 510 plants for the period 2000-2004. The results showed that TFP growth for local automobile plants was minimal at 0.63% and minimally negative at -0.27% for foreign plants. On average, over the study period, technical efficiency changes contributed positively toward TFP growth but scale efficiency changes were negative for both local and foreign establishments. Technical progress was minimally positive for local establishments and minimally negative for foreign establishments. The small size of plants and the lower share of white-collar workers were significant in explaining plant inefficiency in Malaysia’s automobile sector. A higher capital-labour ratio was positively related to plant inefficiency and this may be due to excess capacity in the automobile sector as a result of a small domestic market. Finally, foreign multinationals are significantly more efficient than locally owned plants.
 
Keywords: Technical efficiency change; technological progress; stochastic production frontier; automobile industry; Malaysia. JEL Classification Numbers: D24, L23, L62, O14, O53.
 

 
The Impact of Process Quality Measurement on Financial Performance of Market Oriented Firms
Sany Sanuri Mohd Mokhtar & Rushami Zien Yusoff
College of Business
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ  Full Text
Market orientation and process quality measurement had been regarded in the literature as sources of competitive advantage for business performance. However, both these concepts had been discussed separately in their own respective academic discipline. In the context of business operation today, the organisation need to work as a team to survive in the challenging business environment. Market orientation originates from the marketing concept. On the other hand, process quality measurement originates from quality management principles and is viewed as one of its tools. Despite their importance, many organisations have not combined them in order to become a market driven and quality oriented organisation. Thus, this study investigated the impact of process quality measurement on the relationship between market orientation and financial performance of manufacturing firms in Malaysia. Although the overall results showed lack of evidence on the impact of process quality measurement on market orientation-financial performance relationships, individual results signified that process quality measurement moderate the relationship between market action and financial performance.
 

 
Keadilan Penilaian Prestasi dalam Kalangan Guru dan Hubungannya dengan Motivasi Kerja dan Prestasi Akademik Sekolah
Abdull Sukor Shaari, Ab. Aziz Yusof & Mohd Khan Jamal Khan
Kolej Sastera dan Sains
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Tang Swee Mei & Lim Kong Teong
Kolej Perniagaan
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ  Full Text
Kajian ini bertujuan meninjau persepsi guru terhadap keadilan penilaian prestasi dari segi keadilan pengagihan dan keadilan prosedur. Di samping itu, kajian ini juga meninjau hubungan antara kedua-dua aspek keadilan penilaian prestasi dan impaknya terhadap pencapaian organisasi sekolah yang diukur melalui motivasi kerja guru dan prestasi akademik sekolah. Tinjauan telah dijalankan ke atas 110 buah sekolah menengah yang dipilih secara rawak daripada senarai sekolah menengah di Kedah dan Perlis. Sebanyak 86 buah sekolah telah mengambil bahagian dalam kajian, iaitu mewakili 78% kadar respon. Analisis korelasi menunjukkan bahawa (a) keadilan prosedur mempunyai korelasi positif yang signifikan dengan keadilan pengagihan; (b) motivasi kerja mempunyai korelasi positif yang signifikan dengan keadilan pengagihan; dan (c) prestasi akademik sekolah mempunyai korelasi positif yang signifikan dengan kedua-dua keadilan prosedur dan pengagihan. Di samping itu, keputusan kajian juga menunjukkan bahawa kedua-dua aspek keadilan mempunyai perhubungan positif yang signifikan dengan prestasi akademik sekolah.
 
Kata kunci: Keadilan; keadilan organisasi; penilaian prestasi.
 

 
Faktor-Faktor yang Mempengaruhi Komitmen dalam Kalangan Penjawat Awam
Khulida Kirana Yahya, Johanim Johari, Zurina Adnan, Mohd Faizal Mohd Isa & Zulkiflee Daud
Kolej Perniagaan
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Kajian ini dijalankan untuk mengenal pasti faktor-faktor yang mempengaruhi tahap komitmen dalam kalangan para pekerja peringkat sokongan dan pengurusan di ibu pejabat sebuah badan kerajaan. Faktor-faktor yang dikaji adalah sokongan pengurusan, pembangunan kerjaya, jaminan pekerjaan, latihan dan pembangunan, dan ganjaran. Pengumpulan data dilakukan melalui kaedah soal selidik. Sebanyak 356 set soal selidik diedarkan dan hanya 349 atau 98.03% set soal selidik telah digunakan untuk tujuan penganalisaan. Data dianalisa menggunakan Ujian Korelasi Pearson dan Ujian Multiple Regresi. Hasil kajian mendapati semua faktor yang dikaji mempunyai hubungan yang positif dengan komitmen pekerja terhadap organisasi. Analisis regresi pula menunjukkan bahawa hanya dimensi sokongan pengurusan, jaminan pekerjaan, dan latihan dan pembangunan, mempunyai pengaruh perkaitan yang signifikan dengan dimensi komitmen. Oleh itu, adalah penting bagi pihak majikan memberi perhatian terhadap aspek-aspek berikut dalam meningkatkan komitmen pekerja terhadap organisasi.
 
Kata kunci: Komitmen; sokongan pengurusan; jaminan pekerjaan; latihan dan pembangunan.
 

 
Kesolvenan dan Kecekapan Teknikal Syarikat Insurans Hayat di Malaysia
Rubayah Yakob
Fakulti Ekonomi dan Perniagaan
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
 
Zaidi Isa
Fakulti Sains dan Teknologi
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Kesolvenan merupakan elemen terpenting di dalam syarikat insurans yang perlu dipastikan di samping elemen yang lain seperti ketersediaan produk, kualiti perkhidmatan dan tingkah laku beretika. Dengan kata lain, jika kedudukan kewangan insurer tidak stabil dan kukuh, elemen-elemen yang lain tidak akan bermakna. Pada masa yang sama, ketidakcekapan teknikal yang dialami oleh syarikat akan memberi kesan kepada keuntungan dan pertumbuhan syarikat. Tanpa pertumbuhan, syarikat insurans tidak akan berupaya untuk mengumpulkan jumlah perniagaan yang mencukupi bagi memastikan gemblengan insurans di bawah hukum bilangan besar terlaksana yang mana diketahui bahawa operasi insurans tertakluk di bawah hukum tersebut. Berdasarkan keadaan ini, kajian ini akan mengenal pasti sejauh mana tahap kecekapan dalam kalangan syarikat insurans hayat dan menyiasat hubungan yang wujud di antara kesolvenan dan kecekapan di dalam institusi tersebut di Malaysia. Di samping tahap kecekapan, hubungan di antara saiz dan kesolvenan juga akan diuji. Tahap kecekapan atau skor kecekapan akan diperoleh melalui analisis perbatasan stokastik (APS). Manakala hubungan di antara kecekapan dan saiz dengan kesolvenan akan menggunakan analisis data panel. Data selama dua tahun iaitu, dari tahun 2003 dan 2004 akan digunakan dalam kajian ini. Hasil analisis membuktikan bahawa secara keseluruhannya syarikat insurans hayat tidak beroperasi pada batas effisien dan ketidakcekapan itu berpunca daripada ketidakcekapan pengurusan input (ketidacekapan teknikal). Didapati juga bahawa, saiz dan kecekapan mempunyai hubungan yang siknifikan dengan kesolvenan. Model yang dibangunkan akan dapat membantu beberapa pihak yang berkaitan dengan industri insurans hayat seperti pengguna, syarikat insurans dan penggubal dasar dalam memperbaiki sistem yang sedia ada.
 
Kata kunci: Kesolvenan; kecekapan teknikal; analisis perbatasan stokastik; skor kecekapan.
 

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