1. What is the significant of the topic?
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the biggest industrial contributor to the Malaysian economy. With the globalization has widely happen to the industry and has changed the business environment of manufacturing industry with an increase in competition and advanced manufacturing technology (AMT).
This research is intended to examine how the changes in technology and competition have caused the strategic change to the SMEs. As the SMEs represent the largest proportion of the manufacturing sector in Malaysia, the authors believe that the results of the study will provide useful guideline to SMEs on facing challenges to their business environment.
Research framework is shown as below:
2. What gap is filling? Identify the research problem.
According to Kassim et al. (2003), globalization brings in new technology and makes a developing country open to greater competition. Globalization has forced SMEs, not only to compete among themselves, but also to compete with the larger manufacturing firms. By saying that, SMEs need to be competitive in order to keep survive.
Furthermore, for an SME to sustain in the current business environment, they can’t rely on government incentives only. They need to adopt business strategies that are matched with the changes in business competition and AMT.
For this paper, it can be classified as an organizational management strategy problem. The organization of the SMEs needs to react proactively on their strategies to the changes in competition and AMT to sustain and improve their business performance.
3. What is its main contribution?
The result of this study provides useful guidelines to SMEs on facing changes to their business environment. As the two main areas that have been focused by the researchers: competition and AMT, SMEs have to be vigilant. Have the flexibility changing their business strategies will help to stay competitive with its competitors or larger firms.
Other than that, this study also has made an incremental contribution to the existing organizational change literature for SMEs in developing countries. Many studies have been conducted pertaining SMEs performance; however very limited research has taken place into how changes in technological and competitive business environments have caused strategic change in SMEs and how these changes affect performance.
4. What are the objectives? General? Specific? Do the objectives answer the research problem?
Two main objectives have been identified by the researchers which are:
To examine the level of change in competition, AMT and strategy in Malaysian manufacturing SMEs.
To examine the effects of alignment among competition, technology and strategies on SMEs performance.
The objectives are too general and only focus on the level of changes and the effects of the alignment of those factors. However, the researchers did not examine on what kind of strategies that need to be adopt by SMEs when facing any changes in competition and AMT. This is important as the study is intended to provide guidelines to SMEs when facing these problems.
5. Is the literature review comprehensive? Is the most recent work included?
By referring to the published article, the literature review did by the researchers is not comprehensive enough. The relationships between each variable are not clearly explained.
On top of that, there are some hypotheses being proposed are just based on assumption. There are no references being mentioned by the researchers on developing their hypotheses. As an example, the researchers hypothesized that:
H1: Small and medium manufacturing companies in Malaysia have become more competitive.
H2: Small and medium manufacturing companies in Malaysia have significantly adopted AMT.
H1: Small and medium manufacturing companies in Malaysia have significantly changed their differentiation strategic emphasis.
They may do comprehensively and...
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