Document Type

Thesis

Publication details

Wong, WW 2012, 'The internationalization of Malaysian engineering consulting services firms', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright WW Wong 2012

Abstract

This exploratory research focused on the internationalization of the Malaysian ECS firms for increasing the service export and the Research Problem: 'What are the important critical factors for the successful internationalization of Malaysian ECS firms?’. It examined the challenges that the Malaysian ECS industry faces in its efforts to export its services to international markets.

The research reviewed the key pertinent theories relating to internationalization, the global engineering consulting industry and the Malaysian ECS industry. It also examined the Government’s policies towards the Malaysian ECS industry and its export. The review revealed gaps in the existing body of knowledge and these permitted the crafting of three research propositions for testing by this research through a mixed methodology involving both qualitative and quantitative approach with the former being dominant. The primary data was collected from a focus group meeting and a structured questionnaire survey.

The research findings underlined the need for clear and coordinated Government policies, and the regulatory framework by the policy makers for the development of the ECS industry to compete effectively in the world markets. This includes appropriateamendments to the REA and to change the composition of the Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM) to include more ECS practitioners.

The findings of the study also confirmed the need for a coherent policy to support the export initiatives of the Malaysian ECS industry. This includes the setting up of a dedicated one stop agency for the promotion of export programmes and implementation of effective strategies and focused planning.

The research made recommendations to the Malaysian ECS industry 1) to emphasize on human capital development in management, financial, marketing and soft skills, 2) to actively formulate and implement internationalization strategies, 3) to commit resources for international market expansion, 4) to establish local presence to explore business opportunities and develop network relationships with local actors and, 5) to enlarge firm size by mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

In line with the research objectives, the research findings extended the body of knowledge on the research topic and contributed to theory building. Finally, the study offered recommendations for further research by undertaking a more comprehensive and detailed descriptive study on the Modified Internationalization Framework for Malaysian ECS firms developed by this research.

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