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Tan, LL 2008, 'The internationalisation of Malaysian manufacturing small and medium enterprises', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright LL Tan 2008


This exploratory research, focused on the internationalisation of Malaysian manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a globalising world. It examined the challenges that Malaysian SMEs face in their efforts to export their products to highly competitive international markets.

Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, the research reviewed the pertinent theories relating to internationalisation, entrepreneurship, SMEs and the Malaysian Government’s policies towards SMEs. The review revealed gaps in the existing body of knowledge and these permitted the crafting of four research propositions for testing by this research. Primary data was collected from a focus group meeting and a structured questionnaire survey.

The research findings underlined the need for the Malaysian Government to critically review its support policies for SMEs as i) the majority remained unaware of the available support policies, programmes and measures. This suggests that the Government devote more attention on promoting and improving its delivery systems ii) some export manufacturing SMEs were unaware of their eligibility for Government support. The Government has to therefore ensure that its policies are aimed at assisting all SMEs and are not discriminatory.

In line with the research objectives, the research findings contributed to theory building through the development of a modified international entrepreneurship model. Finally, the study offered recommendations for further research by undertaking a more comprehensive study to test the modified international entrepreneurship model.