Sasin Journal of Management: Volume 2, Number 1, 1996


Sasin Journal of Management: Volume 2, Number 1, 1996

na_sjmJack C. Bailes:
Managing Quality Costs

In recent years the nature of international competition has been changing so that the company with the lowest cost or the company with the latest technology can not be assured of market or financial success. Today customer satisfaction is usually the true key to competing successfully in the global marketplace. Many companies consider that quality is the key to customer satisfaction. Quality has been defined in many ways, but more and more the various definitions of quality mention customer satisfaction. That is, quality is coming to be defined as providing the customer with products and services that meet the customers’ expectations for features, reliability, availability, delivery, service and price.

Two separate aspects of quality have often been confused with the concept of overall quality. Design quality refers to the specifications designed into a product. Design quality determines the features, types materials, level of workmanship that will go into the final product. Certainly the hand made Swiss watch with the solid gold case and multi-jeweled movement is a product with exquisite design quality. On the other hand the five figure price tag on this product will not meet the expectations of the overwhelming majority of watch customers. That is, design quality itself does not insure that the customer will be satisfied. In fact today average watch customer is more likely to buy low priced watches with colorful plastic bands and cases. Such watches can be mass produced at a low cost and are just as reliable for telling time as the most expensive watches. To achieve customer satisfaction you cannot treat design quality as an absolute scale that descends from the highest grade to the lowest. Good design quality is that which matches the customers design requirements including product price.

The second aspect of overall quality is the one which has been gaining the most attention lately. This is conformance quality and it refers to producing the product in strict accordance with the design. That is, the product as planned, and operates as planned for as long as planned. When design quality and conformance quality are both achieved, then customers will be satisfied. This should be the ultimate goal of a world class company’s quality management program.

na_sjmAdam Cantor:
Perspectives on South East Asia Cambodia and Myanmar: An Economic and Investment Perspective

Cambodia and Myanmar are poised to integrate their economies with those of their neighbors and the world. Their observer status in ASEAN and desire for full ASEAN membership (and consequently to join AFTA) is seen as a step toward opening their borders to the “East Asian Miracle”. As these countries enter “the East Asian development ladder”, they are in a position to learn from the experiences of their neighbors (like Thailand) who are far ahead in terms of the development process. Cambodia is the poorest country in the region with a GNP per capita of $215. This is not surprising given that its history over the last twenty years is one of civil war and/or Vietnamese control. Myanmar’s GNP per capita of $890 is somewhat higher compared to Indonesia ($700), and Vietnam ($220), but it is far behind countries like Malaysia ($3,530) and Thailand ($2,315).

The aim of this paper is to highlight the economies of these countries and, where useful, to compare them to the other developing economies of East Asia. The strengths of each country will be analyzed and pressing issues will be brought out with the aim of considering appropriate investment strategies in their respective development environments.

na_sjmChris Czerkawski:
The Effect of a Tariff on Consumers in Asia-Pacific Region: Comparative Study

This paper examines the issue of nominal versus real protection, the transfer effects of subsidies and tariffs, and their impact on wealth in eight countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Analysis of the transfer effects shows that protection was generally costly and inefficient, and that consumers were paying the price for protection.

This paper outlines a model of a general equilibrium that distinguishes three sectors and five groups contributing to the transfer of wealth. Analysis of the recent trends in tariffs and subsidies in the selected countries shows that patterns of actual flows by sector and over time correspond to conclusions derived from the model.

na_sjmCharles Jean-Noel Despres:
Work, Management and the Dynamics of Knowledge

This article explores the fact that knowledge has been a real and controlling resource in contemporary business organizations. Various strands of theory, research and practice are drawn together to examine several issues in this regard, both practical and theoretical. Archival data sources are used to explore certain cross-national and macro-economic implications of knowledge work. The difficulties of making the transition to postindustrial, knowledge-intensive organizational forms are evident and a topic of considerable discussion. Certain of these difficulties are examined together with the implications for management.

na_sjmLawrence R. Klein:
The Asian Factor in World Economic Development

Nobel Prize Laureate Lawrence Klein provides a broad overview of the world economy, focusing particularly on the forces operating in Asia. The discussion, based on recent forecasts of Project LINK notes: Fiscal consolidation in the “advanced countries” of Europe and North America; Dynamic growth in Asia, which may be slowing: Growing trade in Latin America, which has not yet produced a sustained expansion; and a turn toward recovery in the “transition” countries of Eastern Europe. With regard to Asia, Klein is only moderately optimistic. Though he is impressed by the forces for growth in the region, — particularly export promotion, high saving and investment, entrepreneurship and work ethic, etc. — he worries that growth may not be sustainable at record levels over the long run. There is already evidence of some slowing in some countries. He is also concerned about the rising costs of defense obligations in the area.

na_sjmMelvin R. Mattson and Esmail Salehi-Sangari:
A Benchmark of the Equipment Acquisition Process: An International Perspective

This article presents the results of an empirical study which compared the organizational decision process for buying equipment and materials in five countries in the Far East along with the processes in Sweden and in a conservative region of the United States. In Asia, the number of people participating in the firm’s buying decision is slightly higher than in the firms in the United States, but fewer than in the Swedish firms. The tasks of the participants in Asian firms are fairly traditional, matching the conservative American group, whereas in Sweden the most important function for all participants is gathering information. The purchasing department in Asia has negotiation as its most important task, the technical staff has specifications and supplier evaluations as its top task, and the production department’s top contributions to the acquisition process are need recognition and supplier evaluation. The article provides a base for comparative acquisition process studies and for comparative marketing strategies.

na_sjmSamart Powpaka:
The Effect of Market Orientation on Profitability: An Empirical Investigation of Thai Companies

This study represents an attempt to validate the findings of Narver and Slater (1990) regarding the positive impact of market orientation on business performance in countries other than the US by using a sample drawn from Thai companies. This study also compares an alternative conceptual model of market orientation (i.e., market orientation as a three-dimensional construct consisting of three behavioral components: customer orientation, competitor orientation, and interfunctional coordination) with the one-dimensional construct proposed by Narver and Slater (1990). Results show that both conceptual models of market orientation are significant determinants of business performance and that the three-dimensional market orientation provides a better fit to the data and explains the higher proportion of variance. Results also show that only one behavioral component of market orientation, customer orientation, is a significant determinant of business performance. A modified model is then proposed. Finally, managerial implications and future research directions are discussed.

na_sjmUthai Tanlamai, Dhitiporn Chompookum and Vatcharaporn Esichaikul:
Awareness and Perceptions of EDI among Bar Codes Users in Thailand

In the Asia-Pacific region, there is an increasing interest in the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in business applications. The purpose of this study is to investigate EDI awareness, use, and planned adoption among Thai industries. The results indicate that the extent of EDI awareness and use is still in its infancy. One prominent obstacle to EDI is the lack of real knowledge of what EDI can and cannot do.

na_sjmSuphong Vibulsresth and Lynne Bennington:
Benchmarking in Thailand

Benchmarking is increasingly being used in the western world to improve performance and company survival prospects. Given the economic success and the newly industrialized status of Thailand, this study examined the business practices of the Top 500 companies in Thailand to determine the level of awareness and adoption of benchmarking.

na_sjmFelipe B. Alfonso, Chirawan Chaisuan, Ian Fenwick, Siriyupa Roongrerngsuke, Atipol Bhanich Supapol, and Narasri Vaivanijkul:
Joint Ventures in the Electrical and Electronics Industries in Thailand

The purpose of this research project was to analyze international joint ventures in Thailand in the electrical and electronics industries. The intention was to analyze the critical factors that result in successful international joint ventures in this area. The basic question of the research was to identify what are the critical factors that influence the performance of international joint ventures in Thailand. The study was successful in identifying both factors which create problems and those which lead to good performance. This study focused on the electrical and electronics industries because of their rapid growth, relative importance in terms of manufacturing exports from Thailand, and the potential importance of the joint venture in these industries in Thailand. The report includes a thorough review of the growth and development of these industries in Thailand including a discussion of how the roles of technology transfer and Thai government incentives for foreign direct investment have particularly enhanced the opportunities for joint ventures.

na_sjmSJM Interview: Mr. Viroj Phutrakul
Daryl Chansuthus, Covey, Peters and Senge: Mastering Self, Inspiring Others, and Embracing Change

On September 13, 1996, a seminar entitled “Worldwide Lessons in Leadership” was held, featuring a worldwide satellite telecast of presentations by America’s foremost management gurus: Stephen Covey, Tom Peters and Peter Senge. Organized by the Covey Leadership Center (Thailand) and endorsed by the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, the seminar exposed its Bangkok audience to the latest management philosophies for these, in Tom Peters’ words, “topsy-turvy” times.

Covey, Peters, and Senge are not entirely new to the Bangkok business scene. Indeed, more than a few organizations are attempting to put into practice some of the principles Covey, Peters, and Senge preach. Successful implementation, however, requires an internalization of ways of thinking and patterns of behavior that usually result in a complete paradigm shift for both the individual and the organization. Complementary and interrelated, the philosophies of Covey, Peters and Senge revolve around a few basic, but vital principles for living and for doing business: 1) mastering self; 2) inspiring others; and 3) embracing change. A closer look at these men’s philosophies and their underlying principles might be of benefit to organizations considering a paradigm change.