Sasin Journal of Management: Volume 6, Number 1, 2000


Sasin Journal of Management: Volume 6, Number 1, 2000

na_sjmF. Gerard Adams & Heidi Vernon
Thai Business Sentiment and Economic Recovery

Survey-based measures of business sentiment are widely used as a way of evaluating and forecasting the business situation. They provide a perspective on business thinking (optimism or pessimism) that helps supplement more concrete indicators of business performance. The Sasin Survey gathered data from 147 Thai business people enrolled in Sasin’s graduate management programs. It solicited their assessment of the current business environment, Thailand’s ability to regain the economic momentum that stalled in the 1997 crisis, and their perception of how well their own companies are doing and how well they will do in the near future. We also asked what industries they think will be most likely to prosper in an increasingly competitive global environment. To augment the survey, we drew on student papers that discussed their companies’ activities and responses to Thai economic conditions between 1995 and 2000.

na_sjmSumalee Chivamitr, Chusak Udomsri, and Prae Keerasuntonpong
Feasibility Study on Herbal Tea for Health Project

The use of herbal medicine is widely accepted. Many have been registered with the Food and Drugs Association. In addition, with advanced technology, there is more research being done over the qualification of herbs in medical areas. The consumption rate for herbal medicine is getting higher.

na_sjmLeo Paul Dana
A Model for Understanding the Economic & Political Environment for Business

The current trend of economic liberalization has resulted in increased foreign competition, even in formerly protected domestic markets. In order to succeed in the new world order, entrepreneurs must understand the forces shaping different operating environments. However, most international business theories focus on large multi-national corporations, and ignore small-scale businesses. Furthermore, much of the classic literature was developed in the United States, with a focus on firm-type economies of the West. Whereas existing theories have been adequate in the context of traditional scenarios, the time has come to consider a new model reflecting emerging trends in the global environment. This article briefly discusses shortcomings of existing literature, and then proposes a model designed to simplify strategic planning in otherwise complex situations facing small firms.

na_sjmWilliam L. Koh & Valerie See Mei Ling
The Glass Ceiling Phenomenon in the Singapore Hotel Industry

This study aims to examine women’s perception of a glass ceiling in the hotel industry in Singapore. Women’s perceptions of fairness with regards to the differences in the pay levels and promotion rates across gender were examined, along with the gender composition of hotel management. The effects that these variables had on job satisfaction and intention to leave were then examined.

na_sjmRajah V. Komaran & Loh Lian Nah
Gift-Giving by Different Ethnic Groups in Singapore

Intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic gift-giving by Chinese, Malays and Indians in Singapore are explained in terms of age, traditional inclination within one’s ethnic community, and cultural sensitivity to other ethnicities for gift types, ending digits for cash amounts and wrapper colors for weddings and newborns. Within each ethnic group but not necessarily across groups, flowers are not given as they are associated with rituals, funerals and ancestral worship. Though each ethnic group tries to conform to its respective customs, a few practices are being discontinued. For instance, the Chinese appears no longer averse to avoiding “4” that sounds like “die” in Mandarin and Chinese dialects. Rather than the Chinese, it is Indians who are most sensitive to numbers. In their case, odd numbers are lucky, though they would end cash gifts with “5” but not “1”. Culturally sensitive Indians are even willing to disregard their own aversion for “8” and pick it for Chinese weddings and newborns. Interestingly, Malays, for whom numbers per se have no special meanings, would choose “1” for Indians. The effect is to make a number uneven and hence lucky for Indians. Malays are most consistent in avoiding products such as alcohol that are prohibited (haram) by their religion. Although knives are taboo among many Asians, the Chinese do not actively reject them for fellow Chinese, but the culturally sensitive ones will avoid them for Malays and Indians. Malays will try not to give these among themselves or to others, but Indians will avoid them only among themselves. In respect of colors, dull ones such as blue, brown and gray are not suitable for cheerful occasions, and Singaporeans choose either red/pink or yellow/orange wrappers. Given that it is difficult to be cross-ethnically correct, and in cases where cross-cultural conventions conflict, it is best to avoid taboos and blunders by giving things that are neutral.

na_sjmTeo Soo Leng & Pean Padunchwit
Re-Designing for Manufacturing Excellence

Today, the business environment is rapidly changing. There is an upward trend in customer demand for improved quality, lower cost, on time delivery and increased responsiveness. Manufacturing operations must be agile and respond aggressively to enable a company to remain the supplier of choice. To continually deliver excellent financial results amidst the changing business environment, the manufacturing system needs to evolve along with the external change. At the heart of the manufacturing operation is the control system. It keeps the manufacturing world on target, on time, every time. This paper proposes a control system re-design of the fundamental manufacturing elements; material, data and workforce. The principle-driven control systems presented are highly adaptive to various manufacturing scenarios and enable organizations to maintain or achieve a competitive edge while sustaining high employee morale.

na_sjmBishnu Sharma
Organisational Variable and Strategic Focus at the Functional Level: An Empirical Investigation of Their Relationship

This research investigated whether the strategic focus of Australian manufacturing firms at the functional level differs with the different attributes of organizational characteristics. At the functional level, seven functional strategies were considered: productivity, research and development, technology, marketing, human resources, organizational, and financial. The study found that cost leaders were generally found to put more emphasis on productivity than differentiators, and differentiators put more emphasis on R&D than cost leaders and focusers. The findings suggest that larger firms put more emphasis on productivity, marketing, and organizational strategies. Relatively higher emphasis was observed in R&D strategy for businesses at the growth stage, those involved in the manufacture of consumer goods, those involved in exports with a higher sales growth in export markets, and those with a higher growth rate relative to their industry. By industry category, the metal industry was found to put a significantly higher emphasis on technology than the food industry.

na_sjmMark Speece
Positioning Thai Brands in Developed Country Markets: Consumer Research from Finland

Country-of-origin (COO) perceptions are an important issue as NIC/LDC products penetrate markets in developing countries. Brand managers may face unwillingness to buy their products if their home country has strong negative perceptions. Six consumer surveys from Finland show that Thai products do face some resistance. However, the majority of consumers are willing to consider them. A made-in Thailand label is not much of a problem, but resistance is greater for a Thai brand. However, Thai products are already perceived similarly to Korean or Taiwanese products, even though Thai brands are just beginning to develop the brand images which NIC companies have been working on for up to a decade. Consumers who are strongly quality oriented also present a bigger problem to Thai products. As might be expected, strongly price-oriented people are more receptive. However, value-oriented segments also offer good prospects for Thai products.

na_sjmJochen Wirtz, Tan Soo Jiuan, and Kau Ah Keng
Moral Standards, Traditions, and Family and Social Values of Singaporeans – Findings from a Large-Scale Lifestyle Study

This paper examines the perceptions of Singaporeans on issues pertaining to morality, traditions, family and society in general, based on data collected for a nation-wide lifestyle study. Generally, Singaporeans are morally conscious, especially on issues pertaining to public morality. Singaporeans are also pro-family and fully support family core values such as providing for one’s aged parents and honouring the elders. However, Singaporeans are not too keen on practicing and upholding traditions, especially those who are in their late teens. In terms of social values, higher income and better-educated Singaporeans are less likely to respect authority or to conform to social norms.

na_sjmProfessor Toemsaksi Krishnamra
Thailand’s Economic and Social Development Experience: Possible Lessons for Vietnam

The following article is based on a paper presented by Professor Toemsakdi Krishnamra, Director of Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University at the International Conference on “Socio-Economic Strategies for Central Vietnam at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century” on April 20-21, 2000 at Danang, Vietnam.

na_sjmMr. Jack Min Intanate
SVOR – Ramping SME’s onto the Global Superhighway
SJM Interview

Imagine racing down a straight, 6-lane highway, beautiful cars zooming ahead and a slew of shiny cars zipping behind. Light breezes caress your cheeks, your favorite song plays on the radio and in your rearview mirror you eye a longhaired beauty in the car behind yours. Life is good. And as far as you can tell, there’s nothing but blue skies and better times ahead.