Building SMEs Competitive Advantage in Export Markets: The Role of Human Capital and Relationship Quality

Md Daud Ismail

Abstract


ABSTRACT

Small businesses look for cooperative relationships with foreign partners to build competitive advantage in export markets. In addition, the ability of small businesses to compete is also strongly related to human capital specifically the managerial competences. This study aims to investigate the effect of managerial competences on the relationship quality, which in turn affects the competitive advantage of small business in export markets. Data were collected among small and medium manufacturers. A total of 228 small and medium businesses participated in this study. This study employs structural equation modelling approach for data analysis. The findings indicate that human capital is a function of relationship quality and competitive advantage. In addition, relationship quality is significantly related to competitive advantage. Finally, relationship quality partially mediates the relationship between human capital and competitive advantage. At the end of this paper, the conclusion and discussion are presented, and limitation and future study are discussed.

Keywords: Foreign partner; relationship quality; human capital; managerial competency; SMEs

ABSTRAK

Syarikat kecil mencari peluang untuk membina hubungan kerjasama dengan rakan kongsi asing untuk membangunkan kelebihan bersaing di pasaran eksport. Tambahan lagi, keupayaan syarikat kecil untuk bersaing berkait rapat dengan modal insan khususnya kebolehan pengurusan. Kajian ini bertujuan untuk menyelidik peranan keupayaan pengurusan terhadap kualiti hubungan, yang mana seterusnya memberi kesan kepada kelebihan bersaing syarikat kecil di pasaran eksport. Data diperoleh dalam kalangan pekilang kecil dan sederhana. Sebanyak 228 syarikat kecil dan sederhana mengambil bahagian dalam kajian ini. Kajian ini menggunakan pendekatan model persamaan berstruktur untuk menganalisis data. Penemuan menunjukkan bahawa modal insan adalah fungsi bagi kualiti hubungan dan kelebihan bersaing. Akhir sekali, kualiti hubungan berperanan sebagai perantara separa kepada hubungan antara modal insan dengan kelebihan bersaing. Di akhir kertas ini, kesimpulan dan perbincangan dibentangkan serta limitasi dan kajian akan datang dibincangkan.

Kata kunci: Rakan kongsi asing; kualiti hubungan; modal insan; keupayaan pengurusan; IKS


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