The Development of Innovation and Functional Diversity in Malaysian SMEs

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Previous studies showed that executives with different experiences would probably possess different types and levels of knowledge, different perspectives and attitudes (Bantel and Jackson 1989; Iansiti 1993; Leanord and Sensiper 1998). Recently, Yap, Chai and Lemaire (2005) contributed to the understanding that the two types of functional diversity, namely, dominant function diversity and intrapersonal function diversity, exert different influences on innovative performance. Since there has been a dramatic increase in Malaysia SMEs development, this research reviews the workforce diversity among managerial teams and its impact to the firm’s innovation condition by the firm’s size. This study used multiple research strategies including quantitative and qualitative as to answer all the research questions, however mainly depend on the previous approach. This multiple methods offered by triangulation is said to enhance the interpretability of the data obtained (Jick 1979; Veal 2007) and as a mean for plausibility check (Ahmad and Francis, 2006). The pretested of the framework reveals the appropriate relationship among the above mentioned variables.


Keywords: Innovation, Functional Diversity, SME
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Lily Julienti Abu Bakar

Lecturer, Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Business Management
Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia

Pursue her PhD in January 2007. Her research interests are entrepreneurship and innovation. Being a lecturer since 1998.

Dr. Hartini Ahmad

Senior Lecturer, Business Administration, Faculty of Business Management
Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia

Awarded with PhD from the Bradford University, UK in the year 2004.
Her research interests are business process management, change management, reengineering and strategic perspectives.

Ref: D08P0104