Competitive Strategy of Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises: An Exploratory Investigation
Dr. M. Mohd Rosli

Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the competitive strategy emphasised by SMEs in order to cope with global competition. Design/methodology/approach – A self-administrative questionnaire was distributed to 300 potential respondents in the F&B and T&C manufacturing industries throughout Malaysia. A total of 212 respondents or small and medium enterprises returned the completed questionnaires. Data analysis was conducted using mean scores and t-tests. Findings – The SMEs have placed high emphasis on firm management, marketing and human resource management; and moderate emphasis on total innovation. On the other hand, low emphasis can be seen in some innovation elements and all global orientation indicators. Results also show that the competitive strategies between the F&B and T&C industries are significantly different in innovation and global orientation. Research limitations/implications – With greater competition in the globalised market, emphasis on firm management, marketing and human resource management are insufficient. The SMEs also should give greater priority to dynamic capabilities, especially innovation and global orientation, in order to survive in the marketplace. Originality/value – Similar emphasis on firm management, marketing and human resource management indicates that the SMEs have slim competitive advantages in these basic resources and capabilities. Therefore, the findings serve a strong signal for SMEs to step up their competitive strategies more towards improving dynamic capabilities in innovation and global orientation.

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