The Japanisation process in Malaysia
This thesis examines the empirical evidence for the transferability of Japanese soft technology (JST) or Japanese work organisation within two government-initiated, Malaysian-Japanese strategic alliances: PROTON and PERNEC. The government, through its Look East Policy (LEP) began in 1982, taking Japan (and South Korea) as models and partners in Malaysian economic and industrial development process, and expected these alliances to learn the good aspects of Japanese work organisations and management styles in order for them to become independent companies, both technologically and economically. The thesis found that the alliances have been successfully taking and utilising Japanese parts, components, tools, robots and machines; i.e. the 'ready-made hard technology'. [Whereas the important element of soft technology has been ignored]. The soft technology has been slowly and marginally transferred because neither local parties nor their Japanese counterparts within the alliances consider the acquisition or transfer of soft technology to be the main concern or a part of business plan. Although many factors influence management transfer, the thesis has focused on the eagerness and the capability of Malaysian managerial teams to acquire and, to a lesser extent, the readiness of the Japanese to transfer the technology. It was found that there is a lack of demand on technology acquisition by Malaysian managers and lack of responsibility to transfer the technology among Japanese experts. However, the political and social pressures on these alliances, the industrial climate and labour market, leaderships and management system of alliances, and Japanese MNCs regional and global corporate strategies have contributed to the high level of transfer of JST at PROTON compared to PERNEC. The research also found that Malaysian industrial and investment policies have favoured foreign investment but there is a lack of strategies for nurturing indigenous technological development.