This literature review examines what other researchers have covered and found in respect of identifying success factors for SMEs in Thailand. The historical background first provides an overview of Thai SMEs, their significance and role in the Thai economy, and the challenges they face …
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Two particular studies, one by Vichitdhanabadee et al. (2009) and the other by Thassanabanjong et al. (2009) are used to provide some demographic details and other features of Thai SMEs and identify specific factors that could lead to their success. Finally, we consider why there is a need for conducting further research into this area.
Wiboonchutilula’s (2002) study into Thai SMEs revealed that despite the economic crisis of 1997 (the Tom Yum Kung disease), they still account for the greater proportion of employment in Thailand. They also appear to have adapted well to the new globalized economic and business environment (Srivihok & Intrapairote, 2004) and “seem to offer a way to tap the country’s rich local wisdom and cultural heritage to produce various unique high-quality products” (ibid, 2004b). For this reason, Thai SMEs have been of particular interest (Pumpaisanchai, 2004) because they are themselves a significant component of the Thai economy.
Their greater resilience was demonstrated during the SARS crisis in 2003 and the tsunami in 2005. According to Yadav (2008), in 2006, SME contribution to GDP was 40& and to industrial exports was 75%. SMEs help generates employment in the economy, improve labor skills, and are able to attract foreign currency and investment. Traditionally, in the global arena, Thai SMEs were perceived as impressive challengers to the high quality and low price phenomenon in developed countries by producing similar products at even lower costs. Cheaper labor is the main reason why they were able to do this although there is now an increasing focus on improving customer relations.
However, Thai SMEs tend to have little if any management, administrative, marketing and technical skills. For example, they are often unable to cope with globalization and access international markets (Worthington & Britton, 2009, p. 48).
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Zhan Su and Raymond Poisson delineates the process of globalization based on the analyses of
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