The role of the industrial designer in Malaysian small and medium industries

Ibrahim, Marzuki (1999) The role of the industrial designer in Malaysian small and medium industries. Doctoral thesis, University of Northumbria at Newcastle.

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Abstract

The principal objective of this study is to assist Malaysian SMIs to improve their NPD process through the creation of design guidelines from an industrial design perspective. The approach adopted in this study was an investigation of the role of the industrial designer in the process of NPD in a selected number of Malaysian SMIs and to contrast them with theoretical knowledge and best practice in UK based companies.
This research combined quantitative and qualitative data collection methods including a literature review, questionnaire survey and case studies. Case studies include semistructured interviews with senior management staff directly involved in the process of NPD, questionnaire surveys helped to provide background and validate findings from the secondary sources and questionnaire survey. The present study concentrates on four successful Malaysian SMIs and four UK SMEs. In this way, a set of detailed descriptions of best practice principles and elements in the NPD process in both countries were obtained. The case studies focus on four important issues ('purpose', 'culture', 'process and performance', and, 'people') derived from the principal of Business Process Analysis (BPA) research. The adoption and adaptation of BPA to this investigation represents a novel development for design research methods. BPA was considered appropriate since hese issues are recognised to be particularly pertinent to the investigation and provide a specific focus for analysis.
This study reveals that most Malaysian SMI's products have been successfully developed by 'localising' existing products and employing foreign technology. However, such activities need to be reviewed because emerging ASEAN region
countries and the implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade and Agreement (AFTA) in the year 2003 are likely to change the future conditions of the new product market within this region. No particular design process models were identified and most Malaysian SMIs have not implemented concurrent engineering or other similar methods, unlike companies in the West, while carrying out design development. The case studies confirm that most Malaysian SMIs have not conducted market surveys, believing they have sufficient business experience to determine customer requirements. From the quantitative survey and qualitative study results, it has been established that industrial design should be integrated more centrally within the NPD process, that is; combining rational thinking based on experience with creative interpretation, in order to maximise the success of product concepts in new and existing markets. In this respect, Industrial Designers can command an effective role
as project leaders or as part of the NPD team.
This thesis concludes that the diverse nature of problems associated with NPD require a synthesis approach that should involve four major parties (the government, industry, education and the consumer public). The research shares the value of using industrial designers in a central role in the NPD process, to integrate the requirements of these parties.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis digitised by the British Library e-thesis online service, EThOS.
Subjects: N100 Business studies
W200 Design studies
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 15:23
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2019 16:06
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/15722

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