Case Study of the Competitive Advantage

I am grateful to the supervisor who guided me to the finish line (vulva): Associate Professor Dry.

Anna Christina Abdullah and to the supervisor who oversaw the corrections, Dry Hashish Mohammad Yuan’s. I must also thank my first supervisor, Professor Dry. Molly Lee who guided me up to the proposal defense, and my second supervisor, Associate Professor Dry. Lo Seen Pie who worked with me throughout the data collection and data analysis stages. For their collective patience and scholarship In guiding me throughout this arduous Journey, I wish to record my deepest gratitude.

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I would Like o thank the staff of the Yamaha sensed Library I and II, university gains Malaysia for their assistance in accessing the materials for the study.

I also acknowledge the assistance of the friendly staff at the Karakas State Library in Couching, as well as staff at the libraries of Universities Malaysia Karakas and Universities Tara Malaysia. I am grateful to the Public Service Department and the Ministry of Education for granting me a two and a half year full-paid study leave to enable me to pursue this study on a full-time basis after an Minimal, grueling part-time study.

I would Like to extend my artful thanks and appreciation to the former Director of Education Karakas, Data Dry. Hajji Dad Badminton Utah, for his assistance and encouragement in my pursuit of this doctoral study. Many thanks also go to Dry.

Slush Llama (now a school principal), Bang Adam Bang Deli and officers at the Registration, Liaison and Private Education Section, Department of Education, Karakas for the assistance they rendered me especially In carrying out the “archival” work and In helping to arrange Tort ten Teleology Walt n ten participating colleges I . L’s tenses would not nave seen ten eight of day without the assistance and cooperation of many informants and respondents in the private higher education industry. I would like to thank the Coos of all the four colleges (the gatekeepers) that took part in the study, anonymously called City College, Metro College, Central College and Urban College, as well as their executives who willingly shared facts, stories and views regarding private higher education in general, and their institution in particular.

Their willingness to allow me to study their institution and subsequently to become my informants and exponents exceeded my wildest expectation. My fieldwork was all the more fruitful and enjoyable mostly due to their willingness to accommodate me as a researcher. Thank you all, folks! Finally, I extend my deepest appreciation to my family members: First, my late father, Landing Knack Lancing, who left this world before I could complete this thesis; and my mother, India Knack Gig.

Thank you both for sending me to school and for making sure I stayed and progressed in the early years. I would like also to thank my brothers and sisters for their moral support. To my wife, Jacqueline, I am grateful for your love, support and understanding; for taking care of the kids when I was away in Penman; and, for proofreading the draft chapters of this thesis. To the “primers” of my life, Else Cornelia Durries and Amanda Karen Guppies – whose presence constantly invites a celebration in my heart – thanks for being faithful and obedient to daddy and mummy. God bless you all.

The research findings revealed that: the management of Phelps are not deliberate and systematic in their strategic planning, basing their decision more on intuition, although they do take stock of the external and internal factors affecting their institution.

The five competitive forces espoused by Porter (1980) were found to be applicable in the study and depending on their strength, these forces do influence the competitiveness of Phelps. In addition, the Phelps do try to exploit their internal resources to deal with the competitive forces and make their institutions more competitive. The study also discovered that in order to be more competitive, the Phelps adopted the differentiation focus strategy in their early years of establishment, after which there were attempts to switch to the differentiation strategy.

It was also revealed that the distinctive competencies of Phelps which could confer on them competitive advantage were mostly temporary and hence, the competitive advantage accrued was not sustainable. Finally, the market success AT Phelps was talent an ten success AT jean PHEW was measures against a number of indicators. Overall, it was discovered that the Peeps in the study ere struggling to make ends meet.

The implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations made to the Phelps and higher education policy-makers to improve the competitiveness of Phelps and to make them providers of quality higher education; and to researchers on the directions of related future research.

Introduction The primary aim of this study was to examine and describe the competitive advantage of private higher educational institutions (Phelps) operating in a geographically ‘isolated’ and comparatively limited market through a case study of our Phelps in the city of Couching, Karakas. The study also sought to identify some of the key factors that enabled Phelps to develop and attain competitive advantage in order to survive or prosper in a highly competitive higher education industry. This introductory chapter outlines the background, purpose and objectives of the study, as well as the research questions the study sought to address.

It also discusses the significance and implications of the study, both for theory and for practice on the part of Phelps, for public policy-making, and recommendations for elated future research.

1. 1 Background of the problem The private sector is increasingly expected to play a more prominent role in developing the nation’s human resource base, especially in education and training. The role the sector is expected to play in contributing towards Malaysia’s human resource development efforts to create a strong human resource base is best reflected in the following statement: the participation of the private sector, particularly at the tertiary level will be intensified. The private sector will be encouraged to set up more new institutions and