Publication Date : 01/07/2012

Author(s) :

Ayu Diana Awang.

Volume :
Volume 8

Abstract :

The main purpose of this paper is to study the level of entrepreneurship among co-operatives in Malaysia. Sums of 465 co-operatives throughout the country were interviewed in this study. Respondents were randomly selected proportionally according to the functions namely credit/fnance, farming, housing/construction, industrial, consumer, transportation and services. Based on the classifcation function, the co-operatives stratifed by zone; North, South, East, Central, Sabah and Sarawak. The scope of the study was determined based on the fndings of related studies on entrepreneurship, and then modifed using feedback from interview sessions held with a focus group, made up of mainly of co-operative board members who were experienced in co-operative matters. The information and data obtained from the co-operatives covered a three-year period (2006-2008) prior to the study year (2009). Focus group interviews were conducted withsenior manangement members of the co-operatives to obtain the initial input and issues related to co-operative entrepreneurship. Issues raised during the focus group interviews are important to develop a questionnaire that is used as the main instrument for data collection. The questionnaire was tested in two pilot studies. Respondents comprise a member of the co-operative board, secretary, treasurer, manager and assistant manager. The questionnaire was refned after getting feedback from the respondents as a result of the pilot study. Data were collected through face-to-face interview sessions with respondents at their offces. Field surveys were conducted beginning the middle of August 2009 and were completed by the middle of January 2010. The study classifes the level of entrepreneurship in co-operatives into three levels, namely high, medium and low among the co-operatives in Malaysia. Nine variables were used; direction of organization, innovation, risk-taking, ability to identify and take advantages of opportunity, effciency managing resources, recognition, internationalization, instilling entrepreneurial culture and management effectiveness. Based on the nine variables, 251 co-operatives (54%) are classifed in the low-level entrepreneurship, 188 co-operatives (40.4%) are in the medium entrepreneurship level and 25 co-operatives (5.6%) in the high level entrepreneurship. A High Level Co-operative Entrepreneurship Model (HLCEM) has been developed to serve as a guide to all interested parties to build a co-operative that has a high level of entrepreneurship. The attributes of high level cooperative entrepreneurship are also described. As a result, seven strategies are proposed to improve the level of entrepreneurship in co-operatives. The proposed strategies are based on an appropriate level of entrepreneurship in the co-operatives. These strategies include adopting characteristics of entrepreneurship in co-operatives, improving managerial and technical skills among board members, management and workers, making entrepreneurs among the members of the co-operatives, adding the role of cooperatives as corporate marketers, establishing support systems to improve the performance of co-operatives as organizations with entrepreneurial characteristics, establishing an R&D One Stop Centre for Co-operatives, and promoting internationalization.

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