WOU’s Doctoral Students Get International Exposure

Eight students from WOU’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme presented their preliminary research proposals at the 10th International Qualitative Research Conference (IQRC 2021).

The virtual event themed ‘Humanness & Technology for Qualitative Research: New Approaches in New Times’ was organised by the Qualitative Research Association of Malaysia (QRAM) from 20-23 October 2021. The platform provided crucial international exposure to the students as they undertake their DBA dissertations.

The DBA students from WOU at the virtual conference.

The DBA students were: Teh Beng Soo from Kedah; Kap Leong Yee Nam, Wong Seow Chee and Prasad Krishnapillai from Kuala Lumpur; Yvonne Kua Ee Ven and Jayakumar Raj from Johor Bahru; and Yusnidar Abd Rahman and Cheah U-Meng from Penang.

Teh, an HR Manager, presented his proposal on “An Exploratory Study on Workplace Inclusion Strategy for the Untapped Labour Pool of Ex-Offenders”. The research findings will be used to inform policy makers in the development of a sustainable mechanism in the hiring of released prisoners, and in getting them integrated successfully back into society.

Leong presents his research proposal.

Leong, a senior QA/QC supervisor in construction, is exploring “A Post-Pandemic Phenomenological Study of Managers’ Response to Psychological Stress in the Construction Industry”. He aims to gain insights as to how construction managers respond to workplace psychological stress, with the goal of helping the industry and regulatory bodies manage present and future occupational and psychosocial challenges.

The research by Madam Wong is on the “Use of Humour as a Coping Strategy in the Workplace during a Pandemic: A Malaysian context”. She is examining how leaders can use sense of humour at the workplace as a stress coping strategy. The conference organiser announced that Wong, at 74, was the oldest participant; she cracked some good jokes during her presentation which went down well with the listeners.

Madam Wong was the oldest participant at the conference.

Prasad, a telecommunications & IT consultant, shared on “A Qualitative Behavioural Study Exploring User Adoption of Security Measures in Malaysia for Mobile Devices”. The research aims to apprise policy makers/authorities and service providers on a mechanism to reduce cybercrimes. He also seeks to change user behaviour by making them more aware of the breach of security and privacy when using mobile devices.

Kua, a member of the Johor Electrical Appliances Dealers Association (JEADA), is examining “Business Model Transformation during Covid-19: A Case of Home Appliance Retailers in Johor, Malaysia”. The pandemic and the digital era was a wake-up call for retailers to rethink and transform their business models so as to survivethe market. She hopes tocome up with an emerging model for business transformation that can guide struggling SMEs in the same or similar industries.

Kua aims to help SMEs through her research.

Jayakumar, the director of a training academy, is undertaking “A Study on the Effectiveness of Training Need Analysis (TNA) in Selected Manufacturing Companies in Johor Bahru during a pandemic Covid-19”. He will investigate the current training practices of the manufacturing companies in Johor Bahru, and offer suggestions for companies to implement effective training programmes to match the current pandemic situation.

Yusnidar, a business owner, is tackling “Strategic Foresight for Micro Entrepreneurship Growth: A Study on Empowering Marginalised Women in Penang”. This research aims to inform policy makers on developing strategies to help marginalised women, especially from the B40 group in Penang, to thrive in micro businesses.

Seeking ways for women entrepreneurs to succeed in micro businesses.

The final DBA student presentation was from Cheah, an IT specialist at an MNC, who presented on “Examining Post-Pandemic Behavioural Change in Managing Team Agility: A Study of Leaders in Multinational Corporations in Malaysia”. He is designing a mechanism to facilitate the shaping of leaders’ behaviour that will serve to manage team agility and build organisational resilience.

Cheah is studying the behavioural change in leaders of MNCs.




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