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Dissecting George Town’s human capital challenges in built heritage: Voices from the stakeholders

Suet Leng Khoo (School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia)
Yoke Mui Lim (School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 21 May 2019

Issue publication date: 8 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify, dissect and unravel real-life contextual human capital issues related to George Town’s built heritage from the perspectives of key stakeholders in the heritage arena.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for an exploratory study using qualitative techniques like in-depth interviews and focus group discussions to gather insights and to listen to the voices from key stakeholders pertaining to issues related to human capital in built heritage. The data were supplemented and complemented by secondary resources such as technical reports, conservation guidelines, by-laws and case studies from other countries.

Findings

The paper provides empirical insights about real-life issues, barriers and challenges pertaining to human capital in George Town’s built heritage. The key findings from this study revealed that the quantity of professionals and builders is still insufficient and their quality of work has room for improvement.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the selected research approach, the research results may lack generalisability. Thus, researchers are encouraged to further test the proposed propositions by enlarging the number of respondents or administering this similar study in another locality/historic city (i.e. Malacca ‒ George Town’s twin historic city).

Practical implications

The paper provides practical implications for the development of the right quantity and quality of human capital for George Town’s built heritage. The findings from this study are also useful for urban managers, policymakers and conservation practitioners.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to examine the real-life issues of human capital in built heritage for George Town.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Universiti Sains Malaysia for funding this project through Short-Term Research University Grant (No. 304/PSOSIAL/6313253).

Citation

Khoo, S.L. and Lim, Y.M. (2019), "Dissecting George Town’s human capital challenges in built heritage: Voices from the stakeholders", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 376-393. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCHMSD-10-2017-0072

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited