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Intensifying business success of Malaysian housing development firms through entrepreneurial learning

Syed Putra Syed Abu Bakar (Department of Quantity Surveying, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia)
Mastura Jaafar (Department of Quantity Surveying, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia)
Masitah Muhibudin (Centre for Real Estate Studies, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 4 September 2019

Issue publication date: 16 January 2020



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impacts of entrepreneurial learning on the performance of Malaysian private housing developers. Although the extant literature on learning epistemology is quite voluminous, the focus within the housing entrepreneurship remains limited. With this lacuna, the investigation on the perceptions of learning propensity among residential developers is deemed timely.


Using snowball sampling, interviews were conducted with ten perceived successful private housing developers in Malaysia to understand the antecedents and consequences of entrepreneurial learning in steering their business toward excellence.


The research outcomes revealed that all the interviewed respondents concurred with the importance of entrepreneurial learning within the organization to strive for business success. The interviewed housing developers highlighted the significance of learning interest in their daily works to achieve business competitiveness and gain competitive edge against rivals. Through continuous learning, positive ideas and ethos could be instilled within the uncertain business environment.

Research limitations/implications

From an empirical standpoint, the sample was limited to private housing developers in one country. This limits the scope of generalization. Further studies, comparing between public and private developers in multiple contexts should be undertaken. Besides that, the research is based on a relatively small sample of ten respondents and the use of snowball sampling may have meant that the respondents would only tend to present a particular view of the industry.

Practical implications

The results raise interesting impacts on business success for scholars and entrepreneurs to ponder upon. The research contributes new knowledge about the effects of entrepreneurial learning toward the competitiveness of housing developers, by looking at the whole aspects of development process. A better understanding on how business knowledge could be retrieved from the perspectives of Malaysian housing developers is posited to be pragmatically employed.


Concomitantly with the above proposition, the study offers a novel insight into learning capabilities of Malaysian private housing developers that may be useful for global references. Understanding firm’s resources and capabilities is emergent that warrants further clarifications on entrepreneurial learning within housing development firms. The paper successfully illuminates comprehensive issues that have responded to this shortfall.



The authors would like to appreciate the participating interviewees, and the editor and anonymous referees for their helpful comments. The authors also thank for the financial support provided by Universiti Sains Malaysia through bridging grant, project number: 304/PPBGN/6316004.


Syed Abu Bakar, S.P., Jaafar, M. and Muhibudin, M. (2020), "Intensifying business success of Malaysian housing development firms through entrepreneurial learning", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 190-210.



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