To read this content please select one of the options below:

The influence of foreign investment on Malaysian Bumiputera technology firms: 1957-2016

Umar Haiyat Abdul Kohar (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia)
Adela J. McMurray (School of Management, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Konrad Peszynski (School of Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to identify the historical influences and chronological development of foreign investors on Malaysian Bumiputera (indigenous) new technology-based small firms (NTBSFs).


Weick’s (1989) conceptual theory building approach is used to conduct a critical historical documentary analysis of the international, local, academic and government inward foreign investments literature from prior Malaysia’s independence (1957) through to 2016.


Increased foreign investment between 1957 and 2016 proved to be effective for Malaysia to transform its economy from a reliance on primary production to a focus on innovation and value-added industries such as the biotechnology and the information and communication and technology sectors.

Research limitations/implications

Local and international literature addressing inward foreign investments towards host countries yielded four key research implications: employment effects, strategic alliances, technology transfer and knowledge transfer. Creation of firm-specific resources in addition to government assistance, particularly through grants and advisory services, significantly contribute to the sustainability of Bumiputera NTBSFs.

Practical implications

Inward foreign investment through subsidiary multi-national companies (MNCs) leads to the formation of strategic alliances between MNCs and Bumiputera NTBSFs, generating employment opportunities, contributing to Malaysia’s development aims.

Social implications

Charting the chronological development and historical influence of foreign investment from a Malay-Bumiputera perspective provides an in-depth understanding of the evolution of what is now a multi-cultural Malaysian society.


This study provides a chronological development and discussion of the historical influences and implications of foreign investment towards the evolution and sustainability of Malaysian Bumiputera NTBSFs.



Abdul Kohar, U.H., McMurray, A.J. and Peszynski, K. (2017), "The influence of foreign investment on Malaysian Bumiputera technology firms: 1957-2016", Journal of Management History, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 278-296.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles