Decision-making Related to Business Growth: Malay Small Businesses in Selangor

Askiah Jamaluddin, Carolyn Dickie


Purpose: In this paper business and family related decisions about business growth among Malay small family
business (MSFBs) in Selangor, Malaysia are explored. Focussing on business and family dynamics strategies for
developing the MSFB sector, extant literature on issues associated with decision-making about business growth
indicated and empirical evidence from MSFB owners presented.
Design/methodology/approach: Using a qualitative approach, a case study design was used to interview owners
and family members of ten different Malay small family businesses. Analysis was undertaken using Aronson’s
pragmatic, thematic analysis.
Findings: In the Malay culture, family members participate in family discussions as a precursor to final
decisions being made by the father or family elders; a decision-making style well known as pseudo-participative.
Results suggest that business and family related decisions about business growth consist of four component areas;
finance, technology, employment and support. Business (finance and technology) and family (employment and
support) issues need to be considered and appraised by owners of MSFBs as antecedents of growth; i.e., if the
business is to move from the a position of survival to one of growth.
Practical implications: Business (finance and technology) and family (employment and support) decisions must
be taken for decision-makers to optimise achievement of their growth intentions. Similarly, implications for
government related policies and business associations as support services should give special attention to assist
develop growth processes of MSFBs.
Originality/ value: The findings in the paper add knowledge to the disciplines of decision-making, small family
businesses and the task of growing a business.

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