The role of research and development as a strategy for SMEs development with particular reference to the case of the fisheries and seafood sector in Thailand [thesis]

Sithon Kulradathon
This thesis aimed to study the impact of research and development (R&D) on the Thai seafood industry's development, particularly that of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which constitute the majority of the sector. This study evaluates expenditure on R&D, the effect of R&D on product and market performance, and the role of networking in supporting the R&D activities of SMEs in the seafood industry. To explore the continuity of R&D investment and cross-check the rate at which R&D
more » ... s business development, the period selected for data collection was 2013-17. A 48% response rate is achieved, with 115 of 237 target firms (Thai SMEs in the seafood industry) participating in the questionnaire survey. This was followed by interviews with nine SMEs (chosen from those who completed the questionnaire survey) and four case studies. In addition, two representatives of universities and one from a government organisation were interviewed. The findings of this research are that R&D improves the total sales and export revenues of Thai SMEs in the seafood industry. Furthermore, R&D supports product development in this sector. However, the application of R&D generates only minor changes in terms of product development. A small demand-pull effect and Thai SMEs' limited resources are not sufficient to support significant investment in R&D for product development. Meanwhile, Thai SMEs in the seafood industry are found to engage in external networking for specific purposes. Limited R&D investment might be due to the lack of a R&D platform. Furthermore, the R&D policy direction in Thailand is not clear, and might be affecting the macro picture that drives this group. Therefore, it is recommended government organisations should establish R&D platforms that meet the needs of key players and have an economic impact. While academic institutions should support their experts to circulate knowledge from academia to business stakeholders. Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my previous supervisor, Dr Girma Zawdie, for continuous support during my PhD studies and research for four years. His guidance was useful in terms of generating the ideas for the thesis and the form of academic writing that a PhD student should use. I would also like to thank my supervisor, Dr Elsa João, for the effective support. Her supervision has helped me to complete this PhD thesis. Without both of these supervisors, I would not have been able to complete my PhD or develop as an academic. My sincere thanks are also extended to the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Royal Thai Government, for the scholarships that have supported me during my PhD journey. Special thanks are also due to Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj, Dr Kitipong Promwong, Dr Yada Mukdaphitak, Dr Somchai Chatrattana and the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) executive, who saw my potential and provided me with an excellent opportunity. I would like to extend my thanks to all participants-including members of the Thai seafood industry, representatives from seafood and fishery industry associations, researchers and members of academia, and a representative of a government organisation-for giving their time to participate in the questionnaire and interview process, and for allowing me to visit the factories that were a part of this research. I would also like to thank Nontawat Magroodin, Nantapoom Chaiwat, Witoon Sirasantipong and Dr Nattaka Singhavilai for kindly validating the data, facilitating the travel, and for useful suggestions during the data collection. This thesis could not have been completed without the support of Bancha Dokmai; thank you so much for your support and for understanding me during this challenging period. Furthermore, I would like to thank my special friends, Narapenporn Pranprai, Paweena Pothita and Naiyana Plainpan; regardless of what was happening, they have always encouraged me. I would also like to thank my Thai friends in Thailand and in Glasgow. v Finally, I cannot thank my mother enough, who constantly supported me during my long PhD journey until to the end of her life. She is the reason I am here. Mom, I love you so much, forever. vi
doi:10.48730/551b-xt07 fatcat:cj3cc6e3ivggvajohkw4ikhd3y