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Volume 6 Number 12 December 2020

Aligning Core Competencies with Malaysia’s Industry 4.0 Policy Aspirations

Authors: Aini Suzana Ariffin ; Marlia Puteh ; Mah Gul Bizanjo
Pages: 1001-1012
DOI: doi.org/10.32861/jssr.612.1001.1012
Today, the great economists and industrialists assume that the world is on the brink of another industrial revolution, referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The digital transformation is more profound in the manufacturing sector, hence the reference to Industries 4.0 or Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is taken seriously at the national and organizational levels as well as at the global arena. Recognizing the urgency in aligning the Malaysian agenda with digital transformation, the Malaysian government has launched the National Industry 4WRD Strategy in 2019. This macro strategy aims to defend the national economy from a disruption in the aftermath of Industry 4.0. The Malaysian Technology Development Corporation, an agency under the Ministry of International Trade & Industry, has aligned several national policies relating to Industry 4WRD. This way, the organization will better promote local technopreneurs’ growth and sustainability according to Industry 4.0 standards. This paper’s objectives are twofold: 1) to gauge the outlook of management towards Industry 4.0 through interviews and; 2) to evaluate the core management competencies in the Industry 4.0 domain. A qualitative approach is utilized in analyzing the interviews with senior and middle-level managers. The paper highlights the importance of specific management skills in setting the agenda for skills growth to reposition Industry 4.0.

The Influence of Value Innovation Strategy on the Financial Performance of Manufacturing Firms in Kenya

Authors: Gachora Susan Wanjugu ; Kinyua Jesse Maina ; Kirema Nkanata Mburugu
Pages: 995-1000
DOI: doi.org/10.32861/jssr.612.995.1000
Value innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. Value innovation strategy aims at making competition irrelevant. The concept of value innovation strategy is founded on the belief that a business can make its competitors irrelevant in its decision making while at the same time emerging an industry leader. The purpose of this study is to establish the influence of Value Innovation Strategy on the financial performance of manufacturing firms in Kenya. The target population was 488 manufacturing firms drawn from the 12 categories of the sector in Kenya. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in this study. The descriptive results indicate that the manufacturing firms in Kenya have implemented value innovation strategies that positively contribute to the financial performance of the firms. The inferential results also affirm that value innovation strategy significantly affects the performance of manufacturing firms in Kenya attributing up to 14.9% of its variation in performance. The study concludes that value innovation strategies boost the financial performance of a firm. Managers of manufacturing firms should therefore implement value innovation strategies in order to improve financial performance.

Representations of International Conflicts and Diplomatic Tensions in International Newspapers

Authors: Chinweobo-Onuoha Blessing N. ; Onyedi Boniface Ossai
Pages: 985-994
DOI: doi.org/10.32861/jssr.612.985.994
This study examines the representation of international conflicts and diplomatic tensions in International Newspapers in 2019. It x-rayed the pattern of representation of international conflicts and diplomatic tensions if they were more negative and guided by national and economic interests than humanitarian. It investigated the degree of prominence comparatively accorded the reportage of the issues in developed nations and Africa; and further ascertained the direction of reportage of the issues. The study reviewed the Agenda Setting theory which flows from the functional theories as appropriate to explain the work and adopts the Content Analysis method with an expected population consisting of 120 editions of the two selected newspapers, The Guardian of the UK and New York Times of the US from the deluge of global newspapers. The sample size was drawn from the population using the Taro Yamane formula to arrive at 24 editions. However, 22 editions of the newspaper had stories on international conflicts and diplomatic tensions, with over 31 stories. The contents were quantitatively analyzed with tables. From the findings, the study concluded that international newspapers though reported significantly international conflicts and diplomatic tensions, their representations were more guided by aligned interests of some world powers and laced around economy rather than humanitarian or global peace. The study recommended advocacy representation of international conflicts and diplomatic tensions by being responsible and fair to all people, race and nations in the international newspapers and de-emphasis economic interest.

A Dialectical Inquest into the Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria: Exploring the Neoliberal State Thesis

Authors: Okolie Aloysius-Michaels ; Nwoke Ikemefuna Sunday ; Enyiazu Chukwuemeka ; Ozor Adanne Chioma ; Oranye Henry Uchenna ; Nnamani Kelechi Elijah
Pages: 975-984
DOI: doi.org/10.32861/jssr.612.975.984
Scholarly opinions have clearly identified governance deficits, Islamization agenda, power contestations among the elite class, heterogeneous character of African states, dysfunctional socio-economic system and external conspiracy as factors fueling and sustaining the recent wave of terrorism in Northeast Nigeria. Although these varied perspectives have been relied on by most scholars to explain the phenomenon of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, they have increasingly appeared insufficient in understanding the evolution, dynamics and seemingly intractable character of the conflict. The present study therefore explores the neoliberal economic link which provides the grand perspective and heuristically excellent foundation for explaining the intensification and seeming intractability of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. Using the theory of dialectics, the study argues that the neoliberal economy foisted a failed system which could not provide social safety nets, qualitative education and affordable healthcare delivery to the people. Indeed, the ensuing condition of hopelessness generated by the withdrawal of the state in providing essential services to the citizens undoubtedly provided a fertile ground for the birth of Boko Haram insurgency. The study among other things, recommends an economic reform that prioritizes the development of the productive forces in consonance with the autochthonous development conditions of the polity.