Whose Role is it to Train in the New Economy? A Case Study of Malaysian Commercial Banks

By Suet Leng Khoo.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The New Economy is synonymous to the growing importance of education and training for the workforce since ‘skills, knowledge and human capital’ has emerged as the new factor of production in the global economy. Corporate restructuring, technological innovations and changing consumption patterns have reorganized work from conventional low-skill Fordist to modern high-skill post-Fordist production methods. These changes have necessitated new and changing skills requirements which implicate on a nation’s skills formation (i.e. education and training) system. In Malaysia, such global challenges are widely acknowledged as the nation moves into the New Economy. Human capital development is now the key agenda as Malaysia moves up its development trajectory from a low-skill agriculture economy since Independence (1957) to a high skill industrial and services economy now. Malaysia’s aspiration to be a developed and knowledge-based economy is extensively documented in development blueprints such as the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010), New Development Policy (1990-2000) and the VISION 2020. It is against this setting that this study examines the way forces of the New Economy have necessitated new and changing skills requirements of Malaysia’s commercial banking sector. More crucially, this study investigates the State-corporate nexus towards skills formation taking into consideration the changing roles of the Malaysian State, capitalist and labour as they respond to neo-liberalist reforms. The role of the Malaysian developmental state is revisited amidst these changes. With full financial deregulation happening soon in 2010, the findings and implications of this study serve as valuable input in formulating human capital policies for Malaysia’s banking industry as it operates in the New Economy.

Keywords: New Economy, Human Resource Development, Education and Training, Developmental State, Neo-Liberalism, Malaysia’s Banking Industry

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp.197-216. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.217MB).

Dr. Suet Leng Khoo

Postgraduate, Studies Program, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Suet is a PhD candidate (Development Studies) at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is a Malaysian scholar sponsored by University Science Malaysia and the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. Her research interest is in education, human resources and development originating from a political-economy perspective. Given Malaysia’s present economic transformation towards a knowledge-based economy, Suet’s PhD research in Malaysia’s banking industry is particularly relevant. Her study examines the changes in banking labour processes, new skills requirements and the responsiveness of the industry’s skills formation system amidst neo-liberalist reforms. Prior to her PhD, Suet has researched on the growth and human resource development of Penang’s informal sector. Suet also has vast industry experience as Research Officer/Education Officer at DCT Consultancy Sdn Bhd (Research and Consultancy arm of the State Government of Penang).


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