Announcing: Southiseng, Nittana and John Walsh, “Human Resource Management in the Telecommunications Sector of Laos,” International Journal of Research Studies in Management, Vol.2, No.2 (2013), doi: 10.5861/ijrsm.2013.235, available at: http://www.consortiacademia.org/index.php/ijrsm/issue/current.
This paper presents quantitative outcomes regarding human resource management (HRM) in telecom companies in Laos. A total of 73 valid responses from managers and 396 from employees were obtained as part of a self-completing personally distributed survey, using questionnaires. Analysis of the results showed that the management team seemed not to have a great deal of impact in terms of strengthening the companies’ human capital development (HCD). Employees felt that the more the HRM practices were put into practice, the more that employees’ performance improvement, perceptual development and satisfaction were improved. Factor analysis grouped HRM practices into three categories: (1) compensation management and information exchange, (2) training and development (T&D) management and (3) needs assessment. It is apparent that HRM in the telecom industry of Laos is not yet properly executed and executives involved in it had low attention in managing and developing their human resource. There was unclear understanding of how to execute HRM effectively, as a result, the variables of the compensation management and information exchange had been fallen into the same aspect. With such findings, the recommendations have been proposed to the telecom companies of Laos to firstly gain higher awareness from the top management, to have precise HRM policies and adequate supports, and to include the HRM, HRD and T&D in either formal or informal curricular of the education system in Laos.
Keywords: human resource development, Laos, telecoms
SME Expert at the Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen, Dr. Nittana Southiseng delivers the keynote address ‘SME Cluster Development in the Greater Mekong Subregion’ at the ICGBE Conference 2013 (Bangkok: February 9th-10th, 2013) earlier today.
This is the fourth and final abstract for the panel on Female Entrepereneurship in the Mekong Region to be held at the ICIRD Conference in Chiang Mai next month:
Government-Business Relationships in the CLMV Countries: The Impact on Female Entrepreneurs
The CLMV countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam – are all Mekong Region developing countries which would benefit greatly from well-considered and resourced assistance from the public sector. People in the four countries have grown to expect a strong, patriarchal (if imperfect) state that will lead the way in encouraging businesses to be formed and to flourish. While that expectation may in some senses be disappointed and the coverage of services and support from the public sector is at best unevenly provided, each government does nevertheless aim to provide support. That support is usually supplemented by international non-governmental organisations and by foreign government donor agencies. This paper examines the provision of services from CLMV government agencies from a critical perspective and, in particular, from the perspective of support for female entrepreneurs. This information is used to illuminate a discussion on the nature of relationships between the public and private sectors in each country and the forces that are causing these to change. The role of the AEC is also incorporated into this discussion. Conclusions are drawn and policy recommendations are made as a result.
Nittana Southiseng, Wilaiporn Lao-Hakosol and John Walsh
Dr. Nittana Southiseng is an SME Development Specialist, Mekong Institute, Thailand
Ms. Wilaiporn Lao-Hakosol is a doctoral candidate at the School of Management, Shinawatra University, Thailand
Dr. John Walsh is Assistant Professor at the School of Management, Shinawatra University, Thailand
I will be attending a workshop at City University in Hong Kong in a couple of weeks and the title of the paper (written jointly with Dr. Nittana Southiseng) is Recalibrating Asymmetric Relationships through Economic and Business Development: The Case of Lao PDR. We adopted a neo-Gramscian perspective for this paper, which had the advantage of bringing into focus those issues which we considered important to analyse and avoids the rigidity of the structural dependency and world systems approaches.
The full paper was submitted the other day and the organisers consider it promising for publication in African and Asian Studies in due course. Given the speed with which the peer reviewing, revising and publishing process takes place, I imagine it should be due some time in 2013.
In the meantime, here is the abstract:
Poor and land-locked, communist-ruled Laos began opening its economy to capitalist methods at the end of the 1980s. With a sparse population and very limited technical capacity, the country’s principal economic activities involve foreign investors building dams for hydroelectricity or mining for minerals that are destined for export. The local economy is dominated by small and uncoordinated enterprises operating in mostly undeveloped and unsophisticated markets. Laos is in the process of becoming more integrated into the Mekong Region by virtue of the building of parts of the Asian Highway Network across its territory and some opportunities arising from the planned single market of the ASEAN Economic Community of 2015. The vision is for Laos to become a bridge for economic development. However, it is not clear that the mere presence of infrastructure will be sufficient for Laotian companies and institutions to receive benefits on a substantial and sustainable basis. Principal difficulties are (i) underdeveloped public human resource capacities and institutional support systems, (ii) lack of industry clusters and facilities that can provide SMEs access to regional and global value chains, and (iii) limited endowment of resources, logistics, finance and limited capabilities to meet market demand. This paper examines the conjunction between ability of Lao actors to participate in emergent economic activities and the country’s ability at government level to articulate its own developmental priorities and attempt to achieve these through negotiation with other states. This requires seeking to recalibrate hugely asymmetric relationships with China, Japan and Thailand, among others.
Announcing: Southiseng, Nittana and John Walsh, “Cross-Border Trading Experiences Before and After the Construction of the Second Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge,” in Kyoko Kusakabe, ed., Gender, Roads and Mobility in Asia (Rugby: Practical Action Publishing, 2012), pp.109-20.
Abstract: This empirical study investigated local entrepreneurs’ use of the Second Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge for cross-border trade in comparison with their use of boats. Cross-border trading by boat involved crossing from Savannakhet in Laos to Mukdahan in Thailand and vice versa and appeared less efficient due to limited crossings and limited loading capacity. After the official opening of the Friendship Bridge in early 2007, women and men entrepreneurs in Savannakhet Province realised that it provided benefits for consumers, enhanced efficiency of cross-border business, increased opportunities for new entrants, flexibility to entrepreneurs and supported local economic development and expansion. However, it also made existing economic activities more competitive and benefited non-local entrepreneurs who could leverage economies of scale. Women’s business has been less affected as compared to men’s, since they cater to the daily needs of people in Lao.
Available from Amazon, publisher’s website (practicalactionpublishing.com) and all good bookshops. Actually, it looks like a really interesting collection and congratulations to editor Prof Kyoko Kusakabe.
Southiseng, Nittana and John Walsh, “Management of Employee Development : A Case Study of the Telecommunications Sector in Thailand,” pp.92-112, Humanities and Social Sciences (2009), Vol.26, No.2, available at: http://www.huso.kku.ac.th/thai/hsJournal/journal/26-2.pdf.
After the introduction of the Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) concessions in the late 1980s and Thailand’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, competition among the telecoms operators in the Thai domestic market intensified. The telecoms operators (for example, TOT, CAT, AIS, DTAC, True Move, Hutch, Shin Satellite and SAMART) have been competing in product/service innovation and development, and are committed to investing in the development of their employees. This paper applies a qualitative research method with indepth interviews to explore the strategies that the telecoms operators have used for enhancing their employee development (ED). Fifteen in-depth interviews were conducted with human resource management (HRM) and human resource development (HRD) managers as well as employees in the telecoms market of Thailand. It was found that both HRM and HRD have been widely used in helping telecoms companies strengthen and use their existing employees’ knowledge and talents. Both were involved in strengthening personnel, retaining their talent and integrating employee skills as part of organizational performance improvement. At the same time, the convergence of employee engagement, teamwork, flexibility, effective communications, continuous learning and opportunistic schemes were found to add positive value to sustainable
It has been a while but it is now available:
Walsh, John and Nittana Southiseng, “Vientiane – A Failure to Exert Power?” City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, Vol.13, No.1 (March, 2009), pp.95-102.
This is the abstract:
Vientiane is a city that has always stood in opposition or contrast to its surroundings. When first established, it contrasted an urban centre with surrounding rural areas from which surplus was extracted to support the activities of the urban elite. Through its existence, it has provided a centre of power to counter or be opposed to Ayutthaya, Luang Prabang and Chiang Mai. This could be aligned along ethnic lines or, internally among the Lao people, between the religious and political division between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. In the Communist world, the city contrasted its religious and ceremonial role with the temporal state and its monuments to legitimacy, which remain half-built and lifeless in the cityscape. The city also acted as a symbol of the competing Communist ideologies prevalent in the region. In the emerging post-Communist world, Vientiane represents once again a central organizing function and a surrounding environment which is supposed to be the subject of direction but which more commonly wishes to establish space in which to pursue income gathering opportunities and entrepreneurial activities. It also exists as one of the 10 capital cities of ASEAN and has acted as a location in which cross-border state level agreements are made which the Lao state has little technical capacity to enact without considerable external support. In each manifestation of opposition, remnants of the opposition have lingered, notwithstanding regular episodes in which the city has been almost completely destroyed. Many of those remnants are also symbolic of the external power which has been called upon to substantiate and legitimize the claim to power that the city controller has made and tried to enforce. Hence, the city’s markets, monuments, temples (wats), fields and roads are evidence of the divisions in the past.