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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Virtual R&D Teams: A Sustainable Infrastructure for Promoting SMEs

Nader Ale Ebrahim
University of Malaya - Department of Engineering Design and Manufacture, Faculty of Engineering

Shamsuddin Ahmed
University of Malaya (UM)

Zahari Taha
University of Malaya (UM)

2nd Engineering Conference, 2008

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are a major part of the industrial economies. Their survival and growth has therefore been a prominent issue. Research and development (R&D) enables firms to create new technologies and/or to build on existing technologies obtained through technology transfer. Nowadays unpredictable environment suggests that many firms seek new ways of conducting their business through some kind of R&D activities to make a profit and stay ahead of the competition. To survive in the global economy SMEs have to improve their products and processes exploiting their intellectual capital in a dynamic network of knowledge-intensive relations inside and outside their borders. SMEs need to focus on core competences for efficiency matters; they need to cooperate with external partners to compensate for other competences and resources. Responding to the increasing de-centralization and globalization of work processes, many SMEs have responded to their dynamic environments by introducing virtual teams. Virtual teams are growing in popularity. By a comprehensive literature review this article following define a virtual teams, SMEs and its characteristics, addressing a sustainable infrastructure for promoting SMEs. Finally conclude that managers of SMEs should invest less in tangible assets, but more in the areas of expanding virtual R&D activities which will directly generate their future competitive advantage. Future research need to elaborate the effect of virtual R&D team working on the performance of SMEs.

Keywords: Virtual Team, Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), R&D, Literature Review

SSRN-Virtual R&D Teams: A Sustainable Infrastructure for Promoting SMEs by Nader Ale Ebrahim, Shamsuddin Ahmed, Zahari Taha

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