Virtual R&D teams and SMEs growth: A comparative study between Iranian and Malaysian SMEs

Ale Ebrahim, Nader and Ahmed, S. and Taha, Z. (2010) Virtual R&D teams and SMEs growth: A comparative study between Iranian and Malaysian SMEs. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:

PDF - Published Version


This paper explores potential advantages of using virtual teams for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a comprehensive review on various aspects of virtual teams. Based on the standing of the pertinent literature's, attempt has been made to study the aspects by online survey method in Iran and Malaysia. In both countries, SMEs play an important role in their economies, employments, and capacity building. Virtual R&D team can be one of the means to increase SMEs efficiency and competitiveness in their local as well as global markets. In this context, surveys have been conducted to evaluate the effects of virtuality to the growth of SMEs. The study addresses some differences between two countries in engaging virtual research and development (R&D) teams in their SMEs. It is observed that there is a significant difference between the SMEs turnover that employed virtual team and that did not employ the virtual team. The way for further studies and recommend improvements are proposed.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Computer Science > Human Computer Interaction
Electronic Publishing > Peer Review
ID Code:7800
Deposited By: Ale Ebrahim, Nader
Deposited On:16 Dec 2011 00:00
Last Modified:16 Dec 2011 00:00

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

ALE EBRAHIM, N., AHMED, S. & TAHA, Z. 2010. Virtual R&D teams and SMEs growth: A comparative study between Iranian and Malaysian SMEs. African Journal of Business Management, 4, 2368-2379.

Abdul-Nour, G, Drolet, J, et al. (1999). Mixed production, flexibility and SME. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 37(1-2): 429-432.

Acs, ZJ, Morck, R, et al. (1997). The Internationalization of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Policy Perspective. Small Bus Econ, 9: 7–20.

Acs, ZJ, & Preston, L. (1997). Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Technology, and Globalization: Introduction to a Special Issue on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Global Economy. Small Bus Econ, 9: 1-6.

Adams, R, BESSANT, J, et al. (2006). Innovation Management Measurement: A Review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 8(1): 21-47.

Ale Ebrahim, N, Ahmed, S, et al. (2009). Virtual R & D teams in small and medium enterprises: A literature review. [Review]. Scientific Research and Essay, 4(13): 1575–1590.

Anderson, AH, McEwan, R, et al. (2007). Virtual team meetings: An analysis of communication and context. Computers in Human Behavior, 23: 2558–2580.

Axelson, Jv. (2005). Transfer of production knowledge to small and medium-size enterprises - a suggested model. Royal Institute of Technology, STOCKHOLM.

Axelson, Jv. (2007). On the development of production methods for transfer to small to medium-sized enterprises. KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, STOCKHOLM.

Ayyagari, M, Beck, T, et al. (2007). Small and Medium Enterprises Across the Globe. Small Bus Econ, 29(4): 415-434.

Barnett, E, & Storey, J. (2000). Managers’ accounts of innovation processes in small and medium-sized enterprises. [Literature review]. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 7(4): 315 - 324.

Beck, T, Demirguc-Kunt, A, et al. (2005). SMEs, Growth, and Poverty: Cross-Country Evidence. J Econ Growth, 10(3): 199-229.

Bergiel, JB, Bergiel, EB, et al. (2008). Nature of virtual teams: a summary of their advantages and disadvantages. [Conceptual paper]. Management Research News, 31(2): 99-110.

Bougrain, F, & Haudeville, B. (2002). Innovation, collaboration and SMEs internal research capacities. Res Pol, 31(5): 735-747.

Camarinha-Matos, LM, Afsarmanesh, H, et al. (2009). Collaborative networked organizations - Concepts and practice in manufacturing enterprises. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 57(1): 46-60.

Canavesio, MM, & Martinez, E. (2007). Enterprise modeling of a project-oriented fractal company for SMEs networking. Computers in Industry 58(8-9): 794-813.

Caputo, AC, Cucchiella, F, et al. (2002). A methodological framework for innovation transfer to SMEs. [Research paper]. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 102(5): 271-283.

Carbonara, N. (2005). Information and communication technology and geographical clusters: opportunities and spread. Technovation, 25: 213-222.

Cascio, WF, & Shurygailo, S. (2003). E-Leadership and Virtual Teams. Organ Dyn, 31(4): 362-376.

CBI. (2009). SMEs Definition in Iran. Retrieved 28, August, 2009, from

Chen, M, Liou, Y, et al. (2007). Team Spirit: Design, implementation, and evaluation of a Web-based group decision support system. Decision Support Systems, 43: 1186–1202.

Choi, TY. (2003). Korea's Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Unsung Heroes or Economic Laggards? Academy of Management Executive, 17(2): 128-129.

Corso, M, Martini, A, et al. (2003). Knowledge management configurations in Italian small-to-medium enterprises. [Case study]. Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 14(1): 46-56.

Denscombe, M. (2006). Web-Based Questionnaires and the Mode Effect: An Evaluation Based on Completion Rates and Data Contents of Near-Identical Questionnaires Delivered in Different Modes. Social Science Computer Review, 24(2): 246-254.

Denscombe, M. (2008). The Length of Responses to Open-Ended Questions: A Comparison of Online and Paper Questionnaires in Terms of a Mode Effect. Social Science Computer Review, 26(3): 359-368.

Deros, BM, Yusof, SM, et al. (2006). A benchmarking implementation framework for automotive manufacturing SMEs. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 13(4): 396-430.

Deutskens, E, de Ruyter, K, et al. (2006). An assessment of equivalence between online and mail surveys in service research. [Article]. Journal of Service Research, 8(4): 346-355.

Dickson, KE, & Hadjimanolis, A. (1998). Innovation and networking amongst small manufacturing firms in Cyprus. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 4(1): 5-17.

Dijk, BV, Hertog, RD, et al. (1997). Some New Evidence on the Determinants of Large- and Small-Firm Innovation Small Bus Econ, 9(4): 335-343.

Dong, B, & Liu, S. (2006). Implementation of Web Resource Service to Product Design In K Wang, Kovacs G., Wozny M. & Fang M. (Eds.), International Federation for Information Processing -Knowledge Enterprise: Intelligent Strategies in Product Design, Manufacturing, and Management (Vol. 207). Boston: Springer

Egbu, CO, Hari, S, et al. (2005). Knowledge management for sustainable competitiveness in small and medium surveying practices. [Research paper]. Structural Survey, 23(1): 7-21.

Eikebrokk, TR, & Olsen, DH. (2007). An empirical investigation of competency factors affecting e-business success in European SMEs. Information & Management, 44(4): 364-383

Flores, M. (2006). IFIP International Federation for Information Processing Network-Centric Collaboration and Supporting Fireworks (Vol. 224, pp. 55-66). Boston: Springer.

Gassmann, O, & Keupp, MM. (2007). The competitive advantage of early and rapidly internationalising SMEs in the biotechnology industry: A knowledge-based view. J World Bus, 42(3): 350-366.

Gassmann, O, & Von Zedtwitz, M. (2003). Trends and determinants of managing virtual R&D teams. R&D Management, 33(3): 243-262.

Gomez, JO, & Simpson, M. (2007). Achieving competitive advantage in the Mexican footwear industry. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 14(3): 289-305.

Gosling, SD, Vazire, S, et al. (2004). Should We Trust Web-Based Studies? A Comparative Analysis of Six Preconceptions About Internet Questionnaires. Am Psychol, 59(2): 93-104.

Gray, C. (2006). Absorptive capacity, knowledge management and innovation in entrepreneurial small firms. [Research paper]. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 12(6): 345-360.

Gunasekaran, A, Marri, HB, et al. (1999). Activity based costing in small and medium enterprises. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 37(1-2): 407-411.

Hanna, V, & Walsh, K. (2002). Small Firm Networks: A Successful Approach to Innovation? . R&D Management, 32(3): 201-207.

Hausman, A. (2005). Innovativeness among small businesses: Theory and propositions for future research. Industrial Marketing Management, 34(8): 773-782.

Hertel, GT, Geister, S, et al. (2005). Managing virtual teams: A review of current empirical research. Human Resource Management Review, 15: 69–95.

Hobday, M, Rush, H, et al. (2004). Approaching the innovation frontier in Korea: the transition phase to leadership. Res Pol, 33(10): 1433-1457

Hoffman, K, Parejo, M, et al. (1998). Small firms, R&D, technology and innovation in the UK: a literature review. Technovation, 18(1): 39-55

Huang, X, Soutar, GN, et al. (2004). Measuring new product success: an empirical investigation of Australian SMEs. Industrial Marketing Management, 33: 117– 123.

ISIPO. (2009). Iran Small Industries & Industrial Parks Organization. Retrieved 28, August, 2009, from

Jafari, M, Fathian, M, et al. (2007). Exploring KM features and learning in Iranian SMEs. VINE, 37(2): 207-218.

Jansson, H, & Sandberg, S. (2008). Internationalization of small and medium sized enterprises in the Baltic Sea Region. Journal of International Management, 14(1): 65-77.

Jeong, I. (2003). A cross-national study of the relationship between international diversification and new product performance. International Marketing Review, 20(4): 353-376.

Jones, O, & Macpherson, A. (2006). Inter-Organizational Learning and Strategic Renewal in SMEs. Long Range Plann, 39: 155-175.

Karaev, A, Koh, SCL, et al. (2007). The cluster approach and SME competitiveness: a review. Manufacturing Technology Management, 18(7): 818-835.

Kratzer, J, Leenders, R, et al. (2005). Keeping Virtual R&D Teams Creative. Industrial Research Institute, Inc, 1(March-April): 13-16.

Kuo, HC, & Li, Y. (2003). A Dynamic Decision Model of SMEs’ FDI. Small Bus Econ, 20: 219–231.

Kusar, J, Duhovnik, J, et al. (2004). How to reduce new product development time. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, 20: 1-15.

Laforet, S. (2007). Size, strategic, and market orientation affects on innovation. Journal of Business Research (Article in press).

Laforet, S, & Tann, J. (2006). Innovative characteristics of small manufacturing firms. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 13(3): 363 - 380.

Lan, H, Ding, Y, et al. (2004). A web-based manufacturing service system for rapid product development. Computers in Industry, 54(1): 51 - 67

Lawson, CP, Longhurst, PJ, et al. (2006). The application of a new research and development project selection model in SMEs. Technovation, 26(2): 242-250

Leenders, RTAJ, Engelen, JMLV, et al. (2003). Virtuality, communication, and new product team creativity: a social network perspective. J Eng Technol Manage, 20: 69–92.

Levy, M, Loebbecke, C, et al. (2003). SMEs, co-opetition and knowledge sharing: the role of information systems. European Journal of Information Systems, 12(1): 3-17

Levy, M, & Powell, P. (1998). SME Flexibility and the Role of Information Systems. Small Bus Econ, 11(2): 183-196.

Lin, C, Huang, YA, et al. (2007). A Study of Planning and Implementation Stages in Electronic Commerce Adoption and Evaluation: The Case of Australian SMEs. Contemporary Management Research, 3(1): 83-100.

Lindman, MT. (2002). Open or closed strategy in developing new products? A case study of industrial NPD in SMEs. [Research Paper]. European Journal of Innovation Management, 5(4): 224 - 236.

Love, PED, & Irani, Z. (2004). An exploratory study of information technology evaluation and benefits management practices of SMEs in the construction industry Information and Management, 42(1): 227-242.

Lu, JW, & Beamish, PW. (2006). SME internationalization and performance: Growth vs. profitability. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 4: 27–48.

Lurey, JS, & Raisinghani, MS. (2001). An empirical study of best practices in virtual teams Information & Management, 38(8): 523-544.

Mahajar, AJb, Abdullah, SS, et al. (2006). The Effectiveness of Small and Medium Development Corporation (SMIDEC) Export Assistance Programs on Malaysian SME’s. Paper presented at the Proceedings of Advances in Global Business Research Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Massa, S, & Testa, S. (2008). Innovation and SMEs: Misaligned perspectives and goals among entrepreneurs, academics, and policy makers. Technovation, 28(7): 393-407

McDonough, EF, Kahn, KB, et al. (2001). An investigation of the use of global, virtual, and collocated new product development teams. The Journal of Product Innovation Management, 18(2): 110–120.

Mezgar, I, Kovacs, GL, et al. (2000). Co-operative production planning for small- and medium-sized enterprises. Int J Product Econ, 64(1-3): 37-48.

Miles, RE, Snow, CC, et al. (2000). Long Range Plann, 33(3): 300-321.

Narula, R. (2004). R&D Collaboration by SMEs: new opportunities and limitations in the face of globalisation. Technovation, 24(2): 153-161.

Nunes, MB, Annansingh, F, et al. (2006). Knowledge management issues in knowledge-intensive SMEs. JD, 62(1): 101-119.

O’Regan, N, & Ghobadian, A. (2004). Testing the homogeneity of SMEs - The impact of size on managerial and organisational processes. European Business Review, 16(1): 64-79.

O’Regan, N, Ghobadian, A, et al. (2006). In search of the drivers of high growth in manufacturing SMEs. Technovation, 26(1): 30–41.

O’Regan, N, Ghobadian, A, et al. (2006). Fast tracking innovation in manufacturing SMEs Technovation, 26(2): 251-261

Okamuro, H. (2007). Determinants of successful R&D cooperation in Japanese small businesses: The impact of organizational and contractual characteristics. Res Pol, 36(10): 1529-1544.

Partanen, J, Möller, K, et al. (2008). Social capital in the growth of science-and-technology-based SMEs. Industrial Marketing Management, 37(5): 513-522.

Patrakosol, B, & Olson, DL. (2007). How interfirm collaboration benefits IT innovation. Information & Management, 44(1): 53-62

Perrini, F, Russo, A, et al. (2007). CSR Strategies of SMEs and Large Firms. Evidence from Italy. J Bus Ethics, 74(3): 285-300. Peters, LM, & Manz, CC. (2007). Identifying antecedents of virtual team collaboration. Team Performance Management, 13(3/4): 117-129.

Pihkala, T, Varamaki, E, et al. (1999). Virtual organization and the SMEs: a review and model development. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 11(4): 335 - 349.

Powell, A, Piccoli, G, et al. (2004). Virtual teams: a review of current literature and directions for future research. The Data base for Advances in Information Systems, 35(1): 6–36.

Pullen, A, Weerd-Nederhof, Pd, et al. (2008). Configurations of external SME characteristics to explain differences in innovation performance. Paper presented at the High Technology Small Firms Conference Twente University,Netherlands.

Raymond, L, & Croteau, AM. (2006). Enabling the strategic development of SMEs through advanced manufacturing systems A configurational perspective. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 106(7): 1012-1032.

Redoli, J, Mompó, R, et al. (2008). A model for the assessment and development of Internet-based information and communication services in small and medium enterprises Technovation, 28(7): 424-435.

Richtne´r, A, & Rognes, J. (2008). Organizing R&D in a global environment-Increasing dispersed co-operation versus continuous centralization. [Case study]. European Journal of Innovation Management, 11(1): 125-141.

Robles-Estrada, C, & Gómez-Suárez, M. (2007). E-Business Adoption in the SME’s: towards an Integrated Theoretical-Empirical Research Framework. Paper presented at the The 10th International Conference on Global Business & Economic Development , Creativity & Innovation: Imperatives for Global Business and Development, Ryukoku University Fukakusa Campus, Kyoto, Japan.

Rosenzweig, ED. (2009). A contingent view of e-collaboration and performance in manufacturing. Journal of Operations Management, 27 (6): 462-478.

Sarosa, S. (2007). The information technology adoption process within Indonesian small and medium enterprises. University of Technology, Sydney.

Sarosa, S, & Zowghi, D. (2003). Strategy for Adopting Information Technology for SMEs: Experience in Adopting Email within an Indonesian Furniture Company. Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation, 6(2): 165-176.

Schatz, C. (2006). A Methodology for Production Development - The Body of Knowledge Approach. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim.

Schröder, HH. (2006). Past, Present and Future of Knowledge Integration. In A Jetter, HH Schröder, J Kraaijenbrink & F Wijnhoven (Eds.), Knowledge Integration-The Practice of Knowledge Management in Small and Medium Enterprises (pp. 175-191): Physica-Verlag HD.

Sharma, MK, & Bhagwat, R. (2006). Practice of information systems: Evidence from select Indian SMEs. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 17(2): 199 - 223.

Sills, SJ, & Song, C. (2002). Innovations in Survey Research: An Application of Web-Based Surveys. Social Science Computer Review, 20(1): 22-30.

SME Annual Report. (2006). Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Annual Report 2006.

Susman, GI, Gray, BL, et al. (2003). Recognition and reconciliation of differences in interpretation of misalignments when collaborative technologies are introduced into new product development teams. J Eng Technol Manage, 20(1-2): 141–159.

Tether, BS. (1998). Small and large firms: sources of unequal innovations? Res Pol, 27(7): 725-745.

Tiwari, R, & Buse, S. (2007). Barriers to Innovation in SMEs: Can the Internationalization of R&D Mitigate Their Effects? Paper presented at the Proceedings of the First European Conference on Knowledge for Growth: Role and Dynamics of Corporate R&D (CONCORD 2007). Seville, Spain.

Wang, CH, & Chou, SY. (2008). Entities’ representation modes and their communication effects in collaborative design for SMEs. [ORIGINAL ARTICLE ]. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 37(5-6): 455-470.

Woodcock, DJ, and, SPM, et al. (2000). New product development in British SMEs. European Journal of Innovation Management, 3(4): 212-221.

Zhan, HF, Lee, WB, et al. (2003). A web-based collaborative product design platform for dispersed network manufacturing. J Mater Process Technol, 138(1-3): 600-604.

Zulkifli-Muhammad, M, Char, A, et al. (2010). Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Competing in the Global Business Environment: A Case of Malaysia. International Business Research, 3(1): 66-75.


Repository Staff Only: item control page