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Transfers, training and inscriptions The production of modern market citizens in Malaysia

Transfers, training and inscriptions The production of modern market citizens in Malaysia Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an alternative understanding of knowledge transfers in developing contexts by drawing on recent deconstructions of the development sciences in anthropology and postcolonial studies to analyze transfers of management knowledge in Malaysia. Contrary to most mainstream research that conceives of transfers as a literal or objective process of skills deployment and acquisition, it refers attention to the modernist assumptions, concepts and practices of knowledge/power that are attached to knowledge transfers. Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on primary and secondary data from two electronics multinational and statutory agencies in Malaysia. Primary data were collected via interviews with training officials and managers; observations were based on training and training‐related events like orientation. Secondary data include multinational and statutory agency literature, quality control circle reports and a corporate orientation video. Data analysis included discourse analysis and deconstruction. Findings – Findings highlight the importance of situating knowledge transfers within the discursive and socially organized terrain (local and global) – economic, institutional, disciplinary – that transfers are embedded in, and the significance of knowledge transfers and the attendant focus on training as sites for cultivating and producing the modern market subjects needed to have and to sustain neoliberal forms of development and globalization. The paper re‐situates interests in knowledge transfers in terms of a need by state officials and foreign multinationals to actively produce and reconstitute local subjects into modern market citizens that are able and capable of contributing – as required – to the development and organizational needs of said institutions. Originality/value – By extrapolating insights from recent deconstructions of the development sciences and postcolonial studies, the paper provides an alternative way of researching the process, and understanding the significance of transfers: one that showcases the close imbrications between knowledge, power, subjectification, and interconnections between local institutions/constituents (e.g. statutory agencies, government ministries, training personnel) and global capital (e.g. multinationals). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Critical Perspectives on International Business Emerald Publishing

Transfers, training and inscriptions The production of modern market citizens in Malaysia

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References (34)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1742-2043
DOI
10.1108/17422040810870051
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an alternative understanding of knowledge transfers in developing contexts by drawing on recent deconstructions of the development sciences in anthropology and postcolonial studies to analyze transfers of management knowledge in Malaysia. Contrary to most mainstream research that conceives of transfers as a literal or objective process of skills deployment and acquisition, it refers attention to the modernist assumptions, concepts and practices of knowledge/power that are attached to knowledge transfers. Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on primary and secondary data from two electronics multinational and statutory agencies in Malaysia. Primary data were collected via interviews with training officials and managers; observations were based on training and training‐related events like orientation. Secondary data include multinational and statutory agency literature, quality control circle reports and a corporate orientation video. Data analysis included discourse analysis and deconstruction. Findings – Findings highlight the importance of situating knowledge transfers within the discursive and socially organized terrain (local and global) – economic, institutional, disciplinary – that transfers are embedded in, and the significance of knowledge transfers and the attendant focus on training as sites for cultivating and producing the modern market subjects needed to have and to sustain neoliberal forms of development and globalization. The paper re‐situates interests in knowledge transfers in terms of a need by state officials and foreign multinationals to actively produce and reconstitute local subjects into modern market citizens that are able and capable of contributing – as required – to the development and organizational needs of said institutions. Originality/value – By extrapolating insights from recent deconstructions of the development sciences and postcolonial studies, the paper provides an alternative way of researching the process, and understanding the significance of transfers: one that showcases the close imbrications between knowledge, power, subjectification, and interconnections between local institutions/constituents (e.g. statutory agencies, government ministries, training personnel) and global capital (e.g. multinationals).

Journal

Critical Perspectives on International BusinessEmerald Publishing

Published: May 2, 2008

Keywords: Knowledge transfer; Globalization; Malaysia; Developing countries; Organizational development

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