Approaches to Developing the Manufacturing Industry of Small and Medium Enterprises for Readiness Towards Large Businesses in Thailand


  • Nilawan Sawangrat Faculty of Business Administration, King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok, Rayong Campus



Digital technology, Knowledge management, Entrepreneurial leader and innovative organization


This research aims to 1) study the structure and operational characteristics of the manufacturing industry in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand for readiness towards becoming large-scale businesses; 2) investigate the components of development approaches for the manufacturing industry in SMEs for readiness towards becoming large-scale businesses; and  3) develop a structural equation model (SEM) for the development approaches of the manufacturing industry in SMEs for readiness towards becoming large-scale businesses. The study employed a mixed-methodology approach, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative research. The qualitative research involved in-depth interviews with a sample of 9 experts from  3 different groups: 3 entrepreneurs or executives in the manufacturing industry, three from the government sector, and three academics. For quantitative research, data was collected via surveys from 500 entrepreneurs or executives and analyzed using frequency, percentage, average, standard deviation, and structural equation modeling (SEM) with the advanced statistical analysis software AMOS.

The research on the general characteristics of organizations found that they have been operating for 10-15 years, are predominantly Thai-owned, use financial institutions for funding, are established as limited companies, and mostly have offices located in Thailand. In terms of structure and operational characteristics, the research revealed that the most suitable business strategy for these organizations is creating a product advantage, emphasizing mentorship systems from knowledgeable employees, and key leadership qualities, including treating colleagues with kindness and generosity and developing leadership at various levels focusing on experience, comprehensive knowledge, and business expertise.
The study on the importance of different components indicated that all aspects were highly important, with the order of importance from highest to lowest being digital technology, entrepreneurial leadership, knowledge management, and innovative organization. The results of the analysis of the structural equation model for small and medium-sized enterprises management for sustainable strength found that the chi-squared probability (CMIN-r) was 0.128, the relative chi-squared (CMIN/DF) was 1.126, the GFI was 0.955, and the root mean squared index of error estimation (RMSEA) was 0.015. It can be concluded that the model is consistent with the empirical data.


Andersson, T., Linnéusson, G., Holmén, M., & Kjellsdotter, A. (2023). Nurturing innovative culture in a healthcare organisation – Lessons from a Swedish case study. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 37(9), 17-33. DOI:10.1108/JHOM-05-2021-0181

Arbuckle, J. L. (2001). IBM SPSS Amos 22 user’s guide. Amos Development Corporation.

Ardito, L., Cerchione, R., Mazzola, E., & Raguseo, E. (2022). Industry 4.0 transition: a systematic literature review combining the absorptive capacity theory and the data information knowledge hierarchy. Journal of Knowledge Management, 26(9), 2222-2254. DOI:10.1108/JKM-04-2021-0325

Department of Business Development. (2021). Legal entities registered with the Department of Business Development. Retrieved from dataset/dbd

Djalil, M. A., Amin, M., Herjanto, H., Nourallah, M., & Öhman, P. (2023). The importance of entrepreneurial leadership in fostering bank performance. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 41(4), 926-948. DOI:10.1108/IJBM-11-2022-0481

Erhan, T., Uzunbacak, H. H., & Aydin, E. (2022). From conventional to digital leadership: exploring digitalization of leadership and innovative work behavior. Management Research Review, 45(11), 1524-1543. DOI: 10.1108/MRR-05-2021-0338

Hoang, G., Luu, T. T., Du, T., & Nguyen, T. T. (2023). Can both entrepreneurial and ethical leadership shape employees’ service innovative behavior?. Journal of Services Marketing, 37(4), 446-463. DOI:10.1108/JSM-07-2021-0276

Hwang, N. B., .Lai, Y. P., & Wang, C. (2023).Open innovation and organizational ambidexterity. European journal of innovation management, 26(3), 862 – 884. DOI:10.1108/EJIM-06-2021-0303

Khalil, M. A., Khalil, M. K., & Khalil, R. (2022). Passive but defiant: the role of innovative capabilities in knowledge management and corporate entrepreneurship. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 14(3), 422-448. DOI:10.1108/JEEE-08-2020-0300

Latif, K. F., Afzal, O., Saqib, A., Sahibzada, U. F., & Alam, W. (2021). Direct and configurational paths of knowledge-oriented leadership, entrepreneurial orientation, and knowledge management processes to project success. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 22(1), 149-170. DOI:10.1108/JIC-09-2019-0228

Mehmood, M. S., Jian, Z., Akram, U., Akram, Z., & Tanveer, Y. (2022). Entrepreneurial leadership and team creativity: the roles of team psychological safety and knowledge sharing, Personnel Review, 51(9), 2404 2425. DOI:10.1108/PR-07-2020-0517

Ministry of Digital Economy and Society. (2021). Ministry of Digital Economy and Society 5-Year Action Plan 2023 – 2027. Retrieved from aboutn/56

Ministry of Industry.(2021). Industrial Productivity and Performance Report 2021. Retrieved from resource/299a1125-8f9b-402b-92b9-76398fcea967/download/ productivity2021tfp.pdf

Mreport. (2019). Subject: DEC points out 5 factors that prevent SMEs from being unable to access research and innovation. Aiming to unlock real sales research through innovation market. Retrieved from - Research - Innovation

Najar, T., & Dhaouadi, K. (2020). Chief executive officer’s traits and open innovation in small and medium enterprises: the mediating role of innovation climate, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 27(4), 607-631. DOI:10.1108/JSBED-04-2020-0109

Nguyen, M.V. (2023). Barriers to innovation in construction organizations of different sizes: a case study in Vietnam, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. Retrieved from

Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory. (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Nwankpa, J. K., Roumani, Y., & Datta, P. (2022). Process innovation in the digital age of business: the role of digital business intensity and knowledge management, Journal of Knowledge Management, 26(5), 1319-1341. DOI:10.1108/JKM-04-2021-0277

Rovinelli, R. J., & Hambleton, R. K. (1977). On the use of content specialists in the assessment of criterion referenced test item validity. Retrieved from

Samie, M. E., & Jazghani, F. (2022). Effect of knowledge management on innovative performance with the mediating effect of unlearning. VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, 52(3), 448-467. DOI:10.1108/VJIKMS-01-2022-0021

Shahzadi, A., Li, S., Sahibzada, U. F., Malik, M., Khalid, R., & Afshan, G. (2021). The dynamic relationship of knowledge management processes and project success: modeling the mediating role of knowledge worker satisfaction. Business Process Management Journal, 27(6), 1657-1676. DOI:10.1108/BPMJ-08-2021-0500

Sipahi, D. E., & Artantaş, E. (2023). Exploring the link between social work, entrepreneurial leadership, social embeddedness, social entrepreneurship and firm performance: a case of SMES owned by Chinese ethnic community in Turkey. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 17(3), 684-707. DOI: 10.1108/JEC-11-2021-0162

Ting, I. W. K., Sui, H. J., Kweh, Q. L., & Nawanir, G. (2021). Knowledge management and firm innovative performance with the moderating role of transformational leadership. Journal of Knowledge Management, 25(8), 2115-2140. DOI:10.1108/JKM-08-2020-0629




How to Cite

Sawangrat, N. (2024). Approaches to Developing the Manufacturing Industry of Small and Medium Enterprises for Readiness Towards Large Businesses in Thailand. Community and Social Development Journal, 25(2), 79–94.



บทความวิจัย (RESEARCH ARTICLE)