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9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

Best business practices and performance in ceramics industry in Thailand

Rattana Seedee
Faculty of Management Sciences
Lampang Rajabhat University
Lampang, Thailand
Email: r_seedee@yahoo.com
Tel: +60 164918589
Mohamed Sulaiman
Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences
International Islamic University Malaysia
Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Email: sulaimanm@iiu.edu.my
Tel: +60 124230463
Ishak Ismail
School of Management
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Penang, Malaysia
Email: iishak@usm.my
Tel: +60 134332775

October 16-17, 2009


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9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

Best business practices and performance in ceramics industry in Thailand

Abstract
Many businesses have applied best practice for improving performance, but with mixed success.
In addition, the results of past studies on the relationship between best business practices and
performance are inconclusive. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which ceramics
industry has adopted the best business practices and whether these practices contribute to
performance. Data were collected from 141 ceramics firms in Thailand. The results show that
most of the ceramics firms adopted best business practices with a high degree of acceptance. The
best practices of leadership, customer and market focus, process management, and product
innovation proved to be significant and positively related to performance. The paper also
discusses the implications and limitations of the study.

Keyword: Best business practices, MBNQA, performance, ceramics industry, Thailand


1. Introduction
Many businesses have placed their faith in best practice, hoping that they will bring about
desired improvements in business capabilities and performance. The linkages between business
practices, capabilities, and performance, however, are complex and not well understood. In
addition, the results of past studies on best practices have been mixed. One group found positive
relationships between best practices and performance (Lau, Zhao, and Xiao, 2004; Prajogo &
Sohal, 2003; Rahman & Sohal, 2001), while another found less than convincing results
(Anderson and Sohal, 1999; Arumugam, 2005; Beaumont, Sohal & Terziovski, 1997; Dow,
October 16-17, 2009
Cambridge University, UK

9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

1999; Pannirselvam & Ferguson, 2001; Powell, 1995; Samson & Terziovski, 1999; Sila &
Ebrahimpour, 2005).
Thai ceramics industry has played a pivotal role in the economic and industrial sector of
Thailand. It encompasses the manufacture of tableware, sanitary ware, ceramics tiles, ornamental
and electric insulators. This industry employs more 80,000 people in Thailand, and exports more
than 21billion baths worth of ceramics products per year (Bureau of Sectoral Industrial Policy 2,
2004). The industry went back to more than a thousand years in Northern Thailand. But the
modern ceramics factories in Thailand were established after the Second World War (History of
Lampang Ceramics Industry, 2002). But since then, they have rarely developed or upgraded
their management and technologies. Thus, most of them are in need of augmenting their
productivity and quality. Some factories are doing very well but others are facing serious
problems such as lack of product design development, out-dated manufacturing process, lack of
quality control, inefficient management and lack of business planning (Chiyannon, 1998;
Rangkavipa, 1989; Singhagum, 1996; Bureau of Sectoral Industrial Policy 2, 2004). Therefore,
there is the need for the ceramics firms to look at best practices to improve their performance. In
order to enhance Thai ceramics industry, this research attempts to find out the extent to which it
has adopted the best business practices and whether these practices contribute to performance.
The study hopes to shed some light on best business practices by ceramics firms in Thailand and
their consequences, which had not been studied before.
2. Literature review
2.1 Best business practices
A significant percentage of recent literature in the areas of business and manufacturing makes
reference to best practices (Davies & Kochhar, 2002). Voss and Blackmon (1996) stated that the

October 16-17, 2009


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9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

introduction of new practices in manufacturing is normally associated with expected benefits in


terms of improved performance in specified areas. Any investment of time or resources in a new
practice will necessitate the provision of benefits in terms of improved performance.
International Quality Study (1993) described that the ultimate result of management practices of
an organization is performance market performance, operational performance, financial
performance. So, it can be said that best practices are the key to unlocking the secrets of global
competition moving companies into higher gear to achieve rewards for higher performance.
Over the last 20 years, the competitive significance of quality in the manufacturing sector has
increased. This increase has been paralleled by growing investment in improved quality
performance. Total Quality Management (TQM) has developed in many countries into holistic
frameworks, aimed at helping organizations achieve excellent performance, particularly in
customer and business results. Between 1980s until now, there have a lot of new quality practices
were introduced to the business world such as Six Sigma, ISO 9000, and the Malcolm Baldrige
National Quality Award.
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) was started in the USA. This award
continues to generate great interest and provide role models throughout the world. The MBNQA
criteria were and are used for self-assessments by companies, to facilitate the communication of
best practices, and as a model for understanding and managing quality. The MBNQA criteria
represented the next step in the evolution of the quality movement. Internationally, many quality
awards in various countries, such as: Japan National Quality Award, Singapore Quality Award,
Australia Quality Award, Philippines Quality Award, Malaysian Prime Minister Quality Award
(Petrick & Furr, 1995) and Thailand Quality Award is mostly based on the MBNQA program.
Almost two million copies of the printed criteria have been distributed since the start of the

October 16-17, 2009


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9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

award program (Calhoun, 2002). Many companies have benefited from the award criteria by
using them as self-assessment tools to provide an objective framework, set a high standard, and
helps compare units that have different systems or organization (Bemowski & Stratton, 1995;
Calhoun, 2002; Davis & Standing, 2005; Evans & Lindsay, 1993). Thus, this study uses
MBNQA criteria as a proxy of best business practices to find out the extent to which Thai
ceramics firms have adopted the best business practices and whether these practices contribute to
performance.
Innovation has become an absolute necessity to survive and perform well in almost every
industry (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2005). The importance of innovation is established as a
necessary ingredient for firms simply wanting to remain competitive (Walsworth & Verma,
2007) or pursue long-term advantages. Innovation is concerned with the development of a new
product or process, or the improvement of an existing product or process. The innovation process
can only be really successful when there is a market for this product or process (Vries, 2006).
Successful organizational innovation is a multi-step process which involves development and
knowledge sharing, a decision to implement, implementation, evaluation, and learning (Baldrige
National Quality Program, 2005).
The results of past studies have shown that innovation plays a major role in sustaining
competitive advantage for industries (Aragon-Correa, Garcia-Morales, & Cordon-Pozo, 2007;
Bhaskaran, 2006; Calantone, Cavusgil, & Zhao, 2002; Keller, 2004; Pearce & Carland, 1996;
Sher & Yang, 2005; Thornhill, 2005; Vazquez, Santos, & Alvarez, 2001; Wright, Palmer, &
Perkins, 2005; Yamin, Mavondo, Gunasekaran, & Sarros, 1997). This is supported by Jurans
(1989) argument that business practices and innovation are two complementary aspects of

October 16-17, 2009


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9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

strategic management. Therefore, innovation has been included as an important complementary


variable to the MBNQA criteria in this study.
2.2 Firm Performance
How performance is measured is related to the subject of interest (Li & Simerly, 1998).
Traditionally, firms performance is measured by financial success and profitability (Daft,
Sormunen, & Parks, 1998). Previous researches seemed to conclude that firms performance
measurement includes many variables. The financial performance variables are: return on assets
(ROA), return on equity (ROE), return on sales (ROS), and return on investment (ROI) (Daft et
al., 1998; Li & Simerly, 1998; Miller, 1988). For the purpose of this research profitability (ROS,
ROI & ROA) and sales growth were used as measures of firm performance.
2.3 Theory
The resource-based theory or resource-based view of firms is based on the concept of economic
rent and the view of the company as a collective of capabilities. The firm-specific resources and
capabilities largely differentiate successful firms from failing ones (Peng, 2006). Of course, not
all firms resources and capabilities have the potential to be the basis for competitive advantage.
This potentiality is realized when resources and capabilities are valuable, rare, costly to imitate,
and not substitutable (Barney, 1991, 2001; Barney, Wright, & Ketchen, 2001; Hitt, et.al., 2005;
Peng, 2006).
Firms resource and capabilities can be viewed as bundles of tangible and intangible assets.
Tangible resources are assets that can be seen and quantified. They can be broadly organized in
four categories: (1) financial, (2) organizational, (3) physical, and (4) technological. Intangible
resources include assets that typically are rooted deeply in the firms history and have
accumulated over time. Examples of intangible assets include (1) human, (2) innovation, and (3)

October 16-17, 2009


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9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

reputation. Wernerfelt (1984) defined firms resources as anything which could be notional as
strengths or weaknesses of a firm and capability which can be defined as a part from firms
resources. Capability refers to a firms capacity to deploy firms resources, usually in
combination, using organizational processes, to affect a desired ending (Amit & Schoemaker,
1993). So, capability is firms joint resources to produce any work or activity.
Based on the resource-based theory, best business practices is considered as capabilities of the
firms that are used as the basis for competitive advantage which can lead firms to superior
performance. Given that the resource-based view addresses the resources and capabilities of the
firm as an underlying factor of performance, the resource-based theory was found to be a suitable
theory to explain the research framework in the relationship between best business practices and
firm performance.
3. Research framework
The research framework shown in Figure 1 has been developed to illustrate the relationship
between best business practices and firms performance.
Figure 1: Research Framework
Best Business Practices

Leadership
Strategic Planning
Customer and Market Focus
Information and Analysis
Focus
Human Resource
Process Management
Ethics
Innovation

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Firm Performance
Sales growth
Profitability (ROS,
ROI & ROA)

9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

This study adapts the seven best business practice elements of the Baldrige National Quality
Program (2005). The studies of researches which adopted MBNQA model indicated that
organizations which adopted best business practices achieve high performance (Arumugam,
2005; Lau et al., 2004; Prajogo & Sohal, 2003, 2006; Samson & Terziovski, 1999; Wilson &
Collier, 2000). Innovation is added as an element in best business practices for the reason that
many researches indicate that innovation is an important element leading organization to high
performance (Aragon-Correa et al., 2007; Bhaskaran, 2006; Calantone et al., 2002; Sher & Yang,
2005; Thornhill, 2005; Vazquez et al., 2001; Yamin et al, 1997). To sum up, most of the studies
and research indicate that adopting best business practice should lead organization to high
performance. Thus, the hypothesis is as follows: There is a positive relationship between the
extent of best business practices employed and firms performance.
3.1 Variables and measurements
The eight dimensions of best business practices include leadership: strategic planning; process
management; information and analysis focus; customer and market focus; human resource;
ethics; and innovation. The first seven of these variables would be measured by five-point Likerttype scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Most items of the seven
variables are adopted and adapted from the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
examination criteria. The measurements for each of seven best business practices elements are
taken from a similar instrument used by National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. However, the seventh element
which is business results item are modified. Some items were dropped. The three elements on
customer and marketing focus are added by modifying from Porter (1980) (two items) and Kotha
and Vadlamani (1995) (one item). The assessment tool is obtained from Baldrige National

October 16-17, 2009


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9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

Quality Program (2005) and Arumugam (2005). The measurement for innovation variable is
adopted and adapted from Arumugam (2005) and the OSLO Manual: The measurement of
scientific and technological activities (1996). The questions are simplified to suit the needs of
local environment and the study objectives.
Financial performance is measured by the average annual sales growth, return on assets (ROA),
return on sales (ROS), and return on investment (ROI). These measurements have been used as
tools in many studies of relationship between strategies and performance (Cater & Pucko, 2005;
Dess & Davis, 1984; Helms, Dibrell, & Wright, 1997; Kotha & Nair, 1995; Miller, 1988; Yamin,
Gunasekaran, & Mavondo, 1999).
3.2 Control Variables
To isolate the relationship between best business practices and firm performance, it is important
to control other variables likely to have an important impact on firm performance and is
systematically related to best business practices. They are control variables in this study, namely
companies age, amount of equity/investment and the size of organization. The size of an
organization would be determined by the number of employees. These variables have been
known to provide moderating influence on firms performance (Dean, Brown, & Bamford, 1998;
Geringer, Tallman, & Olsen, 2000; Hoskisson, Johnson, & Moesel, 1994; Lin, Chen, & Wu,
2006; Sulaiman, 1993). These variables would be controlled in the statistical analyses.
4. Methodology
The unit of analysis is the organization. This study uses the list of ceramics factories registered
with the Department of Industrial Works, Ministry of Industry, Thailand and published in 2006.
Purposive pre-sampling or selection was used to get the sample. For the reason of having
manageable size of samples, relevancy and reliability of information, cost and time spent, the

October 16-17, 2009


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9th Global Conference on Business & Economics

ISBN : 978-0-9742114-2-7

factories selected for the study were limited to those employing 10 people or more. The
questionnaire was used in a pre-test before being employed on the target sample. The question in
each item in the questionnaire was pre-tested for validity involving pertinence and easy
understandability. However, before pre-testing the questionnaire, the translation and backtranslation technique (Brislin, 1970) was utilized accordingly on the adapted instrument. Results
of the study were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15.0
for Windows. The statistical methods used for preliminary testing are: factor analysis, reliability
analysis and descriptive statistics. Correlation and hierarchical regression analysis were used for
hypotheses testing.
5. Data Analysis
A total of 417 sets of questionnaire were mailed to the top executives of ceramics firms. The data
collection process took 7 months (August 2007 February 2008) to complete. One hundred and
forty-three questionnaires were returned after two written reminders including new sets of
questionnaires being sent and phone calls. Whilst 20 questionnaires were returned to the
researcher with return to sender massages, indicating that the addresses were no longer valid or
firms out of business. It was found that two questionnaires had to be eliminated because there
were too many missing data. This made available 141 usable questionnaires. By discounting the
number of return-to-sender mails, the final response rate accounted for was 35.5 percent.
5.1 Profile of respondents
The demographic profiles of respondents show that a majority of the respondents were male
(75.2%). The respondents average age was 41 years, had experience of an average of 9 years.
Most of the respondents possessed a bachelors degree (65.2%) and masters degree (19.1%).

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Respondents consisted of 71.6 % having manager position, followed by 19.1% CEOs, MDs, and
GMs, and a little over 9 % senior manger.
The profile of firms shows that the majority (44.7%) were located in Northern part of Thailand,
followed by Central part (34.8%). Thirty-eight percent of the respondents produced ceramics
products of more than one type, most of them produced tableware and ornamental ware together.
While 25.5% produced only tableware and 23.5% produced ornamental ware. The ages of firms
were between 11 to 20 years (53.9%), 10 years and less than 10 years (30.5%) and 21- 30 years
(10.6%).
Most of the responding firms (85.8%) were small and medium firms (SMEs) (200 employees
and less) and large firms 14.2 percent. In term of firms equity, 66.7% had equity of less than 10
million baht, 20.6% between 11-50 million baht and more than 50 millions baht were 12.7%.
Most of them had average annual sales between 1-10 million baht (50.4%), 29.1% between 1150 million baht and 9.2% above 500 million baht (1 USD equals to 38 baht). Overall, 66% of
firms exported their products to oversea markets, 48.4% of them attained over 50% of sales from
overseas markets. Most of them exported to Europe and USA (52.7%). Sixty-eight percent of
responding firms had contract sales, while 32% did not. The majority of respondents were aware
of the Excellence Award (66.7%). On the other hand only a few were aware of the criteria used
for deciding the Excellence Award (27%). It could be summarized that the sample consists of a
cross-section of ceramics firms from small, medium, and large companies representing Thai
ceramics industry.
5.2 Factor analysis
Factor analyses were used to determine the factors of best business practices and firms
performance. The process of factor analysis uses a principal components factor method and

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orthogonal rotation using a varimax method. The criteria used to identify and interpret the
factors that is a cutoff point of eigenvalues of greater than 1, factor loading greater than .50 (Hair
et al., 2006). Furthermore, reliability test were used with Cronbachs alpha coefficient as
indicator, which identified the internal consistency and reliability of each item. Cronbachs alpha
of above 0.70 is considered reliable (Nunnally, 1978). This level was utilized in this study.
Table 1 shows results of factor analysis and the Cronbachs alpha of each factor which indicates
acceptable reliability. It should be noted that, one component of best business practices
(innovation) was expanded from one to two, namely, product innovation and process innovation.
The two components of firms performance were reduced to only one component, namely,
financial performance.
5.3 Descriptive statistic and intercorrelation among the study variables
As evident from Table 2, the dimension of best business practices significantly and positively
correlated with one another, except product innovation and process innovation. Almost all of
variables in this dimension are significantly and postively correlated to financial performance.
Seven elements which are adapted from Baldrige National Quality Program (2005) have overall
mean scores of 3.46 to 4.16. Strategic planning gave the highest overall mean score (4.16). This
is followed by ethics (4.09), leadership (3.98), process management (3.95), Information and
analysis focus (3.75), customer and market focus (3.54), and human resource (3.46) the lowest.
Two elements of innovation are adapted from Arumugam (2005) and the OSLO Manual: The
measurement of scientific and technological activities (1996), product innovation gave the
overall mean score of 5.28, while process innovation of 1.55. These indicate that the firms
adoption of best practices is high and especially product innovation.

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Table 1: Factor analysis results


Dimension
Customer & Market Focus (CM)
Focusing on a segment of the Product line
Working closely with customers
Importance of customers satisfaction
Attending customers dissatisfaction fast
Focusing on particular buyer groups
Monitoring market & business trends
Human Resource (HR)
Seeking employees ideas for improvement
Teamwork encouragement
Availability of fund for employees training
Rewarding employees outstanding performance
Appraising employees performance regularly
Employees salaries & benefits are competitive
Leadership (L)
Treatment employees fairly
Good relationship with stakeholders
Listening to staffs inputs & feedback
Commitment towards job responsibilities
Awareness of critical success factors
Ethics (E)
Having high standards & ethics
Obeying laws & regulations
Helping employees help their community
Process Management (PM)
Excellence of inter-department cooperation
Removing things that get in the way of progress
Having an excellent logistic system
Efficiency of manufacturing processes
Information & Analysis Focus (IA)
Monitoring manufacturing processes closely
Monitoring suppliers on time-delivery
Tracking all critical business performance
Strategic Planning (SP)
Setting business goals & objectives jointly
Executing action plans with diligence
Process Innovation (PcIn)
Improved process 2006
Improved process 2005
Introduced new process 2006
Introduced new process 2005
Improved process 2004
Introduced new process 2004
Product Innovation (PdIn)
New developed product 2006
Improved product 2004
New developed product 2005
Improved product 2005
New developed product 2004
Improved product 2006
Financial Performance (FP)
ROA
ROS
ROI
Sales growth

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Factor Loading

Cronbachs Alpha

.78
.75
.73
.69
.64
.61

.88

.83
.83
.74
.71
.69
.58

.90

.85
.73
.72
.70
.66

.88

.81
.81
.77

.86

.82
.69
.65
.61

.76

.76
.70
.57

.70

.87
.69

.76

.95
.95
.95
.93
.93
.92

.97

.92
.92
.91
.90
.87
.87

.95

.87
.85
.79
.76

.83

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Table 2: Descriptive statistic and intercorrelation among the study variables


Variables

10

11

12

13

Control
Variables
1. Firms Age

1.00

2. Firms Size

.16

3. Firms Equity

.17*

.59**

4. L

.08

.00

-.02

5. SP

.07

.04

.08

.48**

6. CM

-.06

.04

.01

.57**

.36**

7. IA

.03

-.07

-.18*

.36**

.19*

.51**

8. HR

-.02

-.07

.01

.55**

.39**

.56**

.35**

9. PM

.08

-.11

-.09

.41**

.26**

.36**

.31**

.50**

10. E

-.01

.04

.12

.53**

.37**

.39**

.23**

.47**

.43**

11. PdIn

.09

.05

.15

.19*

.15

.18*

.17*

.23**

.15

.13

12. PcIn

-.02

-.02

.06

.17

.16

.14

-.06

.09

.04

.02

.32**

.09

.36**

44**

.49**

.30**

.39**

.03

.40**

.31**

.41**

.30**

.19*

1.00

Mean

14.80

168.59

2.55

3.98

4.16

3.54

3.75

3.46

3.95

4.09

5.28

1.55

3.01

SD.

8.45

447.49

1.45

0.59

0.57

0.72

0.61

0.70

0.53

0.60

15.07

3.96

0.63

Predictors

Dependents
13. FP

Note. N= 141. *p < .05, **p < .01

Table 3: The impact of the best business practices on firm performance


Variables
Control Variables
Companys Age
Firms Size
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Financial Performance
Std Beta Step 1
Std Beta Step 2
.01
.15
14

-.02
.19**

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Firms Equity
Predictors
L
SP
CM
IA
HR
PM
E
PdIn
PcIn
R2
R2 change
F change
Sig. F change

.35***

.28***

.21
.21
12.17
.000

.31***
-.02
.15*
-.20***
.09
.15**
.07
.14**
.04
.55
.34
10.59
.000

Note: * p<.10, ** p<.05, ***p<.01

5.3 Best business practices and firm performance


Table 3 displays the results of hierarchical regression analyses on the relationship between best
business practices and firms performance. The three dimensions of control variables together
were significantly related to financial performance (R2 = .21, p < .01). However, only firms
equity was found to be positively and significantly associated with financial performance ( = .
35, p < .01). The bigger firms seem to enjoy higher performance.
For the relationship between best business practices and financial performance, best business
practices as a construct significantly predicted financial performance and explained an additional
34% of the variance in financial performance (R2 change = .34, p < .01). Leadership practice ( =
.31, p < .01), customer and market focus practice ( = .15, p < .10), process management practice
( = .15, p < .05), and product innovation practice ( = .14, p < .05) have significant and positive
relationship with financial performance. The results on these best practices support the

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hypotheses. Whereas, information and analysis practice is significant but negatively related to
financial performance ( = -.20, p < .01), which is contrary to the hypothesis.
6. Discussion and limitation of the study
The first research question of this study is to investigate the extent to which the best business
practices are adopted by ceramics industry in Thailand. The findings revealed that the seven
dimensions which were adapted from Baldrige National Quality Program (2005), namely,
leadership practice, strategic planning practice, customer and market focus practice, human
resource practice, process management practice, and ethics practice, gave the mean scores
ranging from 3.46 to 4.16. Although, it is slightly lower than the level of TQM practices by
Singaporean organizations, which gave a scores of between 3.85 to 4.35, it is slightly higher than
the level of TQM practices by Malaysian SMEs and Australian organizations, which gave scores
between 3.82 to 3.92 and 3.39 to 3.82 respectively (Arumugam, 2005; Feng, Prajogo, Tan &
Sohal., 2006). Thus, it can be argued that Thai ceramics firms adopted the best business practices
with a high degree of acceptance.
One observation can be derived from this study; the finding showed that the trend of
development and improvement of product and process by Thai ceramics firms was on the
increase from 2004 to 2006. The study by Buranajarukorn (2006) indicated that Thai
manufacturing companies were confronted with moderate to aggressive competition situation. It
could be implied that these firms are aware of competition in the market. Some firms have spent
effort and investment on both innovation practices; however, they did not register their patents. It
is possible that they doubt about privilege of registering or may not understand correctly the
procedure for registering.

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The second question of this study is about the relationship between best business practices and
firms performance. The finding of this study indicated that 34% of the variance of the firms
performance could be explained by the best business practices construct. With a slight difference
of its impact on firms performance, leadership practice was found to have the greatest impact on
firms performance, followed by process management practice, customer and market focus
practice, and lastly, product innovation practice. On the other hand, best information and analysis
practice, best strategic planning practice, best human resource practice, best ethics practice, and
best process innovation practice were not strongly and positively related to firms performance.
Therefore, the relationship between best business practices as proposed by MBNQA and
performance are still in argument, and offer an opportunity for in depth empirical examination.

From the findings of this study, it can be said that Thai ceramics firms concentrate mostly on best
leadership practice, best customer and market focus practice, best process management practice,
and best product innovation practice to improve firm performance. However, this is not to say
that the other five elements should be ignored but rather to note that in our cross-sectional study,
these weaker elements did not powerfully distinguish the firm performance. This study is
descriptive of a given sample at a given point in time, whereas all the elements of best business
practices are used to measure and suggest dimensions in order to improve organizational
practices, quality and performance over the long term. There may be discrepancies between the
short-term view and the long-term effect of the practices. It is recommended that a longitudinal
qualitative case study research be conducted to overcome the short comings of the survey
method used here.

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The dimension of information and analysis best practices is shown to have negative relationship
with performance. This is unexpected and against the hypothesis. It might be that information
collection and analysis is perceived as time consuming and costly.
7. Conclusion
The findings show that the extent of best business practices adoption is high. This study also
found that four out of nine dimensions of best business practices, namely, best leadership
practice, best customer and market focus practice, best process management practice, and best
product innovation practice were positively and significantly related to firm performance.
Overall, it appears that the efforts by the Thai and various governments around the world to
promote the use of best practices through MBNQA-Style awards are bearing fruit. Generally,
best practices do lead to higher firm performance.

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