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Book Cover (14k)   Teleworking and Development in Malaysia
Edited by Cecilia Ng
Published in association with UNDP and INTECH/United Nations University
ISBN 983-9054-36-8
166 pages, 14 X 21.5 cm
Paperback: US$20
Out of print

The emergence of Internet technologies has made it possible to carry out a wide range of service sector work at a distance from the main premises of corporate organisations. These can be performed either from home-based units or from institutions such as call centres. The ease with which work can be externalised also meant a massive rise in outsourcing which led to the transferring of jobs from affluent countries or regions, with high overhead costs and wages, to less prosperous ones. Teleworking, understandably, has significant implications both for regional development and urban planning. In addition, international telework makes it cost effective for corporate organisations in Europe and North America to look towards emerging economies as a source of service sector skills for areas that cover a wide range of activities, from software programming to customer care and secretarial work.
The spread of home-based telework has been slow in Malaysia. Concerns for the quality of work, delivery time, and confidentiality have so far inhibited management from initiating this mode of employment even when it presented the possibility of lowering rental and other overhead costs. Fear of loneliness, lack of career progression and insecure employment contracts similarly coloured the attitude of the groups that are likely to benefit from the convenience and flexibility of home-based work. Women, for example, although welcoming its flexibility, are cautious about home-based telework, lest it erodes liberation from domestic chores and obligations that women experience while going out to work. The main forms of telework, instead, in Malaysia, have taken place, so far, in emerging institutions such as call centres, data entry units or software houses. The analysis in the monograph indicates the strategies that the Government of Malaysia, the corporate sector, educational and training centres as well as the lobbying groups for women and disabled should adopt in order to facilitate socially desirable, yet commercially viable, home-based or institution-based telework.
This book examines telework within five sectors: telecommunications, software, printing and publishing, banking and finance and airlines. It also includes a chapter dedicated towards reviewing the implications of telework for Malaysian women.

Contents of the book:

Foreword by Joyce Yu

Preface by Swasti

Chapter 1: Introduction and overview: Teleworking in the national and global context
by Cecilia Ng and Swasti Mitter

  • What is teleworking?
  • The significance of teleworking
  • The national context
  • The National Information Infrastructure
  • Telecommunications
  • The global context
  • Patterns of teleworking in Malaysia
  • Potential sectors for teleworking?

Chapter 2: Telecommunications
by Khoo Khay Jin and Cheah Siew Hoon

  • Introduction
  • The Malaysian telecommunications industry
  • Changing work organisation and management practices
  • Trends in teleworking
  • Credit collection
  • The attitude of stakeholders
  • Factors facilitating and inhibiting teleworking
  • Changing skills in relation to teleworking
  • Career path of teleworkers
  • Promoting teleworking - challenges and opportunities: Legal, social, cultural and technological
  • Conclusion
  • Policy recommendations and action plan

Chapter 3: Software by Cecilia Ng

  • Introduction
  • The Malaysian software industry
  • Trends in teleworking
  • Changing skill requirements
  • Trends in teletrade: Malaysia in the global software industry
  • Legal and regulatory framework for teletrade in software
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations for policy and practice

Chapter 4: Printing and publishing by Diana Wong and Maria Chin Abdullah

  • Introduction
  • The Malaysian printing and publishing industry
  • Adoption of information technology
  • Labour requirements and availability
  • Trends in teleworking
  • Attitude of stakeholders
  • Factors facilitating and inhibiting teleworking
  • Changing skills requirement and career paths
  • Promoting teleworking: The challenges and opportunities
  • Trends in teletrade
  • Conclusion
  • Policy recommendations

Chapter 5: Banking and finance by Rajah Rasiah and Colin Chang

  • Introduction
  • Adoption of information technology and application
  • Technological potential for telework and teletrade
  • Trends in teleworking
  • Different forms of teleworking
  • Attitude of stakeholders
  • Factors facilitating teleworking
  • Factors inhibiting teleworking
  • Trends in teletrade
  • Legal and regulatory framework for teletrade
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations

Chapter 6: Airlines by Jamilah Othman and Azizan Asmuni

  • Introduction
  • The airlines industry in Malaysia
  • Adoption of information technology
  • Technological potential for teleworking
  • Labour requirements and availability
  • Changing work organisation and management practice
  • Factors facilitating and inhibiting teleworking
  • Changing skills requirement in relation to teleworking
  • Challenges and opportunities in teleworking
  • Policy recommendations

Chapter 7: Teleworking: Blessing for Malaysian women in the information age? by Cecilia Ng

  • Introduction
  • Teleworking: Blessing or burden for women?
  • Information technology and the software industry
  • Teleworking trends in the software industry
  • What opportunities for women?
  • Conclusion

Chapter 8: Towards an enabling environment: Recommendations by Khoo Khay Jin and Cecilia Ng

  • Introductory remarks
  • Recommendation 1: Promote new perspectives on telework
  • Recommendation 2: Promote a paradigm shift in management and work culture
  • Recommendation 3: Review legislative framework
  • Recommendation 4: Promote ICT knowledge and skills to target groups Infrastructure
  • Recommendation 5: Speed up the timetable for universal access
  • Recommendation 6: Review telecommunications pricing structure/regulations
  • Recommendation 7: Review price differentials in hardware and software
  • Needs of special interest groups
  • Recommendation 8: Establish a call centre to serve SMIs
  • Recommendation 9: Establish an independent agency for the disabled
  • Recommendation 10: Study reasons for women's exit from the labour force
  • Conclusion

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