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The descriptive research design will involve a survey to identify certain characteristics of SMEs and further research to gather qualitative information.
This paper considers how three different approaches in research methodology (quantitative, qualitative and mixed design) could be applied to the topic area ‘What is below the surface and underlying success factors for small and medium enterprises in Thailand?’ using examples from the literature. We will explain which approach is most suitable by analyzing the options, and then formulate a proposed design detailing what reliable and valid secondary data would be collected and how to address the research question.
First, a brief introduction to SMEs in Thailand is given to introduce the subject area of the proposed study. This includes what they are, their role, and important statistical facts. This is followed by a preliminary overview of some support initiatives provided to SMEs mostly by the Thai government. The identification of possible success factors helps to better focus the proposed study.
SMEs are defined by both number of employees and amount of fixed assets. These are fewer relative to larger enterprises. In terms of their function, they are an important foundation of business activity in most economies including the Thai economy. As of April 2009, the number of reported SMEs in Thailand is around 2.4 million, of which 400,00 are classified as genuine according to the Thai National Statistical Office (Pongvutitham, 2009). The Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion (OSMEP, 2008) acknowledges that SMEs play an immensely important role in Thailand’s economy and represent over 99% of the country’s businesses.
SMEs make an immense contribution to Thailand’s economic development “as they are the resources of job creation and revenue distribution for people in