The era of globalization has seen the rapid advancement of the logistics industry. Malaysia, like other countries, has decided to focus on the logistics sector as part of its policies to meet global challenges (Tenth Malaysia Plan 2011-2015, 2010). This is because one of the challenges faced by Malaysia is to develop competent human resource, equipped with the right knowledge and right skills in logistics. A substantial amount of study has examined the importance of having validated dimensions of logistics program offered by higher education institutions (HEIs). Myers, Griffith, Daugherty and Lusch (2004) study has indicated a useful construct for studying dimensions of logistics program in Malaysia. Findings from Myers et al. study has demonstrated that jobs skills were found to be good predictors of logisticians’ performance but not working experience and education. In a Malaysian context, studies have been done in the context of competency and talent required by logistics graduates (Lim, Dazmin & Jonathan, 2012; Dazmin, 2011).
In the context of Malaysian economy, the growth of Malaysian business activities locally and globally requires competent logistician workforce to manage logistics activities. There is a need to prepare local logisticians to pace with the development of business globalization in the 21st century (Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, 2007). A study from Wu (2007) indicated that HEIs need to provide competence and marketable logistics programs. In Malaysia, with the development of higher educational sector, more competent and marketable logistics programs need to be offered in order to meet this demand. A study from Mohamad Hanapi, Zahiruddin and Mohd Shah (2003) emphasized that it is importance for HEIs in Malaysia to cope with globalization so that the programs offered are marketable all over the world. The implementation of the Cabinet’s Report in 1979, the new Private Higher Educational Act in 1996, the new Education Act 1996, and the upgrading of the National Accreditation Board to the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) in 2008, will lead to a high standard of logistics program.
While informative and intriguing, the literature still has shortcomings. Previous studies from Lim et al. (2012) and Dazmin (2011) were only focused on competency and talent needed by Malaysian logistics graduates. Studies closer to the problem were done by Wu (2007) and Myers et al. (2004) where they provide insights for developing dimensions for logistics program. However, their studies were based on the international perspectives for general logistics education.
In view of the research gap and the lack of information concerning undergraduate logistics program in Malaysia, more focus research attempts need to be carried out. One particularly interesting area would be to develop dimensions for the undergraduate logistics program offered by the Malaysian HEIs. In that, it seeks to make a first attempt in developing a measurement model indicating the dimensions that represent Malaysian undergraduate program as seen from the Malaysian logistician’s perspective.
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(Author: Daud Dazmin, Mohamed Syazwan Ab Talib