Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Guidelines for the Management of Community Enterprises in the Songkhla Lake Basin of Thailand

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Guidelines for the Management of Community Enterprises in the Songkhla Lake Basin of Thailand

Article excerpt

Abstract

The objectives of this study were 1) to identify problems and threats to the management of community enterprises in the Songkhla Lake basin; and 2) to study guidelines for the management of community enterprises in the Songkhla Lake basin. The researchers conducted a fieldwork survey and in-depth interviews with 30 entrepreneurs using convenience sampling and snowball sampling. In addition, the researchers used the focus group technique by inviting nine experts to discuss the guidelines for the management of community enterprises. From this study, we found that the main problems are marketing, finances and accounting, production, management information systems, product design, and the cost of production. We found that the state agency is an important unit in the development and support of community enterprises with respect to knowledge, all aspects of production and management skills, marketing support, and specifying the regulations for community enterprises.

Keywords: guidelines, management, community enterprises, songkhla lake basin

1. Introduction

Community enterprises are enterprises in which members of a community are involved, such that these members participate in the organization through production, selling products, sharing money to set up enterprises, financial management, and using resources in the community for production (Petprasert & Wongkul, 2002, p. 1-11). In addition, community enterprises work for sustainable regeneration in their communities through a mix of environmental, economic, cultural, and social activities (Development Trusts Association, 2000, p. 3). The community sector is made up of thousands of charities, social enterprises, faith groups, and unconstituted community groups in metropolitan, urban, and rural community areas (Bailey, 2012). However, Pongpit (2005, p. 40) explained seven characteristics of community enterprises, as follows: ownership by a group of people in the community; finished goods provided through a production process in the community; goods and production that come from community's creative work and innovations; goods and products based on local wisdom, but combined with universal wisdom; local people working together using participation and all activities are related through a network system, knowledge practice, and self-sufficiency of the family and community.

Community enterprises make up a sector that boosts the economy in rural areas. Most of these enterprises are small and medium-sized. However, Promsaka Na Sakolnakorn (2009) found six factors that negatively affected textile industry development: 1) knowledge and personnel, 2) recognition of value added, 3) supply chain, 4) marketing management, 5) manufacturing management and technology, and 6) financial management. Purateera et al. (2009) studied the factors that affect small enterprise management in northeastern Thailand. The results showed that the factors that affected management consisted of: 1) knowledge and skills of the entrepreneur, 2) the entrepreneur's capability, 3) technology, 4) the entrepreneur's attitude, 5) the motivation for engaging in business, 6) the source of investment funds, and 7) the entrepreneur's creativity. In addition, Lee and Hsin (2004) suggested that human development will raise the skills and knowledge of humans. On the other hand, Suantan et al. (2008) studied a community village closely in the Songkhla Lake basin and found that the villagers had a great deal of knowledge; however, they lacked knowledge management and knowledge sharing skills, and knowledge was not transferred to other people, which prevented the community from developing.

The Songkhla Lake basin is located in southern Thailand, within the three provinces of Phattalung, Songkhla, and Nakorn Si Thammarat. The Songkhla Lake basin covers approximately 7,687 sq.km. of land area and approximately 1,042 sq.km. of lake area, for a total area of approximately 8,729 sq.km (Ratanachai & Sutiwipakorn, 2006). …

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