Strategy of Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

Abstract

The dissertation is aimed at examining and analyzing the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last five years with the objective of identifying the main influential factors behind the weak performance of the manufacturing sector. The examination and analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is conducted in terms of five performance selected for the study including product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process and environmental uncertainty.

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The dissertation also presents the comparative analysis of the performances of the Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors with Nigeria so that the main differences in the growth patterns of the these manufacturing sectors could be identified and the factors contributing towards these differences can also be highlighted so that Nigerian manufacturing sector can focus on those issues to follow the growth and development patterns of these developing countries. In this regard there is a mixed methodological approach employed for the research and secondary analysis of data and statistical survey is conducted for collecting detailed information and data related with the topic.

The research study concluded that the lack of diversity towards the non oil sector is an important barrier to the growth of the manufacturing industry in Nigeria as it is the root cause of many other problems and limitations like inadequate supply of raw material, energy resources and spare parts, weak infrastructure, unfriendly investment regime and lack of financial resources to the manufacturers. The research study also proposes many suggestions and recommendations for the government and authorities of the manufacturing industry for the improvement of the performance of the sector by adopting latest technology, focusing on research and development work, developing the basic industries in the country etc.

Introduction

This chapter gives an overview of the entire research study by explaining the main motive behind the research, the research objectives, methodology and the research approach. In this chapter the background of the research study is explained to provide3 an understanding about the topic of the dissertation. Moreover the problem definition and the research objectives further explain the intentions of the research study. The need for conducing the research, the significance and the expected contribution of the research study are also describes to explain the importance and scope of the research study topics. Furthermore the kep concepts and terms are defined at the end of the chapter so that the reader can have understanding of all the related issues and concepts before going through the other chapters of the dissertation.

Background Research

Manufacturing sector is regarded one of the most important accelerating force of the economic growth and the experts all over the world share the common believe that the significant contribution of the manufacturing sector in the GDP growth can support the economic development and growth of a country in effective manner. The recent advancements in technology and the emerging wave of globalization have introduced many opportunities as well as threats in the manufacturing industry.

On one hand the manufacturing process has become cost effective and innovative due to the use of advanced machinery and techniques and on the other hand the highly competitive market, increasing and rapidly changing demands of the consumers and shorter life cycle of products are great challenges faced by the manufacturing sector of the modern days. Despite all the threats and opportunities, it is widely accepted fact that the manufacturing sector possesses the power to boost the economic growth. The manufacturing sectors all over the world are going through the phases of revolutionary changes due to the advent of new technologies and advancement in the telecommunication and information technology.

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The attitude of the consumers towards the products has changed a lot and there are different attributes of the products like innovation, product design and competitive features that have greater influence on the consumer decision making. The manufacturing firms of today are required to emphasis a lot on the innovative strategies in product designing and manufacturing strategy. The concept of innovation was introduced in the manufacturing field centuries ago. The seventeenth century witnessed some of the innovative attempts done by different scientists who attempted to create new products for the people that can perform different functions for them in advanced and easy manner.

The invention of the first bicycle and first plane by the Wright brothers is an important example of the product innovation and later J. Murray Spengler invented the first vacuum cleaner also called the electric suction sweeper (Narelle Kennedy, 2006). These inventions pave the ways for new products and services for the consumers that perform wide range of activities and functions for them. These inventions and many other followed these inventions made some major changes on international scene.

The countries started emphasizing on the innovation of new products for the consumers so that they can support their development through the invention of the new products and can attain high rates of profits by offering consumer products with competitive advantages. Thus the era of industrialization and manufacturing revolution began and the countries succeeded to introduce more innovative products get strong position at global level. It is also observed that the countries focusing in the development and growth of the manufacturing sector are mostly enjoying certain benefits in terms of high productivity and economic stability.

Some of the countries have successfully managed to cope up with the ongoing advancements and after making changes in their manufacturing process and strategy they are efficiently using the manufacturing sector as the supporting tool for economic development but many other countries especially under developed countries are still struggling to recognize the critical importance of manufacturing industry for economic growth and till now the manufacturing industry has not emerges as a strong and supportive sector yet. Many of the African countries including Nigeria and Ghana etc failed to secure a strong position through the efficient performance of their manufacturing sectors becuase there were several critical issues, problems and limitations that are hindering the growth of the manufacturing sector of the country and prevent it from playing an efficient and supportive role in the development of the country.

While looking at the case of Nigeria it is also found that the most populous country of Africa is lagging behind in the significant development and growth of the manufacturing sector because inadequate infrastructure and high cost of production along with many other problems and limitations act as barrier to the growth of the manufacturing sector in the country.

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In this regard it is very important that the main factors behind the low performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria must be identified so that some steps can be taken for the improvement in the performance of the sector. Thus the dissertation is aimed at analyzing the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector on the basis of the changes and development occurred in product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty over the last twenty five years.

The research study will also strive to compare these developments with the consumer products’ manufacturing sector performance of some other developing countries like India, China and Malaysia so that the main differences between the developments occurred in the manufacturing sectors of these countries could be analyzed and the research study can put forward some suggestion and new ways for the Nigerian manufacturing sector that can contribute to the better performance of this sector in the coming future.

This analysis is intended to identify the main factors that hinder the growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria with the objective of formulating some suggestions can be put forward for the Nigerian manufacturing sectors and government that can work for the improvement of the situation. As discussed above innovation, product design and manufacturing strategy play integral role in determining the performance of a manufacturing sector, thus this dissertation also strived to examine the performance of the manufacturing sector on the basis of the innovation, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing system (process), product design, competitiveness and environmental uncertainly.

The dissertation is based on a mixed methodological research in order to examine the performance of the Nigerian consumer products manufacturing sector over the last 25 years with the intention to trace the major changes occurred in product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty. In this regard the dissertation will employ two research methodologies including the “secondary analysis of data and the statistical survey” to attain the research objectives.

In the first phase the detailed review of the literature is conducted to have deep understanding of the background issues and in the second phase a statistical survey is conducted among 200 consumer products manufacturing firms of Nigeria using a structures questionnaire so that the opinions of the professional operating in the field could be collected and in view of their opinions the analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector could be conducted. In the light of the entire examination, analysis and comparison, the research will point out the main developments, failures, limitations and differences in the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector so that new path and strategies for the Nigerian manufacturing sector could be found as an attempt to bring improvement in the performance of the Nigerian consumer products manufacturing sector

Problem Definition

Nigeria is the most populous country of the African continents and it is also the eighth most populous country in the world with a population of over 140 million. Though the present conditions of the economic stability and growth are not very positive for Nigeria however IMF has placed Nigeria among the “Next Eleven” economies and it is also project by IMF that in the year 2008, the there is 9% growth expected in the country whereas for 2009 the estimated growth rate is 8.3%. Nigeria was among the middle income nation of the world during the 1970s and early 1980s. However the world oil market collapse in early 1980s draw major impacts on the economic performance and development of the country and soon it fall in the list of 30 poorest nations of the world (Anyanwu, 2000).

The manufacturing sector is playing an important role in the economy of Nigeria however the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the economic growth is not significant enough because the manufacturing sector is experiencing slow growth rate due to high costs of production and inadequate infrastructure. The share of the manufacturing sector was less then 5% of GDP in 1999 and experts believe that in order to secure sustainable economic growth there must be significant rise in the contribution of the manufacturing sector in GDP of the country.

The contribution of the manufacturing sector in the total GDP of the country in Nigeria is much low as compared with other developing countries for example in 2003 there was just 3.99 percent share of manufacturing sector in the total GDP growth where as in China, India and Malaysia the share of the manufacturing sector in the total GDP has reached to the level of 34%, 25% and 30% (Asian Economic Bulletin, 2004) respectively that is regarded as significant and supportive share but unfortunately the economy of Nigeria lacks this support from the manufacturing industry.

There are certain factors that have contributed towards the present worst economic condition of the country and in order to put Nigeria back on the path of development and recovery, it is very essential that not only the main factors behind the economic instability have to be highlighted but there is also need of formulating sound policies and strategies that can make improvement in the economic scenario of the country.

There have been many researches (e.g. Kingsley and Nezianya, 1999; Obadina, 1999; Neil et al, 2002) conducted to identify the main reasons behind the economic instability of the country and it is revealed from many of the researches that the low level performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is an important factor that is badly affecting the economic development and growth of the country. In this regard the social scientists also propose different suggestions so that improvement could come in the manufacturing sector of the country and the economic stability could be achieved.

However it is observed from that there are few researches that have directly focus on the consumer product manufacturing and there are little facts and figures provided in the research studies that analyze the performance of this sector and highlight the main problems. Thus in this context the proposed research strives to analyze the performance of the consumer products manufacturing sector of Nigeria so that the outcome of the research can contribute to improvement in the performance of the sector and new path for the Nigerian production could also be discovered in the light of the research findings.

In this regard the main focus of the research will be on the product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty and these factors will be analyzed as the base of the manufacturing sector performance. The current situation of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is not very much hopeful, thus to identify the main players behind the scene, the above mentioned factors will be studied and the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector will be analyzed on the basis of these factors

Main Objectives of the Research

The proposed research is intended to analyze and examine the performance of the consumer products manufacturing sector of Nigeria over last 25 years with respect to the developments in product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty. Moreover the dissertation will also present the comparative analysis of manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria with developing countries like China, India and Malaysia. The outcome of the above mentioned objectives will be used to put forward the suggestions that can bring some improvement in the manufacturing sector of the country. In this regard the main objectives of the proposed research are as followed:

  • To understand the importance of five selected measures of the manufacturing sector performance “product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty” to justify the analysis of manufacturing sector performance of the basis of these measures.
  • To examine the performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria over 25 years (1985-2005) focusing specifically on the consumer products manufacturing
  • To trace the major developments occurred in the Nigerian manufacturing sector with respect to the product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty.
  • To identify the main barriers that hinders significant growth rate of Nigerian manufacturing sector and its contribution in the economic development of the country
  • To compare the manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria with that of developing countries including India, China and Malaysia
  • To indentify the main differences in the growth patterns of the manufacturing sector of these countries
  • To identify the main reasons behind the differences in the growth patterns of the manufacturing sector of these countries
  • To point out the strategies and planning of the developing countries that contribute to the better performance of their manufacturing sector
  • To suggest some strategies and solution that can work for the improvement in the performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and can lead the country towards the path of development.

Research Questions

The proposed research will be focused on analyzing the Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Design, Process, Innovations, and Environmental Uncertainty, that are the measures of performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria over 25 years, in comparison with Malaysia, India and China, with the intention of finding some ways for the improved performance of the manufacturing sector of the country. In this regards the research will be focused on the following research questions

  1. What is the performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria from 1985-2005 in terms of product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty?
  2. What are the main problems and limitations faced by the manufacturing sector of country?
  3. What are the factors that have played important role in undermining the manufacturing sector growth in Nigeria?
  4. What are the main differences in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Design, Process and Innovations of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with India, China and Malaysia?
  5. What are the main differences in the growth patterns, strategies and planning of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with India, China and Malaysia?
  6. What are the main differences between the manufacturing sector operating environments between Nigeria and China, India and Malaysia?
  7. What are the strategies and policies that can help the under developed countries in coping up with the technology advancements occurring in the manufacturing industry?
  8. What strategies and planning can improve the performance and productivity of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria?

Rationale of Research

The research is based on the rationale of bringing some positive changes in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. It is observed that the manufacturing sector of the country is very low in productivity and performance in terms of products design, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process, innovation and environmental uncertainty due to which its contribution in the economic development is also very disappointing.

In order to make the sector actively participant of the economic development, it is very necessary that all the problems related with the sector – products design, manufacture, innovation, competitiveness etc must be highlighted and solved. There are numerous research studies conducted so far that are focused on the issues and problems associated with the Nigerian manufacturing sector and these researches have also highlighted the important factors that play role behind the slow pace of growth of Nigerian manufacturing sector. In continuation to these researches, this dissertation is also based on identifying the main factors responsible for the slow growth rate of the Nigerian manufacturing sector so that efforts can be made to remove those barriers or at least to minimize the harmful effects of these factors on the sector development.

The main intention of the entire work is to bring some improvement in the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance at some level so that the economy of the country can enjoy the effects of this improvement. Thus the research study is based on the rationale of identifying the main problems and suggesting solutions for the solution of these problems so that a better situation could be achieved and the country can find the way towards prosperity and economic development.

Research Methodology

The research study is conducted by emploting a mixed methodological research approach. Mixed methodology is chosen because it is significance method for conducting different types of research studies. The social scientists working in different fields have also recognized the importance of employing mized methodology for conducting several type of researches because with the help of the mixed methodological approach the research is enable to draw both type of qualitative and quantitative analysis relating with the topic of the research and different type of qualitative researches along with quantitative methods allow to easily study different variables and aspects of the topic. Thus it was decided that the research study will be consist of both the qualitative and quantitative research

There are many ways of conducting both the qualitative as well as quantitative research studies and the significance of these research methods is also explained by different social scientists. Berg (1989) pointed out that for conducting there are varieties of options available to the researchers and according to the objective and nature of research they can choose from different qualitative research methods like “case study, literature review, natural experiment, participant observation, interviews based, and secondary analysis of data or combination of these.”

For this research study also all of these research methods were kept in consideration however it was found that as per the suitability of the research objectives “secondary analysis of data” will be the most appropriate method because it allows the researchers to have a critical look at the existing research studies conducted around the topic and with the help of this review the researchers can get better understanding of all the issues related with the topic of the research study.

The importance of this research approach as a qualitative research method has been realized and accepted by many of the research experts so keeping in view the significance as well as relevance of this research method with the research objective, it is selected as the qualitative research method for the study. Moreover it was also decided that the qualitative research approach alone can not attain the objectives of the research in effective manner so there could be employment of some quantitative research approach as well that can help in colleting quantitative data related with the study and different research variables. For this purpose it was decided to conduct statistical survey among 200 firms engaged in the manufacturing of the consumer products in Nigeria so that the opinions of high level personnel working in these firms can also be collected and used for analyzing the situation of the industry.

The significance of statistical survey has been established in many of the research journals and studies and there are many social scientists (e.g. Tanur, 1982; Abramson J. and Abramson Z, 1999; Massey, O’Connor and Krotk, 1997) that have not only highlighted the importance of the statistical survey but have also stressed upon the use of this research method for collecting information about any issue from a large number of respondents.

The collected using this research method can be used for the determination of the validity reliability and statistical significance of the study. Moreover the statistical survey are generally not very hard to administer after proper sampling etc the researchers can easily go for collecting data from large number of people. Hence the staitistical surveys are found the most appropriate method of collecting quantitative data for the study and using a structured questionnaire the CEOs, Operations managers and heads of manufacturing design department are accessed and requested to share their views regarding the past and present performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and to identify the factors influencing the entire situation.

In the survey questionnaire there are different aspects of the reseach study that are investigated from the respondents with the help of separate sections included for each topic and thereare not only traditional open ended questions used in the survey but the Likert scale is used for the construction of most of the questions of the survey questionnaire.

Likert scale is a bipolar scale commonly used for the measurement of the negative or positive responses for the people regarding any issue and it is also a common system that is significantly used in the construction of the survey questionnaires. The use of the Likert scale in the questionnaire allows the researchers to ask the respondents to indicate the digree of agreement or disagreement with the given statement. For this purpose there is five points scale used in the questionnaire so that the respondents can pick from these five points and express ther views regarding the issue pointed out in the given statement.

In this way the dissertation not only presents the detailed review of the related available literature using the secondary analysis of data as the qualitative research topic but also provided the quantitative data regarding the topic with the help of the statistical survey conducted among 200 firms of Nigeria that are operating in the consumer goods manufacturing sector. It is important to mention that only high level personnel of the manufacturing firms are requested to participate in the survey so that the opinions of such people can be gathered that have the capability of taking key decisions in their firms and their experience and position in the firm also allows them to better express their expert views about the topic.

The business directory of the country is followed to make list of such companies and then the questionnaires were sent to the selected firms via email and face to face meetings and there was time of three months decided for the collection of the responses from the participants of the survey.

So the research study is conducting through the utilization of both the primary and secondary resources. There are different journals, research reports, magazines, books, electronic journals and web portals are accessed to gather the information about the research topic and to conduct the analysis of the available and related secondary data

Research Approach

The research study strives to attain all of its objectives through the secondary analysis of data and statistical survey conducted among 200 manufacturing firms of Nigeria. In the first phase, the dissertation will present the secondary analysis of the data to explain the background of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and its performance during last 25 years. In the second phase, the survey will be conducted among 200 manufacturing forms of Nigeria involved in the manufacturing of different consumer products. The views of the CEO and operations department personnel will be collected to point out the main obstacles in the development of the sector and to collect the options for betterment in the views

The utilization of two research methodologies in the dissertation is backed by the fact that the mixed methodology helps the studies to come up with deep analysis of the entire situation. The secondary analysis of data is a helpful in getting theoretical understanding of the issue whereas the statistical survey is a way to find the practical evidence from the field. In this way these methods are employed with the approach to come up with different views and opinions of the professional attached with the field.

Moreover the research study also took the comparative analysis approach to further explore the issue. The comparison of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the performances and growth patterns of the Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sector is decided to conduct by following the observations and recommendations of the social scientists and experts. For example Akinlo and E.A. (1996) has explained the significance of comparing two different country’s performances in any field that if the researchers carefully examine all the issues and influencing factors behind the growth and development of two different countries then he can easily point out the factors that are responsible for many the difference and this identification can be helpful for the country that is willing to adopt the samw growth pattern as it can also adopt the same policies and strategies that have led the other country towards the path of success.

The examples of the developing countries are especially much inspiring for the countries that are lagging behind the others in the race of development because the success of many of the developing countries has been observed and accepted at international level and the other countries also want to follow the same growth patter that they can do with the help of the results of the comparative analysis of the performance of these countries. Thus this approach is also employed in this research and the performance of the manufacturing sector of India, China and Malaysia with Nigeria will help in designing the strategies for the Nigerian manufacturing sector that can take Nigeria towards the path of economic stability through manufacturing sector performance.

Need and Significance of Study

The manufacturing sector has the capability to make positive changes in the economic growth trend of the countries and it is very necessary to evaluate the performance of a manufacturing sector if it is not playing significant role for the economic development. In Nigeria also the economic growth is not well supported by the manufacturing sector and it is important to identify the main reasons behind the slow growth of the sector and its low contribution in the economic growth.

Thus there is great need of conducting such research study that can identify the main issues related with the situation so that these problems can be handled in effective manner to assure the improvement in the manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria. In order to fulfill this need the research study is aimed at identifying the problems behind the inefficient performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector; whereas the main emphasis of the research will be remain on the consumer goods as they are integral and major part of the manufacturing sector.

Moreover the comparison of the Nigerian manufacturing with the performance of the manufacturing sectors of some developing countries like India, China and Malaysia will be conducted with the intention of identifying the strategies and policies adopted by these countries that led to the improved performance of the manufacturing sectors of these countries. This comparison will help in designing strategies that can help Nigeria in attaining good performance of the manufacturing sector. It is expected that by following the policies and strategies of other developing countries after making necessary amendments according to own conditions and limitation, Nigeria can also proceed on the path of development and economic growth.

Expected Outcome and Scope of the Study

The research is expected to bring come significant results that can help the manufacturing sector of Nigeria in deciding the strategies that can improve the performance of the sector. The dissertation will present in depth analysis and examination of the performance and development of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria that will be helpful for the current study as well as for the future research work because it is observed that there are not much research work done around the consumer products manufacturing performance of Nigeria and this gap in the literature will be filled out from this dissertation.

Moreover the comparative analysis of Nigerian manufacturing sector with India, China and Malaysia will unfold many aspects of the issue and will highlight many important problems and limitation as well as failures of Nigeria in attaining sustainable economic growth through manufacturing sector development.

The students of the fields, the experts related with the manufacturing sector as well as the social scientists intended to work in the same field will get lot of information and help from the dissertation because the dissertation will present in depth analysis of all the issues related with the topic of the research.

Definition of Terms and Concepts

  1. Product design refers to the “idea generation, concept development, testing and manufacturing or implementation of a product that can be a physical object or a service. The term refers to the determination and specification of the parts of a product and their interrelationship so that they become a unified whole. (Hesselbein et al, 2002)
  2. Innovation can be define as “both the radical and incremental changes in thinking, in things, in processes or in services” (Chesbrough and Henry, 2003)
  3. Manufacturing basically refers to the “use of tools and labor to make things for use or sale” however in broad sense it refer to “wide range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale” (Friedman and David, 2006)
  4. Environmental Uncertainty is the “situation where the management of a firm has little information about its external environment that is in a state of flux and, hence, largely unpredictably. The organizations often face this situation in the Decision Making, Problem Solving, & Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Management, & Leadership subjects (Evangelista and Rinaldo, 2000)
  5. Manufacturing strategy basically comprises of decision-making problems in terms of manufacturing practices to achieve manufacturing objectives through linkages of performance measurement (Chien and Wu, 2007)
  6. Manufacturing process consists of the phases through which a product passes to get the shape of the finished product. The ideal manufacturing system must combine the benefits of highly automated and controlled systems through accuracy, mass production, uniqueness of product, benefits of versatile and adjustable Systems (Bin Wu, 1994)

Literature Review

The review of the literature is divided in to two chapters. The first chapter contains the explanation and information about the manufacturing industry, effects of technology and globalization and importance of product design, innovation, manufacturing process, manufacturing strategy and environmental uncertainty for the manufacturing sector. The second chapter will provide information about the Nigerian economy and the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the development of the country. Moreover the performances of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian manufacturing sectors are also discussed in the second part so that on the basis of that information the comparative analysis could be conducted.

Introduction

This chapter contains the detailed review of the research studies that are conducted around different aspects associated with the topic of the dissertation. The review of the literature is basically aimed at providing comprehensive information and understanding of all the issues and concepts that can across while conducting the research study. The main objective of the dissertation is to examine and compare the performance and the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last 25 years and the main differences in the strategies, policies and growth patterns in comparison with Malaysia, India and China.

The basic information about the manufacturing sectors of these countries will be discussed in the second chapter of the literature review and this chapter is focused on explaining the general issues and concepts associated with the manufacturing sectors, technology impact and FMCG manufacturing. In order to conduct his analysis and examination, there are five major measures of performance selected and the entire dissertation is based on the examination of the manufacturing sector performances on the basis of these performance measures that are “product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process and environmental uncertainty”.

In this regard it is found very important that there must be clear understanding about the importance and contribution of these five performance measures for the manufacturing sector so that it become clear that why these are selected to evaluate the performances of the manufacturing sectors and how important it is to evaluate the performance on the basis of these five measures. Many social researchers have highlighted the importance of the factors including product design, manufacturing process, manufacturing strategy, competitiveness and environmental instability for the performance of the manufacturing sectors and the review of the literature also discusses some of these researches to explain the importance of these factors for the manufacturing sector as the research is based on the examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance on the basis of these factors.

Following is review of some of the research studies conducted around the topic to explain different research approaches that the social scientists have selected for their studies. Moreover the outcomes of these researches also help in understanding the background of the problem and the overall trend prevailing in the sector. The following review of the literature will not only explain the importance of the five performance measures but the basic information about the manufacturing sector, the impact of technology and the merging trends in the FMCG manufacturing are also discussed in the literature review in order to explain that what are the main differences occurred in the manufacturing industry due to the emergence of new technology and globalization.

This explanation is provided with the intention of preparing the background for reviewing the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector during the last 25 years so that the differences occurred in the manufacturing patterns could be examined in the light of the differences required in the manufacturing process and the changes adopted by different other countries during this time period.

Manufacturing from Global Perspective

Manufacturing has become a global activity and the human beings all over the world are involved in the manufacturing of different products using different strategies, processes and designs. The modern day manufacturing has a background of centuries at its back. Some of the historians and experts believe that the manufacturing is part of human activities even since the time when they used to have sufficient amount of agricultural products to meet their food requirements and then they got lot of time to concentrate upon the tools and technique through which they can develop different items for their own use as well as for the trade (Cochran et al, 1942).

Gradually the people also started developing particular skills and resources for the manufacturing of different items. In the mid eighteenth century the industrial revolution emerges as a result of the water based explorations and generation of new ideas for the development of different products. (Clark and Victor, 1929) Though the manufacturing industry emerged from that time however since the start of the twentieth century there were the true efforts began and the human beings started trying to improve the manufacturing process and for this purpose the people got involved in different studies, research works and management practices (Cochran et al, 1942). Finally the modern manufacturing emerged in the last some decades of the twentieth century.

The manufacturing process took the final and present shape after going several stages. During the mid eighteenth century Honoré le Blanc belonging to France presented the idea of production of guns that was further developed by Eli Whitney. These people do now have the facilities of machinery and tools for manufacturing however they developed the use of machines and templates and put forward their ideas in to physical forms.

The Harvard business school has played a very important role in the development of the manufacturing sector. The researchers associated with the Harvard Business schools developed and presented some manufacturing strategy paradigms in order to provide better manufacturing management methods to the people associated with the manufacturing industry. The work of these experts was specially focused on the issues that how the management of the manufacturing company can effectively employ the labor, land, plants, resources and planning within their manufacturing processes as the strategic and tactical decisions variable and can develop the competitive strategies for the development of manufacturing capabilities in their factories. (Tryon and Rolla, 1966)

The Harvard business school also explains the concept and important of the factory and manufacturing trade-offs and it is explained that the management of the manufacturing companies must adopt a diverse strategy that can work for the creation on a focused factory doing particular set of activities in adequate and planned manner. Since then the manufacturing industry also realized the need and importance of the maintaining low cost of manufactured products, high standard and quality as well as high level of flexibility in the designing and management of the factories. (Cochran and Thomas, 1972)

The decade of 1980s is regarded as the revolutionary time period when there was some of the major revolutionary changes occurred in the management philosophies and technologies that were being used in the manufacturing process all over the world. During this time period the term and concept of “Just-in-time (JIT) production” was emerged as one of the important manufacturing philosophy. Japan is regarded as the pioneer of this technology that basically refers to the integrated set of activities that are basically meant for the achievement and attainments of the high level production and there should be usage of minimum inventories of the parts in the process. (Bluestone et al, 1982)

There was another concept and manufacturing philosophy that came in front of the manufacturing sector along with the concept of JIT and this was the concept of “total quality control (TQC)”. Both of these philosophies worked along with each others and strive to reduce the production defects and their main causes. Soon these philosophies became popular and many of the manufacturing sectors have developed the foundation of their activities on the basis of these philosophies. (Licht and Walter, 1995)

The advancements in the technologies and their implication in the manufacturing sector further introduced certain concepts and philosophies in the manufacturing industry. The factory automation concept was introduced in the manufacturing that draws significant impacts on the performance and actives of the manufacturing world. Very soon the manufacturing industry witnessed the mergence of some advanced manufacturing concepts like “computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) and factory of the future (FOF)” etc. (Licht and Walter, 1995)

Since the 1970s and 1980s the computers were also introduced in the manufacturing industry as the tool of managing the operations problems. The application of “materials requirements planning (MRP)” during the same time period is also regarded as great breakthrough for the manufacturing sector as this approach allows the integration of all the parts involved in the complicated products to be put together within a computer program. The production planners are thus enabled to adjust the schedules and inventory purchases of the manufacturing process through these computer programs. In this way the planners of the manufacturing process got the opportunities to meet the changing demands that arise during the manufacturing process (Licht and Walter, 1995).

The philosophy of total quality management (TQM) became an important part of the manufacturing sector and came along the manufacturing sector till 1980s however during the 1990 the manufacturing sector truly realized the critical importance of this concept and the manufacturing sector executive gave much more importance to the quality management within the manufacturing sector.

The American Society of Quality Control and the National Institute of Standards and Technology crated the Baldrige National Quality Award in the year 1986. The establishment of this award was a significant step that further enhanced and assisted the concept of quality movement within the manufacturing sector. The award worked for the recognition of the five manufacturing companies that show the practice of their outstanding quality management systems through out the year. Moreover the International Organization for Standardization also issues the ISO 9000 certification standards and this was another significant steps that set certain quality standards for the manufacturing companies operating all over the world. (Licht and Walter, 1995)

As the world progresses towards the era of globalization and increased competition the manufacturing sector also realized the need to be more competitive at international level. Especially after the economic recession in the early 1990s paved the ways for certain innovations within the manufacturing sector and the manufacturing companies at large restructured their manufacturing activities and process and adopted some innovative strategies in order to run their operations.

The article “Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate” written by Michael Hammer further influenced the manufacturing sector up to a greater extent and the new concept of business process reengineering (BPR) emerged with in the manufacturing industry. According to this philosophy, the manufacturing companies were suggested to make revolutionary changes in their manufacturing process and operations rather going for the evolutionary changes.

The manufacturing firms were suggested that they should take new look over their efforts in order to review their performances as compared with their objectives and then on the base of this review they should eliminate the non value added steps from the manufacturing process so that they can compute the rest of the steps of their manufacturing process in such a way that they can attain their manufacturing objectives in efficient manners. (Licht and Walter, 1995)

In the light of this philosophy there were several other concepts emerged within the field of manufacturing and then the manufacturing sector strives to manage the flow of information, smooth flow of services and raw material from the suppliers to their manufacturing units and then finally to the warehouses and factories from where the consumers can get access to these products. Soon the trend of outsourcing and mass customization also get important place within the manufacturing sector and the manufacturing companies were forces to find out most flexible ways through which they can meet the increasing demands of the consumers.

The manufacturing sector is supposed to be highly responsive towards making changes in their activities and strategies so that they can meet the rapidly changing expectations of the consumers. The manufacturing sector then also set certain priorities on the bases of different research studies conducted to identify the operation priorities of the sector. It is disclosed in most of the research studies that the manufacturing sector is essentially required to focus upon number of issues including “cost, product quality and reliability, delivery speed, delivery reliability, ability to cope with changes in demand, flexibility, and speed of new product introduction”. (Licht and Walter, 1995)

Each and every sector of the manufacturing industry recognized the importance of these priorities and at present the manufacturers of different consumer goods as well as factory use products are focusing on these issues in order to come up with the competitive products offering certain advantages to the consumers. (Licht and Walter, 1995)

The concept of quality also became very important within the manufacturing sector and the manufacturing companies are now supposed to focus upon the product quality as well as on the process quality. It is believed that the manufacturing companies have to maintain the quality standards in the quality of their finished products and during the entire process of manufacturing to assure the success of the product in terms of its popularity among the consumers, increased sales revenue generation and competitiveness. Along with quality the delivery time of the products also matter in the manufacturing sector as the people all over the world are in favor of fast moving and accessible products.

Thus the manufacturing companies are required to deliver the finished products to the consumer before their competitors can catch the market and they will loose their potential or existing consumers. Moreover the flexibility of the manufacturing companies also becomes very important to remain competitive within the sector.

The last decades of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty first century, bring many lessons for the manufacturing companies and the manufacturing sector is required to respond towards the tremendous changes occurring all over the world due to the advent of the new technology. The methods of manufacturing products and the management of the manufacturing operations and process has changed a lot in the new era and the manufacturing companies are now required to make best possible use of the available resources to assure high quality of their manufactured products. For this it is very necessary that the manufacturing companies focus on the efficient utilization of the resources required in the manufacturing process.

These issues have become more and more important for the manufacturing companies because the advancements in the communication technology especially the rising popularity of internet has enables the manufacturing companies of different countries to get access to the consumers of different countries and as a result many of the manufacturing companies are facing the risks of loosing their exiting and potential consumers. This situation could be handles by the manufacturing companies only be being highly innovative and competitive.

The manufacturing companies are now highly required to develop superior products that the consumers can get at lower prices and at the same time it is also necessary that the consumers should also provided the facilities and opportunities to get these products on early basis with the help of the timely delivering system that must be managed by the manufacturing companies. (Licht and Walter, 1995) Finally it is revealed from the above discussion that the manufacturing in the popular and essential activity for the global community for centuries however in the modern era there are certain new concepts and philosophies have become the part of the manufacturing process.

Moreover the advent of advanced technology has further revolutionized the concept of manufacturing and in the technology driven era, the manufacturing firms are required to be highly competitive so that they can assure the on time delivery on high quality products to the consumers at relatively low prices. For this the management of the resources and the manufacturing process is very essential along with the usage of the advanced and appropriate technology.

Though the above research studied threw light on the historical perspective of the manufacturing industry but these researches did not describe that what importance the manufacturing sector carried on attaining along with going through the stages of development and advancements. It is also important to explain that how the new era of manufacturing is brining challenges for the countries at domestic and international level and this gap in the literature will be filled in the analysis part of the dissertation because this research study will explain the effects of advancement in technology on the manufacturing sector and the changed responsibilities of the countries while taking Nigeria, China, India and Malaysia as examples.

FMCG Sub sectors Manufacturing

The fact moving consumer goods – FMCG have also given the name of the consumer packaged goods CPG. These are the type of the products that are commonly sold very quickly and the prices of these products are supposed to be relatively lower then the other type of products. One might think that sales of the consumer goods at relatively low prices will generate low profits however despite the small amount of absolute profit on sales of FMCG products, these are proved to be profitable for the manufacturing companies as these products are most of the time sold in large quantities and as a result there is generation of cumulative profit on he manufacturing and sales of these products.

There are wide range of products that came under the umbrella of the consumer goods like “toiletries, soap, cosmetics, teeth cleaning products, shaving products and detergents”. At the same time there are many non durable products including different glassware, light bulbs, batteries, paper products and plastic goods that are also categorized as the fast moving consumer goods. Generally the people think that common usage commodities like soaps, cosmetics etc are the FMCG but it is also important to mention that different consumer electronics, packaged food products and drinks can also be categorized as the fast moving consumer goods.

The International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) explains that it is necessary that the products and goods will be regarded as the fast moving consumer goods when they are offered for the retail sales at non-specialized stores however the products like food, beverages and tobacco, pharmaceutical and medical goods could be sold on the specialized stores. The fast moving consumer goods can also be delivered to the consumers through mail orders, stalls, markets and non store retail sale points. (Aydın et al, 2005)

The electronic items like mobile phones, camera and MP3 players also came under the fast moving consumer goods however they are often subcategorized as fast moving consumer electronics. The need of innovation in the designing is the basic requirement for all the types of the fast moving consumer goods especially the mobile phones, MP3 players and camera are required to be more aligned with the technological changes and the people used to replace these products within small time periods as they found that these types of products get out dated very quickly. Thus the designing of these types of consumer goods is even more challenging for the manufacturing companies as they have to capture the attention of the consumers by offering them innovative products with shorter life cycle and very soon they have to be prepare the next and advanced version of their products that can meet the rapidly changed requirement of the consumers. (Aydın et al, 2005)

The fast moving consumer goods are important part of the manufacturing sector and for many decades large proportion of the manufacturing products comprises of the fast moving consumer goods. During the last century there was high increase of five million percent recoded in the productivity of the fast moving consumer goods that show that the consumers are in great need of the consumer goods and at the same time it also became clear that due to increase in the demand and productivity, the manufacturing companies are required more to focus upon offering unique features and qualities in the FMCG products to the consumers to remain competitive in the market place.

The fast moving consumer goods manufacturing has also witnessed the impact of the advancement of the new technology up to a greater extent. Three to four decades ago there was not the popular concept about the usage of the microchip in the manufacturing of the consumer goods however the revolutions occurred in the manufacturing sectors gifted the FMCG manufacturing with the usage of the microchip that allows the manufacturing companies to manufacture products at low cost of production. Moreover the high integrated automated production also changes the operations and activities of the manufacturing sector up to a greater extent (Aydın et al, 2005).

The introduction of the microchip in the manufacturing of consumer goods is regarded as one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century as it allowed the manufacturing companies to give away the traditional direct headcount methods by ninety percent and along with that there were fundamental changes also occurred in the management tasks of the manufacturing companies.

As compared with the olden days, the manufacturing of the fact moving consumer goods is now supposed to be more challenging and requires adequate attention and management. There are some fundamental changes occurred in the manufacturing sector that have resulted in the change of the manufacturing patterns of the fast moving consumer goods as well. In the modern days there are high out put as well as high automated facilities available for the manufacturing of the fast moving consumer goods. The availability of these facilities is a great opportunity for the manufacturers how ever they also have to make some fundamental changes in their manufacturing process so that their process and manufacturing system can be align with the changes induced in the sector by the technology advancements.

The manufacturers of today are facing great challenge in form of appropriate usage of technological devices and methods in the manufacturing of their products. New tools and techniques of manufacturing of products are being introduced in the manufacturing sector after very short time intervals and the manufacturing companies have to show their flexibility to adopt the new technologies.

However all the technological devices and techniques are not beneficial for the manufacturing of certain types of products and the manufacturing sector managers have to decide what technology they should adopt and what not. In the same way the skills and qualification of the labor also affects the technology adoptability of the manufacturing companies and before going to adopt any new technology and device, the manufacturing company has to keep in mind the potential of their work force.

If they believe that the workforce will handle the new technology with the help of their skills or after getting some training then they can go for the adoptability of the new technology however if the labor lacks the potential skills to make right use of the new technology then the manufacturing company can not enjoy the benefits of the new technology, rather lot of money and time of the company will be wasted in their attempt to adopt the technology and their routine manufacturing activities will also be affected resulting in the decline of productivity and revenue of the manufacturing companies.

The management of the work force is also an important and challenging issue for the managers of the manufacturing companies because the introduction of new machinery in the manufacturing process reduces the required number of workers but at the same time the skills ad qualification of the workers become even more important for the company and they have to select the most suitable person for handling the matters of their manufacturing process and management.

In this way it is proved that the manufacturing of fast moving consumer goods is an integral part of the manufacturing sector all over the world. In the modern days the manufacturing of FMCG has become more challenging for the companies due to number of reasons. First of all the consumers are become more aware as they get access to the information about the varieties and features of different products through different communication resources and as a result there is high rise in the expectation level of the consumers. Thus the manufacturing companies have to work out a lot in order to meet the high demands and expectations of their consumers.

At the same time the FMCG manufacturing sector is also facing great challenge in form of shorter life cycle of the products. With each new day, there are new facilities introduced with different products and the manufacturing companies have to be ready to implement and add these new facilities in their products. Now the manufacturing companies are required to manufacture consumer goods with shorter life cycle so that they can offer new products to the consumers very soon. In this regard it is very important that the manufacturing companies must focus on bringing innovative ideas in their product designs so that the consumers can get competitive advantage through the purchase and consumption of their products.

The discussion threw light on the overall importance and contribution of the FMCG but the above researches did not explain that how the under developed countries can cope with the merging challenges of this field and what strategies and polices will help them in gaining economic development through the FMCG manufacturing. Thus a gap is found in the literature and this research study will strive to fill up this gap by identifying the factors that can help the under developed countries like Nigeria to maintain good standard of manufacturing specially in the FMCG sector.

Technology advancements Impact on Manufacturing Sector

The impact of advancement in the technologies is a center of long debate between experts and social scientists for long period of time and along with the mergence of each new technology, the debate gets further momentum. Most of the social scientists are agreed on the point that the new technology is not only an opportunity for the manufacturing sector but it is also a great threat for it. The productivity, cost effectiveness and quality of the manufactured product is improved up to a great extent due to the advent of new technologies however at the same time the manufacturing sectors have to think over the issues of the impacts of technology on the employment as well as on their routine operations because the usage of technology requires skilled and qualified labor for the performance of technology based manufacturing and in this situation the unskilled labor get little chances to get hired in the manufacturing sector due to which the rate of unemployment might went on declining. (Chas and Aquilano, 2000)

All over the world, the manufacturing sector is witnessing the changes led by the technology advancements and in most of the countries the manufacturing sector are performing their activities with the usage of innovative tools and techniques and they have give up their old traditional methods of manufacturing. The technology usage not only provide the manufacturing sectors certain opportunities in terms of cost effectiveness and high quality production but also help the manufacturing sectors to be competitive at domestic and international level.

The technology is improving with such a great pace that in the present days, the modern machinery used in the manufacturing sector is around 20 – 25% more productive then the machinery that was used in the manufacturing sector just five years ago. (Krajewski and Ritzman, 2001) This shows that the technology is drawing significant impacts on the manufacturing industry very rapidly and the manufacturing companies are also required to be more update and aligned with the changes and advancements in the modern machinery and manufacturing techniques. At present the manufacturing sectors in most of the developing and developed countries use different automation and CNC machines due to which there are now little manual task performed during the manufacturing process.

Due to this reasons there is need of less workforce in the manufacturing companies and at the same time the companies are able to manufacture more amount of products by utilizing less cost and time. Moreover the trade liberalization and fast transportation technology enables to manufacturing companies to get the raw material from different destination where they can have the opportunity to select among different variety, quality and cost. In this way the manufacturing sectors generally succeed to get raw material and labor at low cost due to information and communication technology advancements.

Dillworth (1999) explains that the manufacturing sector is regarded as one of the most important players of the economic scenario and the performance of the manufacturing sector has the capability to strongly affect the economic development of a country. Due to its critical importance it is very important for the manufacturing sector that there must be great awareness and realization related with the usage of appropriate technology to get the benefits of cost effectiveness and high [production quality.

It is also an important point to notice that technology can not only improve the performance of the large scale manufacturing companies but the small and medium enterprises engaged in the business of manufacturing can also get many benefits form the technology advancements and through the usage of computer controlled tools and devices they can improve their profitability and work quality.

Porter (2000) pointed out that due to globalization there is very tough competition in each and ever sector and industry. The manufacturing sector is also witnessing highly competitive environment and in order to survive and face the challenges of the emerging situation, the adoptability and implementation of technology is the most tool that can help the manufacturing companies to offer competitive and high quality products to the consumers at different market levels.

The manufacturing sectors neglecting the importance of advanced technology adoptability can not manage to survive in highly competitive market place of the modern days and they can not play any supportive role in the development of their countries. Lefebvre et al (2002) explains that technology has contributed to some revolutionary changes within the functions and activities of the manufacturing companies. Now the manufacturing sector has to work on the basis of different manufacturing technology and along with that they have to be ready to adopt the new concepts and phenomenon that enter the manufacturing world each new day.

Technology is regarded as the weapon for the manufacturing firms because through the usage of the advanced technology they can be more competitive and cost effective. Even the small sized manufacturing companies can also work for meeting the requirements of the demanding consumers in successful manner because the new tools and devices allow them to manufacture high quality products with innovative features even at low cost of production.

Garsombke and Garsombke (1999) conducted an empirical study to examine the effects of technology usage on the performance of the manufacturing companies. The study results indicate that the manufacturing companies that are more open towards the usage of the advanced technology within their manufacturing process are observing rapid and positive changes in their performance level in terms of innovative product design and high quality of the manufactured products.

The study also indicated that most of the manufacturing firms refer to automation, robotization, and computerization as the use of advanced technology and the stronger link of the manufacturing companies with these technologies assures their better performances. The researchers evaluated the performance of the manufacturing companies in terms of “production output, increases in profit, increases in sales, increases in return on investment, and decreases in lead time” and revealed that all of these performance measures are found to be positively related with the usage of technology in the manufacturing sector.

The analysis of the manufacturing companies on the basis of the above mentioned performance measures also indicated that the companies lagging behind in usage of the modern technology usually face tough competition at the market place and many of the manufacturing companies neglecting the use of technology in their manufacturing process, are at higher risk of losing their market position as well as existence.

Steiner and Solef (1998) also conducted an empirical analysis of the performance of the manufacturing companies. The researchers evaluated the performance of eight manufacturing companies on the basis of their financial performance and came up with the results that in four out of eight manufacturing companies there are clear evidences found about the positive effects of the advanced technology usage. The four firms that were open towards the usage of technology and amend their manufacturing process to align it with the modern techniques get high returns on their investments and at the same time their sales volume also grow significantly as compared with their competitors.

The researchers also found that among the rest of four manufacturing companies two of the companies show the signs of improvement in their financial positions and it is found that when these firms hire more qualified and skilled work force to handle the advanced tools and machinery of the production, then the journey of improvement began in these firms as well. Rest of the two companies show the decline in their performance after the adoptability of the new technology. In order to identify the reasons behind these failures, the researcher analyzed the entire situation and found that proper management and availability of the skilled and qualified labor is also very necessary to make positive use of advanced technology in the manufacturing sector, otherwise the companies can not take the advantages of the advent of new technology.

Liberatore and Titus (2001) noticed that the usage of technology has drawn significant impact on the manufacturing industry and there are many of the manufacturing firms that have recoded rise in the sales revenue as a result of the technology usage. The researchers also pointed out that due to the technological advancements in the manufacturing sector there are two type of major changes occurred within the manufacturing industry. First of all there is improvement in the overall performance of the manufacturing sector and secondly the perceived needs of the consumers and the market are also well addressed by the improvement in the performance.

It is also observed that the consumers in some of the cases did not notice the changes occur in the product designs but it is a fact that technology adaptation has the greatest impact on the product designing. At the same time the consumers look towards the manufacturing companies and sector that respond towards the technology advancements as they believe that such manufacturing companies can provide them different products with better improved functions having more and innovative features at lower cost.

Schroeder et al (1999) revealed that the increased usage of the computers is the most significant impact of technology on the manufacturing sector. Many of the manufacturing companies now use to employ computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) at different levels of manufacturing process.

Most of the times the computer based manufacturing planning and management tools are employer in the manufacturing companies that allows them to monitor and control their manufacturing process and to link different manufacturing activities of manufacturing process throughout the organization. The companies are facilitated with the data acquisition and control network spanning as a result of using computer based management and manufacturing planning tools. Chas and Aquilano (2000) pointed out that the technology has direct and in most of the cases significant impacts on the performance of the manufacturing sector as the technology usage assists the manufacturing companies to accomplish their manufacturing process against relatively a low cost.

At the same time the manufacturing sector is also enabled to ensure rapid delivery, high quality and customer satisfaction through providing competitive products to the consumers using advanced technology. (Krajewski and Ritzman, 2001) revealed that technology in the manufacturing sector is now utilized at each and every phase and in the developing and developed countries the rate of technology usage in the manufacturing process is much higher then that of the economically backward countries.

The researchers pointed out that there are many advanced technologies that are generally applies in to the manufacturing sector like automated handling equipment, CAD/CAM systems, advanced management techniques like just-in-time manufacturing (JIT), simultaneous engineering, and total quality management (TQM). The manufacturing companies adopt from these technologies as per requirement of their manufacturing process and strategy.

The research also disclosed that the usage patterns of technological tools are different for different scales of manufacturing companies and the SMEs use to adopt and utilize different manufacturing technologies as compared with the large scale manufacturing companies. However the impact of technology usage is significant for both the large scale and small and medium scale organizations. Thus it is found that the technology has drawn major impact on the performance of the manufacturing sector. In the modern era technology has become a great weapon for the manufacturing sector through which they can get assistance for their successful survival in the highly competitive and technology driven market place.

At the same time the above discussion also revealed that the manufacturing companies concentrating more towards the adoptability of the advanced technology usually witness significant improvements in their sales revenue and financial performances. Though the impact of the technology on the manufacturing industry has become very clear with the help of the review of the above research studies but at the same time there is an important point lacking in these research studies that despite all the limitations and problems how the under development countries can align them in accordance with the technology driven changes in the manufacturing industry. While taking Nigeria as an example the research study will explain that how the countries can took the benefits of the ongoing advancements of technology in the manufacturing world and what are the main issues upon which the countries have to focus upon.

Measures of Manufacturing Performance

The dissertation strives to analyze the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector during the last 25 years. Moreover this performance will also be compared with Indian, Malaysian and Chinese manufacturing sector performances to find the main reasons behind the differences in the growth, development and contribution of their manufacturing sectors in the economic growth of these countries. Manufacturing is a broad term and there are different aspects of the manufacturing process.

It is very necessary that in order to measure and analyze the performance of any of the manufacturing sector there should be some specific features and attributes that could be examined and then on the base of this examination, the analysis of the manufacturing sector performance could be conducted. Thus there are five performance measures selected to review the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector that are “Product design, innovation, manufacturing process, manufacturing strategy and environmental uncertainty”.

The dissertation will present the review of the manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria on the basis of these five measures and the following review of the literature is intended to explain in details the concept and importance of these measures for the manufacturing sector in order to justify the selection of these five elements as the measures of the manufacturing sector performance.

Product Design – Importance and Contribution to Manufacturing Sector

Product design possesses an integral position in the entire manufacturing process. Product design is one of the important, cross functional and knowledge extensive activity that possesses great importance in the highly competitive market place of today (Corswant et al, 2002). The term product design is used to refer the process that began with the generation of the main idea or concept regarding the product, the development of this idea, its testing and then finally the manufacturing and implementation of that idea in order to give it a physical form of any product or service. (Hesselbein et al, 2002)

The term product design basically refers to the idea generation and concept development regarding the product and then the manufacturing of the product or implementation of the idea and concept in to the physical object that is called the product or service. In the manufacturing sector the product design has an important role to play and ideally it is considered that the product designers must strive to combine art, science and technology altogether so that in the end they can come up with a tangible product or service that could be a three dimensional good.

The advancements in the technology has further broaden the scope of the product designing as this process is very much facilitated and enhanced due to the advent of modern digital tools through which the designers of the products can communicate, visualize as well as analyze their ideas in less time as compared with the olden days. Thus the technology advancement has changed the product designing concept as well and the product designers of today are required to be capable of integrating with art science and technology in fluent way.

As globalization has contributed to the fast pace of competition, the companies are now striving to attract the consumers through attractive products designs. In almost all of the business organizations, the product design is regarded as the key strategic activity because it is a fact that the revenue of a company largely depends upon the new product designs (Droge et al, 2000). The social scientists have also worked out to highlight the importance of product design for the businesses and product design is identified by many of the social scientists as one of the most important part of the business planning and strategy.

Koufteros and Jayaram (2005) explains that the product design is highly regarded as a factor that has the capability to influence the organizational success because product design is a critical factor that can set the core characteristics, features, functions and performance level of a product and service according to the demand of the consumers. Koufteros (2001) explains that the recent wave in the realization of the critical importance of the product design is led by the fact that the consumers have now become more demanding and they can lot of choices and opportunities in front of them to quickly switch over from one product to another due to which there is shorter life cycles of products that can meet the rapidly changing demands of the consumers.

Dick and Basu(1994)revealed that the product design is an important part of the manufacturing sector and for the successful and competitive level of product designing it is very necessary that the product designers associated with the manufacturing sector must be well equipped with the skills and capabilities that are essential for designing the products that can generate revenue for the company and cal also stabilize the situation. For this purpose it is very necessary that the product designers must possess the ability of managing the design projects and also to subcontract with the areas related with the design industry.

Fornell and C. (1992) explain that before thinking about the concepts and ideas for product design it is very important that the people associated with the manufacturing sector must have clear in their mind that weather or not there is need of the product and what would be the potential usage of the product that they are going to design. The answers of these questions can help them in determining the features of the future product and the finished product will also be in accordance with the needs and demands of the consumers. In other words it can be said that the product designing must be done on the basis of adequate research work regarding the consumer demands and expectations so that the product can attain good position in the market and can also bring competitive advantages to the company and well as to the entire manufacturing sector.

McDermott et al (2002) clarified that the product design is among the most critical success factors for the businesses for many years however in the recent years the importance of product design has further increased due to globalization and high competition. In this regard it is very necessary that the manufacturing firms must emphasis on innovative product designing so that they can increase their revenues.

The rising demands of the well aware consumers of today are also giving momentum to the strategic importance of the product design. Song and Montoya (2001) revealed that the manufacturing sectors striving to earn high revenues and to contribute to the economic growth of the countries must pay proper attention to the product design because it draws direct and significant impacts on the critical determents for success. In coming day the importance of the product design will become more critical. In early days people sue to select the products on the basis of its price and quality but along with these attributes, now the product design has become another important influential factor and now the manufacturing firms are required to focus on the issues of innovation, full featured products, recycle ability, operating life, liability, warrantee and long lasting attributes of the product design.

Reich held et al (1990) pointed out that the manufacturing sectors are demanding innovative product designs as the technology usage is getting popular in the sector and in this situation the product designers that are capable of giving unique product designs to the sector are considered as strategic and valuable assets for the companies as well as for the country as they can bring many competitive advantages to the company and in long term the company and the manufacturing sector can support the economic development of the country through valuable contribution.

Donna et al (2000) revealed that the companies operating in the manufacturing sectors have now realized the importance of product design as a tool that can bring them variety of competitive advantages that’s why many of the companies are giving critical importance to the product design in their firms so that they can manufacture the products with innovative ideas that can not only meet the demands of the people but also make their position strong in the market place.

Due to this fact many of the successful companies of the world have recognized the product design as a strategic tool and they are concentration much on this matter. In most of the successful manufacturing companies the product design is regarded as one of the major part of their function and these companies are progressing well on the basis of giving this priority to the product designing.

Jones et al (1995) highlighted the importance of product design for the success of manufacturing sector and for this purpose the researchers conducted an empirical study to find out the evidence regarding the relationship between product design, sustainability and good quality production in the manufacturing sector. The results of the study disclosed that product design is among the factors that can contribute towards the high quality of production in the manufacturing sector. However it is also clarified from the research that there are certain other factors that have to be accommodated wit effective product design in order to assure the successful conduction of the manufacturing process.

Among these factors, environmental uncertainty, skills of the workers and technology usage are the important ones that can work along with product design and in turn the manufacturing sector can come up with high quality of production. It is also revealed from the research that the companies associated with the manufacturing sector must develop awareness about the relationship between these factors so that they can attain high quality production through the effective management of these factors (Jones et al, 1995)

Oliver at al (1997) conducted a research to point out the significance of concentrating upon the product designing for the manufacturing sector and revealed that the manufacturing companies are facing a great challenge in form of retaining their existing customer as it is very necessary for them to gain the loyalty of their existing customer because according to the consumer behavior researches the existing consumer tend to spend more amount on making their purchases.

Thus the manufacturing sector has to focus upon the demands of the existing consumers with the help of different strategies. In this regard the companies must understand the importance of product design because the consumers want to see new features in the products that can meet their changing demands. Thus the product deign is an important tool through which the manufacturing companies can assure the loyalty of their consumers. Due to this reason the successful companies are focusing more and more on product designing so that they can attract new consumers and attain the existing ones to their products and can continue to maintain their position in the market place and can gain several other competitive advantages through their product designs.

Schneider and Bowen (1999) pointed out that for most of the manufacturing companies it has proved to be a difficult task to capture the new markets and as compared with this, they can easily retain their existing markers but for this they must have clear understanding about the critical importance of product designing to keep their consumers loyal. In this perspective product design is regarded as a fundamental tool that can bring prosperity and stability to the businesses of the companies.

The product designers and the owners of manufacturing companies are also getting more aware about the product design due to which this function is getting a strategic position in most of the manufacturing sectors and of any of the manufacturing firm neglects the importance of the product design then there are little chances of its successful survival. Gerwin and Barrowman (2002) that emphasizing upon the product design can bring significant changes in the performance of a business thus it is very necessary that the companies must focus on this issue and realize the importance of product design to improve and stabilize their efficiency and profitability.

Shoemaker and Lewis (1999) conducted a study to understand the importance of the product design for the manufacturing companies and disclosed that if the companies effectively manage the product design then there are great possibilities that they can lock the loyalty of their consumers because the consumers of today look for innovative features in their products and for this it is very necessary that the manufacturing companies must do research on the consumer behavior and then design the product in the light of the consumer research so that their products can successfully meet the expectations of the consumers and in return the company can not only gain high profit but can also contribute to the overall performance of the manufacturing sector.

In this way the economic growth and development of the country will also be affected and the high quality and popularity of the product will assure the successful operations of the manufacturing sector.

Gronholdt at al (2000) revealed that the advancements in the technologies have brought some revolutionary and conceptual changes in the marketing world and the companies have to deal with their potential and existing consumers in quite different manner as compared with past. In the new situation it is very crucial for the companies that the design of the products is also an important attribute that can keep their consumers stick with their products.

In early days, the marketers and manufacturers supposed that the consumer loyalty has little to do with the product design but in the advanced world the product design counts a lot in maintaining the consumer loyalty due to which the companies of today have to focus more and more on the product designing as one of their major activity. This concentration and focus upon the product design assures the success of the manufacturing firm as more work on product design can come up with ideas that can influence the behavior of the people in more effective manner and as a result the manufacturing companies and the entire sector and the country will get the benefits through the dynamics of product design (Gronholdt at al, 2000)

Beah, L. D. (2002) explains that product design has emerged as an important issue for the people and organizations related with different manufacturing sector. Especially the consumer goods manufacturing companies have to now focus much more on the designing of their product of they want to assure the success of their business. The manufacturing industry all over the world is regarded as one of the most challenging as well as exciting and dynamic business field.

Furthermore the technology advancements pave several new ways for generating and implementing unique ideas of product design due to which the sector has become highly competitive over the last few years. The significant development occurred in the manufacturing field during the last few decades have put several question marks on the issue of survival and competitiveness of the manufacturing firms that are not focusing on brining new ideas and concepts for their product designs.

As globalization has enable the companies and manufacturers of all size and scale to operate at international level, so in this situation the companies are also required to respond to the changes occurring in the rapidly changing surroundings and in this regard concentration on unique as well as significant product design can help the companies not only operating successfully at international and domestic level but also to take an active role in the growth and development of their countries. Thus the manufacturing companies have to respond towards the technological advancements so that the implementation of the latest technologies in the manufacturing design can bring them sustainable growth and stability. (Beah, L. D. 2000)

Droge, et al (2000) explains that due to the emerging importance of innovation in the product designing, the manufacturing sector is also heading for the individuals that can give new ideas and concepts to the manufacturing world. The realization of the importance of product design can be seen very clearly from the rising demand of the creative individuals and professionals in the manufacturing sector.

The manufacturing firms now look for the specialist that must be motivated and should have understanding of all the aspects of the manufacturing sector so that they can integrate with new technology, arts and manufacturing techniques by applying their knowledge in the product design process. In this way the manufacturing sectors are expressing their desire for creative individuals and show that they have great awareness about the product design.

Hong et al (2000) pointed out that the manufacturing sectors all over the world are now focusing more and more on the product design as they have now realized that this strategic activity can work for the rise in their sales revenues and can help them in surviving in the global competition. Product design has direct effect on the sales revenue of the manufacturing forms because by designing unique and premium products, the companies become in a position to command high prices for their products on the basis of the innovative design and features attached with their product and as a result there is generally an improvement in their sales revenues.

McDermott et al (2002) also revealed that product design is one of the critical and most essential activities for the manufacturing firms operating in the technology driven and advanced market place of today. Meyer et al (2001) pointed out that product design is not an entirely new concept in the manufacturing form but it is the fundamental point of concern for the manufacturing forms for many decades however in the new age several new concepts are also associated with the product design like “mass customization, design for manufacturing and assembly, product disposal, quality function deployment, and time-based competition”.

These concepts emerged in the manufacturing sector because the firms have to use innovative technologies and techniques in their product designating activities to align their work according to the requirements of the new century. Song et al (2001) explains that quality is an important issue that is attached with the product design and the product designers of all type of goods and services have to take care of the matter that their product also provide a standardize quality to the consumers. It is also believed by many of the experts that the product design has an integral role to play in shaping the quality of a product.

In order to assure the quality of the product through the product design, it is very necessary that the product must be designed with such functions that can assure success and reliability of the consumers and along with that it is also necessary that the quality of the product must improve along with the improvement in the operating or performance characteristics of the product. Krishnan and Ulrich (2001) pointed out that the manufacturing firms have to focus more on the product design as they are required to come up with more products of shorter life cycle so that after every short time period they can offer new product to the consumers and can grab their attention.

This is necessary for the firms because due to greater access to different shopping and informative means, the consumers want to have new product in their hand after very short time periods and for this it is very necessary that the manufacturers also respond to this changed consumer behavior and can play role in growth of their company as well as the entire sector.

Thus the above review of the researches conducted by different social scientists during different time periods clarified the importance of the product design for the manufacturing sector and it become apparent that the manufacturing firms have to give more and more attention towards the designing of their product as this activity can bring them wide range of advantages and can assist them in stabilizing their position.

It is also revealed from the above review of the literature that the product design has been given attention in the manufacturing sector for many decades but in the recent years, the advancements in the technology has further broaden the scope of the product design and in order to meet the requirements of highly demanding consumers and highly competitive market place it is very necessary that the manufacturing firms must give strategic and critical importance to product design. Thus in the light of this review of the literature the selection of product design as a measure of performance of manufacturing sector of Nigeria is justified and it is well explained that why product design is chosen to review, compare and evaluate the performance of Nigerian manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing Strategy – Importance and Contribution to the Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturing strategy is an important part of the manufacturing activities. The term manufacturing strategy is basically meant to refer to the decision making issues and problems that the manufacturing companies’ management faces during their manufacturing practice so that they can achieve their manufacturing objectives by linking the performance measures to their manufacturing activities and functions (Chien and Wu, 2007).

The social scientists mostly agreed upon the crucial importance of the manufacturing strategy and believe that the firms can take manufacturing strategy as a tool of accelerating the growth of their businesses. The following review of the literature is aimed at describing the dynamics of the manufacturing strategy and its critical importance for the manufacturing sector so that it become clear that why the manufacturing strategy is among the five major measures of manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria that are selected for conducting the research work.

Chen et al (1994) explains that the manufacturing strategy is an important business activity and the firms are paying lot more attention on this area after realizing its importance for the productivity and efficient performance of the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing strategy deals with the decisions of the management related with the matter that who will they manufacture the product, how the resources will be deployed in the production process and how will they arrange and organize the necessary infrastructure to support the activities of the manufacturing process. Cil (1996) explains that the manufacturing strategy evaluation is very important to examine the performance of a sector because the productivity and efficiency of the sector largely depends upon the fact that how the manager organize the related activities through their strategies.

Grant et al (1991) pointed out that many of the companies that have successes to gain competitive advantages during the last few years have secured this competitive advantage through the effective management of manufacturing strategy. The manufacturing strategy is important for the businesses as it assures the success of the manufacturing process as part of the strategic strengths of a company and also can provides the companies marketing edge through distinct, unique technology developments in its process and manufacturing operations, which competitors are unable to match.

Wakelin and Katharine (2001) pointed out that the manufacturing strategy plays integral part in determining the performance and success of a manufacturing sector because the determination of the long term goals as well as the objectives of manufacturing companies are based on the manufacturing strategy adopted by the manufacturing firm. The manufacturing strategy also decides that in order to achieve the objectives what course of actions will be adopted by the manufacturing firms and how all the required and necessary resources will be allocated so that the manufacturing companies become able to achieve all of its manufacturing objectives in adequate manner.

It is also clarified from the explanation of the social scientists that the manufacturing strategy is a broad term that covers wide range of decisions and policies that the management of the manufacturing sector has to take to assure the conduction of their work in the right direction of the attainment of their objectives. Baker et al (1999) explains that the manufacturing strategy basically requires the management of the manufacturing firm to take the major decision regarding some of the key issues. The first and most important issue in front of the manufacturing firm is to define their activities, type of manufacturing products and the methods of manufacturing.

Along with that the management also has to decide that how should they adopt the strategies through which the entire manufacturing process will contribute to the competitive advantage of their business. Both of the above mentioned key issues are resolved by the manufacturing companies under their manufacturing strategy as the core decisions regarding these issues are taken by the management under the manufacturing strategy designing and adoptability.

Beise et al (1999) clarified that the manufacturing strategy is nothing new for the manufacturing sector and one might trace the roots of manufacturing strategy in to the Harvard Business Review article, “Manufacturing- Missing Link in Corporate Strategy” by Skinner in the year 1969. In this article the writer suggested that the supervisors of the manufacturing system must adopt a top down strategy in their business operations. In this regard the writer raised an important point that the manufacturing objectives of a company must be derived from the business objectives so that the manufacturing policies can effectively work for the attainment of these objectives.

Skinner (1985) explains the concept and objectives of the manufacturing strategy in details. Skinner explains that the manufacturing strategy can be understood as broad array of activities that range from different structural as well as infrastructural decisions that are taken by the management of a manufacturing firm with the intention of determining the capabilities of their manufacturing system. Moreover the manufacturing strategy also decides that how the manufacturing firm will operate and arrange the resources so that it can meet the set of the manufacturing objectives that are set in the light of the business objectives of the company.

It was also explained that the manufacturing forms must have very clear picture in front of them related with their manufacturing sector. Generally the objectives of the manufacturing firms surround around the issues of cost, quality, delivery and flexibility. Along with the attainment of the objectives the manufacturing firms also remain concerned about the trade off between these objectives. In short the manufacturing strategy can be understood as the strategies and policies of a manufacturing sectors that revolves around the following five key areas

  1. “Plant and equipment.
  2. Production planning and control.
  3. Labor and staffing.
  4. Product design / engineering;
  5. Organization and management” (Skinner, 1985).

Thus it became very clear that in defining the manufacturing strategy it is critical that the company must have focus upon the above motioned five areas as these are identified as the main areas of concern for the manufacturing strategy developers. The identification of key five areas of the manufacturing strategy provided the basic idea about the boundaries and intentions of the manufacturing strategy.

Baptista and Swann (1998) further threw the light on the concept of the manufacturing strategy and explain that manufacturing strategy is all about the coordination of the objectives and actions of company that are applied within the functions of the manufacturing sector. The main intention of this coordination is the attainment of the medium as well as long terms objectives of the firm. The main intention of the manufacturing strategy is also to bring the manufacturing company in to the position where it can compete well with the domestic as well as foreign firms both at domestic and international level.

It is very necessary that the manufacturing strategy must work for the matching of the production system of the company with the requirements of the market place. In this regard the manufacturing sector must work for taking up the functions and activities of the manufacturing companies that can take the manufactured products to the international level and satisfy the requirements of the consumers and global markets.

Tidd et al (2001) highlight some of the key areas that must be demonstrated by the manufacturing strategy of a firm. In this regard it is very necessary that manufacturing sector must address the key issues including the manufacturing capacity of the manufacturing sector, the production facilities available to the manufacturing system, the use of appropriate and update technology and techniques, assuring the quality of the finished products or services, the planning of the production process and the control over the material availability and the organization of the workers as well as personnel of the manufacturing company.

The above mentioned areas indicate that the manufacturing strategy covers a wide range of activities and the future direction of the manufacturing sector is mainly decided by the manufacturing sector. So it is very important that the manufacturing companies must work for the designing of their manufacturing strategy in effective manner and with great care because the present and future performance of the manufacturing company will be hugely depend upon these policies and plans. The effective manufacturing strategy can take the manufacturing company towards the high quality and productivity and as a result the entire country will be benefited.

Brynjolfsson et al (2003) clarified that the manufacturing strategy is regarded as the heart of the manufacturing sector as the performance and activities of the manufacturing firm highly depends upon the manufacturing strategy. Thus it is very necessary to examine the manufacturing strategy of a sector to make some predictions about the future of that sector. At the same time the present and past performance of manufacturing sector can also be analyzed through the analysis of the manufacturing strategy adopted by that manufacturing sector.

The importance of the manufacturing sector can also be understood by the fact that many of the social scientists consider the manufacturing sector such an integral part of the manufacturing sector that it enjoys the same critical position as the heart in the human body and the health of the manufacturing sector also relied on the effective manufacturing strategies. Thus much importance is given to the manufacturing strategy by most of the social scientists because the overall structure, infrastructure and the manufacturing capabilities of the sector are managed through the manufacturing strategy in such a manner that all of these factors can make positive contribution in the growth and development of the sector.

It is also a fact that in the absence of effective manufacturing strategy none of the manufacturing company or sector can perform well regardless of the presence of adequate infrastructure and other manufacturing facilities. Due to this reason the manufacturing strategy has given crucial importance in most of the manufacturing companies and sectors.

Becker et al (2003) threw the light over some of the important issues that are associated with the manufacturing strategy. The researchers revealed that decision about the geographical location of the manufacturing unit of the company is one of the most important issues in front of the management when they start designing their manufacturing strategy. It is observed that for many of the manufacturing companies involved in the production of different types of products or services, the cost of production is different at different places.

In some cases if the company go for the manufacturing of their product at their traditional manufacturing plants then they have to spend more on the labor and material etc but is case of selecting any other manufacturing site where they can find cheap labor and raw material, the company can complete the manufacturing process by spending less amount of money. However there are some other factors as well that the management has to consider before deciding the geographical site for the manufacturing like environmental certainty, logistics difficulties, communication facilities etc. Thus it is a very sensitive point where the management has to take that strategic decision about the manufacturing site selection for their product because the later activities of the company will be based on this decision.

If the manufacturing strategy makers take the right decision then the company can accomplish its manufacturing process in less cost of product while maintaining same or high quality but the wrong decision can have strong negative effects on the performance of the company. In this way it become clear that how crucial role the manufacturing strategy plays within the manufacturing sector and how strong consequences could be drawn on the performance of the sector by the manufacturing strategy.

Freel and Mark (2003) noticed that the advancements in the technologies are compelling the management of the manufacturing sectors to make some revolutionary changes in their manufacturing strategies. Due to the advancements in the information and communication technology, there are new concepts emerging in the global market place like e commerce, outsourcing etc and the manufacturing firms also have to respond towards the emergence of new concepts and terminologies of the business world.

The manufacturing companies must have deep insight over the matter that they have the opportunity to get access to the suppliers from all over the world so they must choose among these suppliers the one that can provide them good quality of raw material at competitive rates. In the same way the companies also go for the outsourcing of their certain activities and can give the partial control of some of their manufacturing process to the work force of some other country or other company.

In this way the manufacturing company can get the advantage of the expertise and skills of the workers belonging to different countries and companies. However the companies have to assure that there will be no compromise over the quality of their manufacturing and in this regard the right selection and decision about the outsourcing is an important factor that can affect the future performance of the manufacturing sector. Thus the importance of the manufacturing strategy become clear from this perspective as well and it is revealed that there are different types and areas of decision making that comes under the umbrella of manufacturing strategy and all of them possess the capability of affecting the performance of the manufacturing sector up to a greater extent.

Galende et al (2003) explains that the manufacturing strategy has direct effects on the performance of the manufacturing sectors because there are some of the key features and attributes of the products and services that came in to existence as a result of the manufacturing strategies. It is a fact that the consumers of the advanced world are more demanding because they have the opportunity to make their selection about certain products or service after getting access to the information about so many products available at different shopping places with different innovative features.

In such a challenging situation the manufacturing companies have to portray their product in front of the consumers in such an attractive manner that they are influence to buy it. For influencing the consumer behavior it is very necessary that the product or service must offer some unique features and functions that can catch the attention of the consumers. The availability of such features in the product or service is the key decision that is taken by the management while designing their manufacturing strategy because the manufacturing strategy covers the decisions about the product design and the features so the success or failure of the product on the basis of its features and functions also results from the manufacturing strategy.

Kermally and Sultan (2002) explain that the right manufacturing strategy can help the manufacturing company in aligning with the technological advancements. The manufacturing strategy also decides that what technology, devices and techniques will be adopted by the company in the process of manufacturing.

If the manufacturing strategy suggests the appropriate and updated techniques and devices for the manufacturing then the output of the manufacturing company will also be aligned with the technology advancements. On the other hand of the manufacturing strategy will direct the manufacturing company to remain stick on their traditional methods and tools then there is great possibility that the end product will not be of the global standard and at the same time the product will not be regarded technically sound. In this way the manufacturing sector can decided the future of the product in terms of technical and technological alignment.

Kremp et al (2004) noticed that the global competition and rapid technology advancements are demanding the manufacturing sectors to design such manufacturing strategies that can help them in meeting the challenges of the technology driven and highly competitive market place. The researchers foresee that many of the manufacturing sectors will be compelled to adopt such manufacturing strategies in the coming days that can assure the low cost of production along with high performance and quality of the product or service and for this attainment of these objectives they do not have to manufacture the products through the utilization of their old and traditional methods and machinery but they will required to make rapid changes in their manufacturing process by introducing different advanced technologies in their manufacturing units like programmable automation, flexible robotics etc.

The introduction of such technologies through the manufacturing strategies will result in the increment of the manufacturing flexibility in the sector and at the same time the manufacturing company will be able to quickly respond towards the rising demands of the competitive markets while they have to spend less due to the cost effectiveness of the advanced manufacturing methods and machineries.

Freel and Mark (2003) further explain that the manufacturing companies operating in different types of products are giving much importance to the manufacturing strategy because the critical importance of the manufacturing strategy for the success of the entire manufacturing process is realized by most of the experts and specialists operating in the manufacturing field. It is considered that the manufacturing strategy is all about making the decisions and plans related with three major issues. The first issue is about the method or process of manufacturing that how the product will be manufactured by the company.

The second issue is related with the allocation of the resources that in order to complete the manufacturing process how the company will deploy the resources in to the production unit and the third issue is related with the infrastructure to support the manufacturing process that how the company will assure the provision of required infrastructure in adequate manner so that the manufacturing process could be carried out in smooth way. These are the three basic issues in front of the management while designing the manufacturing strategy however it is a fact that the manufacturing sector has become much wider term and the companies have to focus on several other important issues like outsourcing, work force arrangements, technology adaptation and techniques and devices selection etc.

Hence it is revealed from the above review of the research studies that manufacturing strategy is an integral part of the manufacturing sector and along with the passage of time the importance of manufacturing strategy is also rising. It is also proved that the manufacturing strategy can assure the success of a manufacturing sector because the key decisions made under the manufacturing strategy can work for the success of the product in terms of popularity among the consumers as well as competitiveness at international level.

The manufacturing strategy revolves around the major decisions that the management of the manufacturing company has to take related with the manufacturing process, the allocation of the resources and the availability of the infrastructure. Along with these key issues the manufacturing strategy has to cover some other important issues as well like the decision that the company has to go for the outsourcing of some activities or not and what geographical location will be best for the company so that the manufacturing can be accomplish by employing cheap labor and material while maintaining the same quality and standard of manufacturing.

The importance of the manufacturing strategy is explained very well in the above discussion and it become clear that manufacturing strategy possesses the capability to strongly affect the performance and success of a manufacturing sector. Due to this reason the manufacturing strategy is also among the measures that will be analyzed to examine the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing Process – Importance and Contribution

Manufacturing Process is the names given to the phases that a product usually passes in order to get the shape of a finished and final product. It is regarded that an ideal manufacturing system must provide benefits of highly automated and controlled systems and at the same time the production system should also assure accuracy, mass production, uniqueness of product, and benefits of versatile and adjustable Systems (Bin Wu, 1994). Manufacturing Process is an integral part of the entire manufacturing sector and in an important measure of evaluating the performance of any manufacturing sector (Hogan, B. J, 2000).

Kelley, D. G. (1998) explains the critical importance of manufacturing process or system that within a manufacturing sector, there are different phases that must be planned, implemented and controlled in organized manner to assure the success of the entire manufacturing process. Thus in order to improve the performance of a manufacturing sector it is an essential requirement to improve the manufacturing process/system by employing different strategies in different areas of manufacturing process.

Fryman and M. A. (2002) pointed out that in modern days some manufacturing philosophies are attached with the manufacturing process including the “Total Quality Management (TQM), Just-In-Time (JIT) Manufacturing, Lean Manufacturing and Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)”; these philosophies have brought many improvements in the manufacturing sector’s performances all over the world especially in the developed and developing countries. Koenig, D. T. (1994) revealed that the rising competition at domestic and international level is compelling the manufacturing sectors of different countries to focus more on their manufacturing systems so that they can improve and align with their manufacturing process with the global standards and can attain a sustainable level of economic growth and also compete with other sectors at global level.

The importance of manufacturing process is recognized by the experts as well as by the social scientists (Wakil, 1998; Hogan, 2000; DeGarmo et al, 1997) for many years and along with the passage of time and advent of new technologies, there are certain new phenomenons and concepts came along the manufacturing process and become part of the manufacturing sector. Thus it is necessary to understand the core issues related with the manufacturing process so that its importance for the manufacturing sector becomes clear. In this regard the following literature review is aimed to discuss the issues associated with the manufacturing process in depth to explain its importance and significance for studying the performance of a manufacturing sector.

Fryman (2002) explains the basic concept and importance of the manufacturing process that almost each and every manufacturing system has to undergo certain phases and it is very necessary for successful manufacturing of the products that all of these phases must be planned well. In this regard the role of the manufacturing management personnel plays the crucial role as they have the responsibility to implement the management’s planning, manufacturing strategy and to control the entire process of manufacturing to assure that the manufacturing system works in the desired manner. These personnel must be trained and competent enough to perform this function in better ways.

The researcher further explains that in different phases of the manufacturing process, the management has to adopt the policies and strategies as per requirement of the situation. For example during the planning phases, the management has to look towards several critical issues among them searching and identifying the potential market for the product is one of the important issues. Moreover in the planning phase of the manufacturing process, the manufacturing management experts also have to take the major decisions regarding the product design, process for the manufacturing of the products, facilities and equipments that will be needed in the manufacturing of the product and the required raw material and other resources allocation. After the planning phase, the manufacturing system moves towards the next phase that is the implementation phase.

During this phase, the management has the responsibility to assure the availability of all the required resources, labor, material and facilities for the manufacturing and all of these things are put together and provided to the manufacturing company at one place so that the actual process of the manufacturing could be started. The implementation phase is followed by the controlling phase that required the control of the management over the flow of the resources and the entire manufacturing process.

In the controlling phase it is very necessary that the management must have keen eye on each aspects of the manufacturing and it can assure the success of the manufacturing process by maintaining the desired quality and standard within the given time. All of these three phases are identified as the integral parts of the manufacturing process and it is revealed by the researcher that the management of the manufacturing sector must have awareness about the sensitivity and importance of each and every phase so that they can carry out these phases to successfully complete the manufacturing process.

DeGarmo et al (1997) identified that the manufacturing process is also about the conduction of the manufacturing of a product through different stages and during each and every stage the management of the manufacturing firm must made such arrangements that can work for the success of ach phase with the estimated time. At the same time management also has to keep in view that the required standard and quality of the manufacturing is also attained through out different stages of the manufacturing process.

It is further explained by the researchers that the manufacturing process or system never end with the manufacturing of a product at one time but it is very necessary that the management of the company continuous look towards the ways through which they can bring improvement in their product manufacturing. The improvement in the manufacturing process is very important because the demands and requirements of the consumers as well as the market place changes very quickly and along with the passage of time the manufacturing firms also have to respond towards these changes by making some changes in their product design and process.

This change must be supported by the ongoing process of improvement that should be an integral part of the manufacturing system as it assures the success of the products at domestic and international level. In the same way the improvement in the manufacturing process also prepare the background for successful operations of the manufacturing firm for a long time period.

Hogan (2000) observed that the manufacturing process is necessarily conducted with great planning and control and for this it is crucial that the manufacturing system must hire the services of expert or competent technical experts that have relevant qualification and experience to handle the entire manufacturing system right from the beginning till the end. It is very necessary for the proper and smooth flow of the production process that the people engaged and involved in the manufacturing process must have deep understanding of the technicalities and requirements of the manufacturing process.

In this way the manufacturing company can not only keep on attaining good standard of manufacturing but can also be sure of be competitive at different levels. Kelley (1998) pointed out that there are different areas of working within a manufacturing system and the management of the manufacturing company or sector must pay proper attention towards each and every phase and area of the manufacturing process. This attention should be given not only to conduct each phase at time and with quality but also to review the process and to find out the areas where the management need to take some steps for the improvement of the manufacturing process.

The researcher further explains that requirement of continuous improvement is attached with the manufacturing process as the improvement in the manufacturing system is also regarded as the integral and initially required part of the manufacturing system. It is also important to notice that the decisions of the management regarded the need of improvement plays the vital role in success of the manufacturing process. Of the management succeed to identify the right areas where there is really critical need of making changes, then the manufacturing system can progress is better direction but if the management ignores any of the area or the phase of the production process then there are great possibilities that the manufacturing system will contain some flaws and the final products will also lack some features or quality due to the negligence of the management.

Wright (2001) explains that the manufacturing process is very important to be understood by the management and supervisors of the manufacturing firms because the success of the manufacturing company highly depends on the fact that the how fluently and smoothly the product go through different stages to take the shape of the final product. In fact the survival for the manufacturing sector also depends upon the success of the manufacturing process.

Obi (1999) pointed out that during 1990s there are some new concepts and phenomenon introduced in the manufacturing industry that gave new meanings to the manufacturing system and as a result the manufacturing process changed a lot from what it was some decade ago. It is very important that the manufacturing firms give importance to the implementation and inclusion of new concepts and phenomenon in their manufacturing system because through this they can accelerate the economic growth of the country by making their positive and valuable share in the production and revenue.

Seymour (1995) pointed out that the need of building the manufacturing system on sound basis the basic requirement for the survival of the manufacturing sector. In the stiff global and domestic competitive market place the manufacturing companies are required to thoroughly review and analyze their manufacturing system so that they can quickly point out the areas were there is need of making changes or where the manufacturing system required to be updated on the basis of the changes occurring in the surrounding world.

Koenig (1994) explains that the manufacturing system or process is a wide activity or system and there are certain areas within the manufacturing system that require continuous attention of the management. In this regard there are four important areas where the management has to keenly focus to find out the requirement of making the changes and improvement according to the requirement of the situation.

These areas include “Equipment and facilities, Material handling, Production methods and Labor”. If the management success to review and analyze the performance of their manufacturing system on the basis of the above motioned four areas then there is great possibility that the entire manufacturing system will progress in positive direction and at the end the company will be benefited in terms of success of the manufacturing process that give stability to the business of the firm and will contribute to the economic development of the entire sector and country as well.

Schey (2000) explains that the manufacturing system of the modern era ought to be different from the traditional manufacturing system as the entire manufacturing is done in different way through the employment of new machinery, tools and techniques. Thus it is very necessary for the companies to keep their manufacturing system update with the advancements in the technology so that they can continue to take the advantages of the advent and emergence of new technique within the manufacturing industry.

Thus it is proved from the above review of the literature that the manufacturing process should be understood very clearly before reviewing the performance of any manufacturing sector because the manufacturing process adopted by a manufacturing sector led the foundation for the success and failure of the entire manufacturing industry. In this regard it is essential to understand that the evaluation of the manufacturing sector performance must be based on its manufacturing process because the updating and improving the manufacturing process is an important issue that plays the significant role in determining the success of the manufacturing sector.

It is also explained in the above discussion that the evaluation of the manufacturing system is necessary for examining the performance of nay manufacturing system because the manufacturing system or process adopted by the manufacturing sector shows its willingness and responsiveness towards the changes occurring in the surroundings and that the manufacturing sector is changing as per requirement of the situation.

Innovation

Innovation is an emerging critical issue for the manufacturing sector that could be defined as the radical as well as incremental changes in thinking, in things, in processes or in services. (Chesbrough and Henry, 2003) Sethi et al (2001) explains that the innovation is a creative strategy and for efficient performance of the manufacturing sector in the highly competitive market place it is very necessary that the companies must focus on the innovation of design so that their products can bring them high revenues and the overall performance of the sector could be improved as well.

There are several research studies conducted around by different social scientists to understand the importance of innovation in the manufacturing sector and to study the impact of adopting innovation on the performance and profitability of a company. It is disclosed from the results of most of the studies that innovation has become a must for a manufacturing sector and now the companies have to focus on innovating products rather just designing them in order to catch the attention of the consumers and to increase their sales revenues.

Rothwell (1992) explains that innovation has an important role to play in the manufacturing sector and to evaluate the performance of any country’s manufacturing sector performance it is very necessary that one must critically look and review the innovation of products and design adopted by the companies of that sector. In modern days the term of innovation refers to the practical relationship between design and innovation. Mans and Francis (2000) conducted an empirical study to analyze the technology adoptability, importance of technical and locatable efficiency in the African manufacturing sector and selected Ghana for conducting the research.

It is discovered from the research study that the foreign operated firms in the country are efficient with respect to the usage of technology and the local owners are emphasizing less on the technological developments due to this fact the manufacturing sector of Africa is not uniformly progressing and some of the firms are performing better in the perspective of technology, innovation and strategy whereas many of them are lagging behind. The researchers concluded that there is need of awareness among the local manufacturing companies management so that they can go for adoptability of technology and innovative techniques within their firms and the performance of the manufacturing sector of Africa can be improved.

De Propris (2000) explains that in the twenty first century there is a great challenge in front of the manufacturing firms that they have to prove them as more innovative, creative as well as responsive to the global market so that they can justify their existence in the highly competitive market and can also work for the economic stability of their country.

The researcher pointed out that the importance of innovation has become so much critical for the manufacturing firms that in some of the countries it has appeared as a great threat to the manufacturing sector that the companies have to face tough competition in order to innovate new features for their products and services that must generate value for the consumers. Innovation has appeared as an integral activity for the manufacturing companies and it is also prove that by adopting innovative strategies and product designs, a firm can play vital role in attaining sustainable growth of a country.

Ahuja and G. (2000) pointed out that the importance of innovation adopted by the manufacturing sector can be understood by the fact that generally the consumers have great interest in the activities and strategies of the manufacturing companies specially these associated with the consumer products and these people also want to see new strategies and policies of the manufacturing companies after small time intervals so that they can get the impression that the manufacturing firms are responding well to the environmental changes and updating their production process according to the technology advancements.

The consumers ideally have such great trust on the performance of the manufacturing companies that they consider them as the future creator of the economic growth of the country and the manufacturing firms can maintain this expression only if they can maintain the attention and loyalty of their consumers towards their products by proving the consumers an updated and unique product or service. In this context the demand for innovation is at its peak at global level and the manufacturing sector all over the world is looking for the latest technology usage, capital, creative skills and related services that can assist these companies in innovating unique ideas for their products and services that can finally work for the stability of the company, manufacturing sector and the entire economy of a country.

Ahuja and G. (2000) revealed that where globalization has drawn significant impact of each and every facet of human life and business, the manufacturing world is also witnessing these changes and as a result it become very necessary for the companies operating in the manufacturing sector that they have to prove through their output that they are capable and deserving enough to stand among the other firms in the global competitive era as they can offer the consumers products and services with innovative features and functions.

Due to this fact the manufacturing sectors are going through a phase of transformation where each and every strategy ad process of manufacturing is directed by the motive of innovating new and unique ideas, concepts and designs for the products and services. In this regard the role of research and development has an important role to play and the manufacturing companies are largely hiring the services of the scientists and engineers that can conduct the background studies and researches to assist the company in generating innovative ideas for the products and services. For this purpose the manufacturing companies are also compelled to invest considerable amount in to research and development related activities.

Belderbos and R. (2001) pointed out that the increasing importance of innovation in the manufacturing sector is backed by some of the important issues and elements including “modeling and simulation, nanotechnology based materials, adaptive supply networks, customer knowledge sharing, on –demand customization, shared use facilities for R&D and prototyping, complex numerically controlled tooling and advanced CAD/CAM” and so on.

It is very important to keep in view that the manufacturing firms have to concentrate a lot on the above mentioned technologies and concepts so that they can take the benefits from the emergence of the relevant technologies and can take the control over the wages and cost of product. In this way the manufacturing firms can easily compete with the foreign firms by minimizing their production cost and wages expenses. At the same time the appropriate usage of the technology and advanced tools will draw significant impact on the product or services that can result in the increase of the sales revenue and stability of the manufacturing sector.

Darroch et al (2002) pointed out that innovation is nothing tangible that a company can bring in to its business by utilizing certain technology or machinery but the manufacturing sector must understand that in order to be innovative, they have to make revolutionary and according to the requirement some structural changes in their patterns of working. The manufacturing firms are essentially required to keep them update with the advancements occurring in their surrounding so that they can be aware of all the new techniques and advancements that they can avail in order to make their manufacturing activities more advanced, updates and efficient.

In this regard there is a key point that the manufacturing companies they must realize the importance of the collaboration between different components of the economy. It is very necessary that there should be collaboration between the industry, customers, suppliers, research and the government in a way that all of these players of the scene can work with each other and can also share the risk, time and cost that is required for the development of any new technology. This collaboration can also assure the integration of the new design and techniques in a modular fashion that will enable the manufacturing firms to adopt the new technology in convenient manner.

Along with the collaboration it is also very necessary that here must be adequate investment in the manufacturing sector. In this regard the companies operating in the sector, the government and the finance providers must do the arrangements for the investment in human work force as well as in the organizational and financial models. The adaptation of new technologies along with collaboration and investment in human and organizational matters can enable a firm to provide such products to the consumers that can assist the company in competing at international level.

Baldwin et al. (1996) highlighted some important issues that can work for bringing innovation in to the manufacturing sector of a company. The researchers highlight that the manufacturing sector must look towards the opportunities through which the production capabilities of the sector can get access to the overseas location. When the designers and the experts of one manufacturing sector will work along with the experts of other country, that ideally should be higher in manufacturing quality, then there is great scope that the innovative ideas as well as technology adopted by the oversea country’s manufacturing sector will be shifted in to the own country manufacturing sector and the companies operating at domestic level will get many new ideas related with the innovation of the products and services.

In the same way the work force of the manufacturing sector will get the opportunity to get training of manufacturing process in other countries and as a result there will be improvement in the skilled level of the manufacturing work force. In this way the overseas access to the technologies and training opportunities can benefit a country in so many ways. If a country has decided to conduct all necessary arrangements that can bring innovation in its manufacturing sector then it is very necessary that they must focus on getting access of the manufacturing sectors of other countries because in this manner they can shift technology, skills and techniques in their own country that can help them in innovating new products and services.

This will also help the manufacturing sector to manufacture the products of international level because a closer look at the international products will enable them in adding new features in their own products.

Ahuja et al (2001) pointed out that innovation requires the manufacturing companies to give up their traditional methods of manufacturing. The manufacturing sector must accept the reality that they have to discontinue using their old manufacturing and business models because the modern era requires new business models. The business models of the modern world must work for the integration of services, manufacturing design, and manufacturing stages so that the entire process of the product could be managed in effective manner and the sector can product valued products and services for the consumers all over the world.

The innovation in the manufacturing sector will also be reflected as well as supported by the fact that the manufacturing companies operating in the sector are proficient in the usage of different software and communication technologies. At the same time the manufacturing companies should also conduct their routine business and manufacturing activities through the usage of the computer devices and sensors so that the entire manufacturing system can work in efficient and advanced manner. The developing countries are focusing much on the usage of the computing technology and devices in the manufacturing process and the countries lagging behind in the development process must realize the fact that they can walk along the developing and developed nations only when they will adopt the advanced computing techniques and devices and implement them within their manufacturing system.

The negligence of computing skills and devices within the manufacturing sector is a great barrier to the growth of any manufacturing sector in the technology driven market place of today. Thus it is very necessary that the manufacturing companies must follow the computer usage patterns of the developing countries so that they can also adopt those pattern in the manufacturing sector and become in a position to produce the products and services of the same standard and quality as of the developing countries.

Cefis et al (2001) explains that some of the countries are facing problems in coping up with the technological advancements and their manufacturing sectors are also not performing enough that could e evaluated at international level. The researchers pointed out one of the main reason behind the failure of the manufacturing sectors that they are lagging behind in the usage of the advanced software. It is a fact that in the modern era if any of the manufacturing company or sector ignores the importance of the computer software and devices or due to some reason there is lack of software interoperability, then there are more chances that the manufacturing sector of the country will not be able to compete with others at global level.

At the same time the products designed by the company will not be updated and efficient enough to meet the demands and expectations of the domestic consumers. Thus it is a fact that lack of computing technology adoptability is a great barrier that hinders innovation in the product manufacturing and as a result the manufacturing sector remains inefficient and less productive. Anselin et al (1997) explains that the on going advancements in the technology are compelling the manufacturing sector to be more advanced and innovative so that the changing demands of the consumers could be successfully met. The researchers noticed that the small and medium enterprises are in more need of adopting technology to bring innovation in their activities.

The reason behind this need is that in most of the countries, there is considerable portion of work force employed by the SMEs and these SMEs also have major share in the over all productivity of a country. Thus being a major portion of the production unit of a country, it is very necessary for the SMEs to adopt advancements of the technology so that they can bring necessary changes in their functions and activities and meet the up coming challenges of the new millennium.

Diez and J.R. (2000) revealed that if a manufacturing sector is intended to become strong and competitive then it is very necessary that it must have support of some factors. Among these factors an important one is the technology adoptability. It is an important issue that the labor of the manufacturing sector must be skilled enough to deal with the advanced technology. It is believed by most of the experts that the performance of the manufacturing sector has the importance of back bone for the economic development of a country thus the countries have to focus lot of improving the performance of their manufacturing sector.

The improvement in the performance of the manufacturing sector can be made by bringing innovative ideas through out the manufacturing process and for this the usage of advanced technology is an essential requirement.

Adequate research and development also supports the innovation in the manufacturing sector so the countries must made some arrangements for R&D work related with the manufacturing sector so that the result of the research work can assist the manufacturing firms in innovating new concepts and ideas for their product design and manufacturing process. It is a fact that must be realized by the manufacturing sector related professionals that there is great need of fresh ideas in the manufacturing industry so they should always ready to bring new ideas through innovation that can contribute to the introduction of innovative manufacturing process in the industry.

Beneito and P. (2003) pointed out that the manufacturing sector plays an integral role in the economic development of the countries and it is very necessary to keep keen eye on the issues and factors that can influence the performance of the manufacturing sector. The researchers pointed out that in many of the countries, it is observed that the innovation of new product designs, manufacturing process and strategy plays influential role and affects the performance of the manufacturing sector up to a greater extent.

This fact explains very well that for the survival of any manufacturing sector it is very essential that there must be thrust for innovation as it is one of the critical factors that can assists the competitiveness in the industry. While keeping in view the importance of the innovation, it is very necessary that steps should be taken at country level and there must be formulation of such policies that can promote innovation in the manufacturing sector. The government must take some steps for the promotion of training and skill development of the work force so that they can become technological update and can bring innovative ideas in the manufacturing sector.

The above review of the literature explains in details the importance of innovation for the manufacturing sector. Some of other social scientists (e.g. Beugelsdijk et al, 2002; Archibugi et al, 1995; Bagchi-Sen and S., 2001; Bharadwa et al 2000) have also worked to explore the importance of innovation in the manufacturing sector and it is disclosed from most of the research studies that there are strong relationships between the innovation, profitability, high performance and efficiency of a manufacturing sector.

The social scientists explain in details the role of innovation for the successful survival of a manufacturing sector and in the light of the above review of the research study it become clear that innovation is one of the most importance influential factors that can make significant changes in the performance of a manufacturing sector. The above discussion also threw the light on the need of putting innovation among the measures of the performance of a manufacturing sector and it become obvious that negligence of innovation is a critical mistake that can lead the manufacturing sectors towards low level performance.

Thus to evaluate the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector, innovation is also an important measure as it is found that the sectors succeed to bring innovation are successfully surviving and competing at international level but the sectors ignoring this emerging and important factors are lagging behind the others in performing well at domestic and international level and to meet the increasing demands and expectation of the consumers.

It is also reveled that the manufacturing sectors must be open towards the usage of computing technology and devices so that they can assist their manufacturing process through different software and can take the advantages of technology in terms of low cost of labor and production. At the same time the research and development work is a key factor that can bring innovation in the manufacturing sector so the countries have to focus lot on the research and development work along with the adoptability of advanced information and telecommunication tools and devices within their manufacturing systems.

Role of Environmental Uncertainty

Environmental Uncertainty refers to such situation when the management of a firm faces some major difficulties in order to take decisions related with their future activities and functions because they have very unclear picture in front of them as they have very little information related with the external environment. When due to any socio political or economic issue the business scenario of any country become unpredictable and flux then the business firms operating in the country also become uncertain about their future and their normal operations are affected due to the fact that they are not in position to take the decisions about the company activities that need the stable environment conditions.

When such situation is encountered by the business organizations they face challenges in making their decisions, solving the business related problems, designing their strategies and deciding the management and leadership issues and subjects (Evangelista and Rinaldo, 2000).

Fagerberg and Jan (2004) explain that the environmental uncertainty is that condition when the managers of the businesses do not have sufficient information about the environmental factors due to which they remain unable to understand or predict the needs and changes required in the environment. For the manufacturing sectors the environmental uncertainty refers to uncertainty in the economic, socio-cultural, technological, legal environment that hinders the management to take effective actions for the business and as a result the entire productivity and revenue of the manufacturing sector is badly affected. In this regard it is very necessary that the manufacturing companies must be equipped with such skills that can help then in adopting and responding to the rapid changes occurring in the environment.

Olukemi (1993) conducted an investigative research to find out the relationship between the environmental uncertainty perception and environmental scanning behavior of the CEO of 47 manufacturing firms operating in Nigeria. The research was intended to find the role of the environmental uncertainty in the performance and development of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. It is revealed from the research that the perceived environmental uncertainty plays vital role in determining the performance of the manufacturing companies of the countries and both the economic and political legal sectors of the environment used to be salient for Nigerian manufacturing executives.

Sabherwal (1999) conducted an empirical study in order to find the evidences about the relationship between the environmental uncertainty and business performance. The study came up with the conclusion that the uncertainty within the environment has strong impacts of the businesses and it effects several strategic operations and planning of the company. The strategic implications of a business highly depends upon the stability of the environment and when the management face unpredictable situation led by the environmental uncertainty then the strategies and planning of the company failed to progress is the desired manners.

It is also revealed in the research that for successful implementation of the strategic decisions and plans of the business it is very necessary that the business must get the support from the surroundings. The stability and certainty in the environment helps the companies to be competitive and successfully surviving even in the challenging situations. Thus the relationship between the performance of a business and environmental uncertainty are found to be strongly negatively related with each other. The rise in the environmental uncertainty declines the performance level of the firms where as the certainty and stability in the environment work for the better and high quality performance of a business.

Amit and Schoemaker (1993) conducted an empirical study to measure the impact of the environmental uncertainty on the SMEs functions, their performance and product designs. The researchers selected the existence of “dynamism, complexity and hostility” in the environment as the measures of the environmental uncertainty and analyzed the employment data of the Scottish and Northern English SMEs.

There were both the manufacturing and service firms were selected to find the evidence about the impact of environmental uncertainty on the performance of each of these types of firms. It is found from the study that the service firms and manufacturing firms encounter the effects of environmental uncertainty in different ways. The results related with the environmental uncertainty on manufacturing firms show that when the manufacturing companies face uncertainties related with the functioning of their suppliers then there manufacturing process as well as level of innovation in strongly affected.

In this way it is proved that the environmental uncertainty can prevent the product design innovation process within the manufacturing sectors and in order to assure the high quality and innovative performance of the manufacturing sector, the responsible forces must work for assuring environmental certainty so that the manufacturing companies can carry on their product design and pother activities by expecting predictable results and the economy can also get the support from the productivity and innovative product designing of the manufacturing companies.

Selto et al (1995) threw light on some of the negative effects that the environmental uncertainty can draw upon the businesses, in particular on the manufacturing firms. It is explained by the researchers that when uncertainty exist within the surrounding environment, then the management of the manufacturing companies found that they are lacking sufficient information about the environmental factors and as a result they are not in a better position that they can make the predictions about their emerging needs due to the changing environment.

It is very necessary that the companies must have adequate information about their surroundings so that they can foresee their requirements in case of any environmental changes but when insufficient information about their surroundings prevent them to make such predictions, then the overall performance and strategic decisions of the firms are badly affected. The environmental factors like pollution, legal issues, social instability and complexities have the capability to influence and affect the operations of the manufacturing firms and the management of the manufacturing firms is supposed to develop their strategies and plans to encounter any of these problems.

However the management must have deep insight over the entire situation because the clear understanding of the environment can enable them to develop such plans that can work for the manufacturing firms in case of any environmental problem. When the management lacks information then the plans and policies are not designed adequately to safeguard the manufacturing firm in any problematic situation and ultimately the performance and work quality of the company declines. In this way the researchers explain the negative consequences of environmental uncertainty over the performance and work quality of the manufacturing companies.

Black and Boal (1994) observed that the managerial qualities and skills of the manufacturing sector personnel can play important role in determining the extent up to which the environmental uncertainty can affect the performance of the manufacturing company. In this regard it is very important that the managers of the manufacturing companies must made some arrangements that can inform their about any of such environmental change that can affect their functions and activities.

For this it is very necessary that the manufacturing companies must have adequate information and understanding of their surrounding and they are in position to predict any change that might occur in their environment. If the management succeed to make predictions about the expected changes in the environment then it will be very easy for the manufacturing company to cope up with the challenges resulting from those changes as they can design the strategies that can work to prevent the negative affects of those expected environmental changes.

Miller and Shamsie (1996) pointed out that environmental uncertainty can be handles in effective manner if the management of the company made some changes in the functions and activities of company so that the negative effects of the uncertainty could be minimized. It is important to understand that changes occur in the environment very rapidly and the manufacturing sectors have to be prepared to face these changes and they should also be ready to make any structural or functional change in their business. In this regard the manufacturing companies also have to work for the integration and collaboration with different components of the market place so that this collaboration and integration of different market segments can work for facing the uncertainties of the environment.

The formation of different alliance, umbrella organizations and other forums could be a helpful step for the manufacturing sector because through these forums they can share the information with each other and as a result they can make better policies and strategies that can help in case of any uncertain condition. The manufacturing companies individually can not secure that much information as they can secure and share at common forums so steps must be taken for the unity of the manufacturing sector where different ideas and information could be shared and the negative effects of the environmental uncertainty could be declined. For this purpose the legal alliances and the joint ventures can also work for the improvement of the situation.

Russo and Fouts (1997) explains that it is very important for the manufacturing sector to keep eye on the environmental factors because the manufacturing sector is regarded as a highly dynamic environment and different components, parts and material used in the manufacturing process are at higher risk of receiving the impacts of any change occur in the environment. The changes in the environment factors might result in the change of the demand and supply patterns of any raw material at domestic or international level and the manufacturing companies have to be prepared to make changes in their demand and supply patterns in such a way that they can respond to the changes occurring at the domestic or global scenario.

For this it is very necessary that the manufacturing companies must be flexible enough that they can made changes in their manufacturing process and strategy in a way that they can manage with the changed supply patterns of the raw material and can still sustain their regular manufacturing operations and activities with same quality and standard.

Brown et al (1995) explain that the flexibility of the manufacturing companies has the major role to play in the situation where the manufacturing sector faces certain environmental uncertainty. When there are some changes in the environmental factor closely linked with the manufacturing industry, then the manufacturing operations are likely to be influenced due to these changes. If the manufacturing firm has developed such strategies that make the company flexible with respect to its demand and supply requirements, then the company can easily face these changes whereas lack of flexibility can cause several problems for the company and their routine manufacturing activities can also be affected badly.

Teo and King (1997) observed that there are many cases and evidences found in the manufacturing sector that clarified the effects of the environmental uncertainty on the manufacturing companies. Especially the product design and innovation within the manufacturing sector is badly affected due to the environmental uncertainty. The researchers explain that the environmental uncertainty can affect the manufacturing sector in terms of dynamism as well as heterogeneity. In both of the cases the routine operations and activities of the manufacturing company are disturbed and the innovation process also face certain barriers due to which the overall innovations in the product designing are went on declining.

Zviran (1990) explains that the manufacturing sector has to remain in direct interaction with the surroundings for the supply of raw material and facilities and then for the provision of the finished products. During this entire interaction there are certain opportunities and threats that are transferred to the manufacturing companies from the environment and in order to face the threats in depth information and understanding of the environmental issues is very necessary for the manufacturing sector. In case of lack of detailed information the decision making process of the manufacturing sector is affected due to which the performance of the company also went down.

The review of the research studies presented above explains in detail the issue of the environmental uncertainty in connection with the manufacturing sector performance. It become clear that the manufacturing sector takes the direct effects of the environmental conditions because due to its nature of work, the sector remain in interaction with the environment for getting different raw material and facilities. Due to this interaction the threats of the environmental uncertainty are also higher for the manufacturing companies and the most effective way to overcome these problems is to have deep and clear understanding of the surrounding environment.

For this it is very necessary that the management of the manufacturing sector has adequate and detailed information about the environment where they operate so that in the light of this information they can design their strategies to face the challenges of the changing environmental conditions. The above discussion also explains that the environmental uncertainty has direct effects on the performance of the manufacturing sector and thus it is very important to evaluate the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in terms of environmental uncertainty.

Summary

The above review of the literature provided understanding of some of the crucial issues associated with the research topic. It is revealed from the above review that the manufacturing sector is an important part of the business and one of the most important victims of the technological advancements. In the modern era there are certain new concepts and philosophies emerged in connection with manufacturing process and the manufacturing companies are required to update and restructure their manufacturing processes in response to the changes occurring in the surroundings. The above review of the literature also clarified the importance of the factors including product design, manufacturing strategy, innovation and environmental strategy for the efficient performance of the manufacturing sector and provided the base for examining the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in the basis of these factors.

At the same time some gaps in the literature are also identified after reviewing the above mentioned research studies and it is found that there are some very important issues associated with the above topics that are remained unanswered in the above researches like how advancements in the manufacturing sector demand changes role of the countries and how the countries specially the underdeveloped countries can cope with these changes when they have to face certain challenges and limitations due to their socio political structure and poverty issues.

This research study will attempt to fill up these gaps in the literature by explaining the above mentioned issues by taking Nigeria as an example. Thus the research study will strives to fill the gaps found as a result of the review of the above literature and these gaps have further stressed on the importance of findings the answers of the following research questions that are also identified in the beginning of the dissertation in the light of the objectives of the research study. These questions are as followed:

  • What are the strategies and policies that can help the under developed countries in coping up with the technology advancements occurring in the manufacturing industry?
  • What strategies and planning can improve the performance and productivity of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria?

The first question will work for identifying the appropriate policies that can help the developing countries to survive in the highly competitive and technology driven market place whereas the second question is aimed at identifying the strategies and planning that can help the developing countries and the case of Nigeria will act as an example that can be followed by other developing countries as well.

Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

Introduction

The chapter presents the review of the research studies that are conducted during different time period to evaluate and examine the performance and growth of the manufacturing sectors of different countries including Nigeria, India, Malaysia and China. The researchers have taken different approaches for the examination of the performance of these sectors. The research study is based on the analysis and examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and to compare it with the manufacturing sector of other developing countries. To conduct the comparative analysis the information about the manufacturing sectors is mainly collected through the review of the literature.

In the first chapter of the literature review there was detailed explanation presented of the importance and contribution of the performance measures selected for the analysis and the role of the manufacturing sector in the economic development. This chapter specifically focuses on the manufacturing sector of Nigeria, India, Malaysia and China and it presents the detailed account of information about the development, policies, problems and limitations of the manufacturing sectors of each of these countries in the light of the research work done so far. This review is not only intended to describe the performance of these manufacturing sectors but also to find out the gaps in the literature so that the study can be focused on filling up the gaps found in the literature.

Manufacturing Sector of Nigeria

While discussing the manufacturing sector of Nigeria, it is very important to understand the basic structure of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. Nigeria depends hugely on oil and this dependency has drawn impact on other sectors as well. Thus to review the manufacturing sector it is necessary to study the role of oil sector and its effects on the manufacturing sector. Thus the review of the researches related with the Nigerian manufacturing sector is led by the review of the oil based economy of Nigeria.

Nigeria – An Oil based Economy

Kingsley and Nezianya (1999) conducted a research study to review the role and contribution of oil sector on the economic conditions of Nigeria. The researchers noticed that being the world’s major supplier of crude oil, Nigeria is among the influential members of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that produces 1m barrels of crude oil per day. Nigerian economy is well regarded as oil based economy because oil plays the fundamental role in determining the country’s revenue and about 90 percent of the foreign exchange earning of the country is contributed through the sales of oil.

When there was decline in the oil prices in the international market in 1998, the economy of Nigeria also faced major deficit and there was decline of N59.8 bn in the federal budget. According to the estimated Nigeria was expecting to have $9.8 bn oil revenue but due to cut in the OPEC quota of Nigeria, oil prices decline and closure of many of the oil wells in the country, this projected amount could not be met and there were just $6.3 bn earned by Nigeria as oil revenue.

These changes draw major impact on the economic conditions of the country. In the year 1998 the government had decided to increase the salaries of the public employees by 300 percent but after just three month the government had to take back its decision as there was major decline in the oil revenue and the government felt short in financial resources to meet its promise. In this way the oil prices decline affected the economy of Nigeria very strongly and due to the decline in the oil revenue of the country, their economic activities including the working conditions of the labor and their productivity was also affected badly.

Briony (2002) revealed that the entire economy of Nigeria revolves around the oil prices and revenues. The country has very large oil reserves due to which it was expected that there is great potential for Nigeria to build its prosperous economy on the basis of high oil revenues but unfortunately oil revenues failed to improve the poverty level of the country and it was among the 200 poorest country of the world till 2002.

There are some very important reasons like corruption, mismanagement, lack of reforms and the oil price fluctuation that hinders the economic growth of the country on the basis of oil revenues and as a result poverty has become the major feature of the Nigerian economy. This is because the government of Nigeria used to neglect the condition of the local oil refineries due to which the country has to import highly subsidized fuel requirements of the country and the rise in the oil price rather benefiting the country, caused extra burden on the import expenditures. The researchers also pointed some of the main reasons due to which oil has failed to improve the economy of Nigeria.

It is observed that the government set the target for some reforms related with the spending, inflation and privatization but very few of these reforms were actually put is progress due to which the IMF also discontinued the stand-by credit agreement with Nigeria.

The political instability and corruption further hinders the development of the economy. In order to accelerate the growth of the country it is very necessary that Nigeria must reduce the level of oil dependency and concentrate upon the development of other industries like tourism, energy, transport, manufacturing of consumer goods, products from bitumen, tin, bauxite, iron ore and gold however it requires good amount of foreign investment so steps should be taken to encourage investment in these fields and sectors. Moreover the communication and infrastructure facilities are also in great need of revolutionary changes and it is must to focus upon these issues and to diversify the economy from oil sector to attain sustainable economic growth.

Tunde Obadina (1999) reviews the performance of Nigerian economy and concluded that the country possess great potential to prosper economically on the basis of its huge oil reserves but due to the legacy of the management the country is still facing some of the major problems like absence of adequate infrastructure, corruption and inefficient mobilization of resources. The oil rather appearing as blessing for the country has become the major source of debt as due to fluctuations in the oil prices in the global oil market, there is lot of burden put on Nigeria and the country has to pay a lot for its import receipts.

The country possesses immense natural as well as human resources but due to mismanagement these resources have failed to play positive role for the economic development of the country. The population is highly illiterate and almost two third lives below the poverty line. Moreover more then half of the people have no access to safe and pure drinking water and sanitation and the country also failed to achieve the estimated rate of GDP growth in the year 1999 that was 3 percent.

The researchers notices that while reviewing the economic condition of Nigeria, it is very crucial to study the contribution and after effects of the IMF-style structural adjustment program (SAP) that was intended to implement certain market reforms in the country however there was lack of consensus in Nigeria regarding this program and there were different views of the people regarding the implantation of trade liberalization measures and other reforms.

As a result of social and political instability and mismanagement the trade liberalization measures were implemented quite poorly and in turn Nigeria lost good relationship with the international financial institutions and trade bodies like IMF and World Bank etc. The ineffective results of SAP implementation cause the devaluation of the national currency, moreover the import licenses were also aborted and the dismantling of commodity boards and deregulation of banking reached to its peak.

Despite the failure of SAP, the country is still in struggling to liberalize the trade regime by reducing the tariffs and offering certain investment opportunities to the foreign and domestic investors in different sector. Thus there is great need that the trade liberalization policies must be managed and implemented effectively so that the country can diversity its economy towards the non oil sector and can prevent the harmful effects of the oil price fluctuations in the international oil market. In this regard the agriculture and manufacturing sector must get the attention of the government, domestic and foreign investors.

Neil et al (2002) noticed that the economy of Nigeria mainly depends upon oil and when there was boom in the oil prices during the 1970s, and then the country committed one the most harmful mistake to neglect the other sectors like agriculture and light manufacturing as the country was getting enough from the crude oil exports. This neglect contributed towards the collapse of basic infrastructure as well as social services in 1980s. The fluctuation in the oil prices further contributes to the economic instability of the country and the poverty was widespread in the country especially in the rural areas.

Thought the country used to produce crude oil in big quantity like in 2006 the average crude oil production of the country was average two million barrels per day but despite this fact the country failed to boost the economic growth with the support of the oil exports mainly due to lack of good corporate relationship with the indigenous communities, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, smuggling, social and political instability, lack of economic reforms and severe ecological damages.

James Eedes (2005) studied the economic conditions of Nigeria and noticed that Nigeria is one of the least industrialized countries of the sub Saharan African region due to which there are some major weaknesses present in the economic structure of the country. The oil and gas sector accounted for 40% of GDP of the country where as the share of agriculture sector is 35 percent and the manufacturing sector contributed only 5 percent in the total GDP of Nigeria. It shows that the country is in great need of building up huge manufacturing capacity and for this legacy of misguided and restrictive policies must be avoided completely.

The government of Nigeria has now realized the importance of diversifying the oil based economy of the country towards the non oil sectors and in this regard there are some very positive steps also put forward by the government that are basically intended to develop the manufacturing sector through the creation of capacity and employment of the natural resources in the sector. The government has set the annual growth target of 7 percent for the sector that is currently 5 percent and for this purpose the government has decided to raise the capacity utilization and private investments up to 70 percent in the manufacturing sector.

Though the present situation of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is not very positive and significant towards supporting the economic development but it is also a fact that Nigeria is one of the most attention grabbing market of the region having about 130 million consumers in Nigeria and many more million consumers in the neighboring countries. The importance of the manufacturing sector is also realized from the fact that the private consumption expenditures are significantly increasing in the country up to the rate of 15 to 20 percent per year. However there are many issues and problems that are hindering the growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria and as a result the country is progressing very slowly towards the economic diversification and the rate of economic growth is also very slow causing big portion of the population to live below the poverty line.

The researcher summed up the economic scenario review of Nigeria and the role of manufacturing sector by identifying the main hurdles that mostly and historically affect the development and growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. These barriers include “insecurity, political instability, market-distorting state-owned monopolies, weak infrastructure, and unavailability of finance, excessive red tape and rampant corruption”.

Tim Onayemi (2003) realized that the economy of Nigeria is dependent on oil and it is not progressing significantly due to the worst law and order situation that further hinders the growth of the different sectors in the country. When the government works for the safeguard of the oil companies’ interest the price of the oil does not remain at justified level and the manufacturers have to pay more for the energy resources they consume in the manufacturing process.

Due to this management of the resources and the corruption at government level Nigeria is having very low per capita income though the other countries associated with OPEC are having per capita income within the range of 500 dollars but being an important producer of the crude oil, Nigeria is lagging behind most of the oil producing countries in getting sustainable level of economic growth. Moreover the oil production and oil prices are strongly linked with the emplo0ymenet rate and FDI flow coming in the country. When there are news about the exploration of more crude oil wells in the country, the foreign investors start paying attention towards it resulting in the rise of the FDI as well as employment rate. In this way the economy of Nigeria is determined by the oil production and oil prices.

In Nigeria there are other natural resources present as well like hydrocarbons, iron etc but despite concentrating upon these industries, the country remain depend highly on oil that accounts for 95 percent of its foreign exchange during the last two decades. This policy has proved to be quite harmful for the country because the oil price fluctuation draws negative impact on the economy causing certain level of instability and uncertainty. The government and the authorities in Nigeria used to neglect the non oil sectors and industry that has made Nigeria the least industrialized country of the region and thus it is very necessary for Nigeria to diversify its economy towards the non oil sectors and industry to attain stability in the economic conditions and growth level.

Performance of Nigerian Manufacturing Sector – The Historical Perspective

Adeola and Chete (2002) conducted an empirical analysis of the manufacturing sector performance over the years and noticed that the sector was performing with satisfactory growth level during the time period of 1970 to 1980 however after that phase there was huge decline in the growth and performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. Especially after 1983, the affects of the oil price collapse in the international oil market can be clearly seen on the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector as well. Due to the oil crisis the revenues of the government were prominently declined and the foreign exchange earnings were also reduced due to which the government of Nigeria took several initiatives with the intention to strictly control the trade operations.

There were several import duties enacted in form of import licenses and tariffs and along with the there were some quantitative restrictions also imposed on the import of certain items. As a result the manufacturing sector was badly affected because the manufacturers face certain problems in getting raw material and spare parts for the manufacturing of several products. Due to this massive cut down of raw material and parts, many of the industries were closed in the country and there was also decline in the capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector.

The effects of the trade restrictions resulting from the oil price crises were clearly witnessed in form of 25% decline in the real output of the manufacturing sector from 1982 to 1986 although the annual growth rate of the Nigerian manufacturing sector was 15 percent between 1977 to 1981 but the government trade restrictions measures result in sharp decline of the growth rate of the sector.

The share of the manufacturing sector in the total GDP of the country was also clearly declined during this era. In 1977 there was 4 percent increase recorded in the manufacturing sector share in GDP that reached to the level of 13 percent in 1981 but after that it was declined to less then 10 percent in few years. The researchers concluded that the unavailability or inadequate access of the manufacturing companies to the raw material and spare parts of among the most important reasons that have contributed towards the decline in the growth rate of the sector especially after 1981 hence the oil prices shock is identified as the reason behind the policies that ultimately resulted in the decline of the manufacturing sector growth.

Adejugbe (1994) conducted a research study and examine the impact of the Nigerian trade policy on the manufacturing sector performance of the country. The researcher study the manufacturing sector performance after the year 1985 and noticed that there were some significant steps taken by the government of Nigerian as an attempt to make the Nigerian trade regime liberal and to promote the manufacturing and import export activities.

The adaptation of the flexible exchange rate mechanism along with the adoptability of the comprehensive system bring some major changes in the scenario as these steps contributed to reduce the tariffs and trade rates. At the same time the duties on the import of the foreign goods were also raised especially those competing with the domestic products. In the same way there were also some steps taken to recue the import duties on many of the raw material and spare parts that have use in the manufacturing sector. These steps were taken by the government with the objective of providing the local manufacturers and the industrialists a sense of protection so that they can be motivated and facilitated to be more productive and efficient.

Anyanwu (2000) analyzed the manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria and pointed out that the collapse of the world oil market in early 1980s and the prolong economic recessions resulted from this collapse contributed to the sharp fall in the foreign exchange earning of Nigeria that further led to the fall in the performance level of the business sector of the country and finally the economic growth and development process was badly affected. The introduction of structural adjustment program (SAP) was expected to bring improvement in the situation but unfortunately no notable improvement was observed in the economic performance after this program.

As a result of low performance of the manufacturing sector, backed by certain other important reasons, Nigeria is at present among the 30poorest nations of the world. Thus in this situation there is great need that some revolutionary changes should be made in the economic sector of the country that can lead Nigeria towards the path of success. Karl and H. (1988) observed that conducting the analysis of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is a complex issue because there is lack of adequate data and information about the productivity level of the Nigerian economy especially there is little authentic data related to the productivity of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

However some of the research studied conducted at different level give some information about the performance of the manufacturing sector of the country. Like there was an Ad hoc study conducted in 1989 and it was indicated in the results of the study that there was very little increase in the productivity level of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in the year and most of the companies operating in the manufacturing sector have faced decline in the productivity as well as revenues.

These findings were further confirmed from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) that revealed in a report that there was a generally negative trend in the productivity of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria during 1989 and there was little expectation of observing any considerable improvement in the situation. The research studies conducted after this time period also provide some evidences that the trend of negative productivity continued in Nigerian manufacturing sector and in the next decade as well there was no improvement in the productivity level of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. (Akinlo and E. A. 1996)

Adeola et al (2000) conducted an empirical analysis to evaluate the performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria regarding the relationship between the productivity, performance and energy consumption within the sector. Utilizing an aggregate model, the researcher measures the changes in the total factor productivity of the sector with reference to the change occurred in the energy consumption.

The adequate availability of the energy sources and the energy prices were the important issues covered in the research study and it is disclosed in the research results that efficiency and productivity of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria is related with the energy supply and price. Though the energy resources are found playing critical role in the manufacturing sector, it is also found that the energy source alone can not work for the improvement of the performance of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

There was an important point identified in the research that the manufacturing sector is stick to the usage of the old energy efficient technology and there is great need of adoptability of advanced energy efficient technological devices and techniques. Due to this reason the reforms regarding the prices of the energy sector are not significantly affecting the performance of the sector because there is need of technology along with the energy. The research was concluded with the results that the reforms in the energy sector are necessary to take in place along with the technology reforms; otherwise the manufacturing sector can not enjoy the positive outcomes of the energy resources.

Adeolu (2007) studied the effects of foreign direct investment on the performance of the Nigerian economy and manufacturing sector and revealed that the country is striving to attract more foreign investment so that the operations and activities of the manufacturing sector can also be supported from the amount gained through the foreign investors. It is also found in the research that the foreign investment in the manufacturing could be beneficial for the economy but along with that it is also necessary that human resource issues must be resolved so that the financial resources can be effectively utilized.

Adeel et al (2004) disclosed in the survey report of UNIDO that for many years the Nigerian manufacturing sector is working with mostly unskilled and unqualified labor and till date the qualifications and skills level of the work force in the sector is very low. This is an important issue that is affecting the quality of the manufactured products in Nigeria. The reason behind the unskilled labor employment is the inability of the manufacturers to pay high to the skilled labor.

Due to this fact the wages of the labor are very low in most of the manufacturing firms and the owners of the manufacturing firms are settled with the unskilled labor because in case of searching for highly skilled labor they also have to arrange finance for their high salaries so they keep on employing unskilled labor on low wedges. In this way the employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector did not improve the poverty level and at the same time the quality and standard of the labor is also not improved. The researchers suggested that the manufacturing companies of Nigeria must realize the importance of hiring skilled people so that the manufacturing process can be run on updated methods and on the other hand the overall poverty level could also be improved as a result of offering good wages rates to the skilled labor.

Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises (2008) reviews the situations of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. After going through several stages and ups and down the final shape of the manufacturing sector in Nigerian is mainly contributed by four players. These fours players of the manufacturing industry are the multinational, national, regional and local manufacturers, investors and companies. It is also disclosed by the bureau that the multinational companies are operating and still surviving in the country because of strong financial and resources support but the other operators are either disappeared from the scene or they are struggling for their survival in the manufacturing industry.

This is because of the unpredictable policies and strategies implemented by the government and the lack of availability of the raw material for the manufacturing process most of which is imported from the other countries. As a result of these problems the players of the sector started diminishing from the scene due to which the productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing sector is badly affected. At present the share of manufacturing sector in the GDP of Nigeria is below 10 percent and during the last decade the capacity utilization in the sector also remains lower then the level of 35 percent that also provide the evidences and reasons behind the inefficient growth and performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria.

The history of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria is lesson for the other countries as well because it shows that how the mismanagement of resources and the negligence of an important sector can contribute to the low performance of that sector. In Nigeria historically the government used to emphasis more on the oil sector due to which the manufacturing sector failed to proper and now after the spike of oil prices the country looks towards the contribution of the manufacturing sector that is very insignificant due to inadequate policies and planning of the past.

The Bureau of Public Enterprises also identified the main barriers that affect the growth and development of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria, these include “High interest rates, Unpredictable government policies, Non–implementation of existing policies, Lack of effective regulatory agencies, Infrastructural inadequacies, dumping of cheap products, unfair tariff regime and Low patronage”.

The Present Situation

Adeola (2003) presented the case study of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in the perspective of the sector’s position in the world trade negotiation scenario. The researcher also analyzed the structure of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and indentifies the impact of different policies and strategies on the performance and growth of the manufacturing sector. It is observed by the researcher that one of the major problems within the Nigerian manufacturing sector is the low wages of the work force due to which the workers are less motivated to perform better and give innovative ideas to the industry.

Along with that the level of technology usage is also found very low in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. There is very huge capacity underutilization in the sector that acts along with the low quality level of production and incredibility of market situation and keep the performance of the sector at low level. Thus it is very necessary that there must be some steps taken on the immediate basis that can work for the improvement of the weak performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector because this performance is not only affecting the domestic market of the country but due to inefficient performance, the manufacturing sector is unable to avail many of the opportunities in the international trade markets.

Franklin Alli (2008) reviews the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in the light of the survey report that disclosed the results of the study conducted by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). The report disclosed that during the last few years many of the manufacturing companies in the country are facing bad times. It is found that there is very small percentage of manufacturing companies (10 percent0 that is operating at sustainable level whereas as high as 60 percent of the manufacturing companies are going to shut down or are already shut down after facing several series of financial and other crisis.

There are many reasons that are identified by the researchers as the root cause of the problem. The reasons behind the low growth and performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector during the last few years include “high production costs caused by energy, high interest and exchange rates, influx of inferior and substandard products from other nations, multiplicity of taxes and levies, poor sales partly as a result of low purchasing power of the consumers, bogged down with delay in clearing consignments due to existence of multiple inspection agencies at the ports, etc”. it is also reported that the manufacturing sector has been facing the energy resources problems for many years and despite the fact that there are near to $16 billion spend by the government on the energy and power sector, there is still power supply shortage to many of the industries due to which the manufacturing sector is not progressing in the upward direction.

It is also observed that the government has taken some of the initiatives to facilitate the manufacturers by providing them finance at low interest rate through banks. For this purpose the government has ordered to bring down the interest rate level up to 10 percent. Moreover the Minimum Re discount Rate (MRR) movement and other economic reforms have also being placed by the government but in practice the sector has not witnessed the positive effects of these reforms and steps and there is no considerable improvement observed in the situation.

Bashir Modibbo (2003) identified that there are lot of inadequacies in the infrastructure of the country due to which the industrial and manufacturing activities are badly suffering in terms of low capacity utilization. The manufacturing sector often faces the problem of fuel supply shortage. Furthermore the industrial and trade policies implemented by the government during different time periods also work for creating certain difficulties and unfriendly situation for the manufacturers as well as for the investors due to which the investment level is not also very significant in the sector and the activities are affecting badly.

He further suggested that to increase the output of the manufacturing sector it is very essential that the government must show its determination through the policies and strategies for improving the functioning of the oil refineries of Nigeria. The researcher believe that the improved performance and functioning of the oil refineries of the country will contribute to the adequate availability of infrastructure and material to the manufacturing sector and the country can become in apposition to get rid of the energy crisis that appears to be one of the most important challenges for the manufacturing sector growth and development.

Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises (2008) reviews the main problems associated with the Nigerian manufacturing sector and disclosed that the rapid ongoing changes in the technology are taking the international manufacturing market towards a high level of competition where there is less protection for the companies and they have to focus more and more towards the quality of the product by increasing their expenditures on the research and development.

However in Nigeria the research and development work is not being done at desired level and for attaining good level of growth in the sector it is necessary that the government and the private sector must integrate for the improvement in the situation. There are some positive aspects of the situation as well that must be kept in view for example Nigeria is the potential market for over 130 million consumers and the country is also rich in mineral and other resources. If these resources will be utilized in effective manner, then there are no reasons that the country will not gain sustainable level of economic growth with the support of the manufacturing sector.

Adeel et al (2004) disclosed in the survey report administered under UNIDO’s center for study of African economy that the skills and technology usage level in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is very unsatisfying. The report revealed that the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is not open towards the usage and adoptability of the new technologies and skills due to which the efficiency of the firms is strongly affecting.

The reason behind giving less importance to the advanced technologies and skills is the lack of adequate investments in the sector. Only half of the companies participated in the UNIDO survey informed about making investment in the technology during the year that shows the trend in technology investment in the sector. When the firms used to invest less on technology, they are also less in need of the skilled labor and as a result there is not much advanced machinery and techniques of production used in the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

The researchers concluded that the lack of finance facilities are backed by the unwillingness of the investors to give their money to the manufacturing companies and as a result the manufacturing companies in Nigeria are not in position to adopt advanced technology and demand for skilled labor. All of these issues resulted in the low level of competitiveness of the Nigerian manufactured products and the overall efficiency and productivity of the sector is also backed by the lack of adequate investments in the sector.

Asibong Enebong (2003) realized that the country must reduce the dependency upon the imported good to promote the manufacturing of the local products but unfortunately Nigerian used to depend upon the export good up to a higher level. This dependency cause lot of burden on the export receipts and along with that the production base of the country is also neglected. The experts examine the present condition of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and concluded that the present level of manufacturing is very low in Nigeria because the manufacturers have problems in accessing raw material.

Moreover many of the policies implemented by the government in the early days are acting barrier to the manufacturing sector growth in the present days like the backward integration and the inward orientation strategies towards the import substitution industrialization. The private sector also failed to play significant role in the manufacturing industry and there are certain reasons behind this inefficient role including the import barriers, tariffs, licenses and other policies that result in raw material unavailability. It is realized that the private sector must be encouraged and supported enough to play a positive role in the sector and the private sector must also emphasis on the better utilization of the resources for the improvement of the production quality.

Franklin Alli (2008) pointed out that the role of the government is very important in the entire scenario of bringing improvements in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. The researcher noticed some positive signs from the government and indentified some of the major strategies of the government that are adopted with the intention to improve the manufacturing sector performance in Nigeria.

According to the government official, the researcher reported, that the government has realized that the manufacturing sector can act as the backbone of the economy and if the manufacturing sector of Nigeria will progress in positive direction, then the country will also grow prosper. In this regard the government has decide to make sure that the manufacturing sector will get access to the domestic regional and international markets after adding value to their products and for this the sector will take the advantages from the oil and gas sector. The government also seeks the Public Private Partnership (PPP) where the government will invest on the development of the infrastructure and will become a facilitator to the manufacturing sector.

On the other hand the manufacturing industry will get the advantage from the improved infrastructure and the private sector will also be encouraged to invest in different productive manufacturing industries. Moreover the government also considers the cluster concept suitable for the economic condition of the country keeping in view the geographical proximity and other ground realities of the situation.

Ojowu (2003) analyzed the situation of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and came to the point that the capacity is an important issue that must be properly addresses in all the discussion and measures taken to affect the performance of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. The researcher argued that the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is progressing very slowly due to low capacity utilization and the issues associated with the capacity utilization like capacity decline, capacity expansion and capacity mortality are essential to discuss in the perspective of bringing quality in the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

Along with these issues the burden of the external debt is also affecting the performance of the manufacturing sector. It is also realized by the researcher that the government is not giving enough attention towards the policies related with the manufacturing sector and in comparison with other industries and sectors. However it is also necessary that the reforms must be put on in different sectors that are associated with the manufacturing sector because the effects of high performance of one sector can change the progress of other as well. For example if the government will work to improve the infrastructure then the manufacturing of the products will also be facilitated.

Moreover the finance availability is important issue for the manufacturing companies and they often face problems in getting adequate finance from different resources. The lack of adequate finance availability stops them to adopt advanced technology and ultimately the innovation process in the manufacturing companies remains at very low level. In order to solve this issue it is suggested that the government must arrange for the establishment of the special banks that can provide adequate funds to the manufacturing companies and can assist them in attaining sustainable production and quality level.

Chete and Adenikinju (1994) examined the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and identified that electricity is among the most important pre requisites for the manufacturing process because the manufacturing industry required abundance of electric power to run different machines and devices. In Nigeria also the manufacturing sector need adequate supply of electricity for the smooth conduction of the manufacturing activities and operation but the inadequate supply of electricity affects the operations of the manufacturing industry.

The energy consumption rate in high for the country that is up to ten percent and the mismanagement of the energy resources especially of the oil and gas resources in the country contributed towards the in competitiveness of the Nigerian manufactured products. Moreover many of the manufacturing companies in Nigeria in fail to respond towards the complex issues of the technology adoptability because of lack of finance and access to raw material and in turn the manufactured products are usually not of international standards.

Main Problems and Limitation

The performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last few decades shows that there are some important issues and problems that are acting as barrier to the growth of this sector. The social scientists and researchers have also realized that some of the basic limitations and problems are impending the growth and development of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and in order to identify the core problems and limitations many of the social scientists have conducted the analysis and examination of the past and present situation of the manufacturing industry of Nigeria.

These researches have conducted different studies during different time periods and have come up with the identification of certain important issues that are discussed in this section to highlight the core problems of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. Havrylyshyn (1990) pointed out some of the major problems and issues that act as barrier to the high quality growth and performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

The researcher noticed that the government of Nigeria has shown its willingness to promote and support the growth of the manufacturing sector however despite the measures taken by the government there is long way ahead for the manufacturers to progress in efficient manner. The investors in the manufacturing sector often lacks a business friendly environment as the legacy of the past misguided trade related policies draw strong and negative impact on the investment related operations. The trade polices despite all the trade liberalization measures are still strict as IMF also declared that the trade policy of Nigeria is among the most restrictive trade policies of the world where the average tariff rate for the import of the products and goods is near to 30 percent, that is regarded very high according to the international standards.

Moreover the country has also enacted a ban on the import of many of the products and goods like plastic and leather bags, soaps and detergents, furniture etc. this bas was enacted with the intention to safeguard the interest of the domestic manufacturers but this policy proved not to be totally supportive for the sector because as a result of this ban the input costs for downstream producers was increased and the investors were mostly confused regarding their decision to invest in the manufacturing of certain products and goods.

Nishimizu et al (1994) noticed that the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is in great need of reforms for many years as the sector is unable to support the economy of the country because of many problems. For example the sector strongly feels the need of private sector friendly policies so that the entire manufacturing process can be boosted at private sector level also and there could be better capacity utilization in the sector.

The researchers also pointed out that there is much need of many reforms in the sectors related with the manufacturing sector like the power sector etc. when the power sector will progress effectively then the manufacturing sector will also perform well with the support of the reliable electric supply. In the same way the infrastructure is also required to be improved including the railways, roads and other communication system. The manufacturing sector works in collaboration with these sectors so it is very necessary that the supervisors of the sector and the government officials must realize the fact that all of the sectors related with the manufacturing sector should progress well to support the manufacturing process, only then the manufacturing sector can contribute significantly to the GDP of the country.

Albert and Alos (2000) analyze the business environment of Nigeria and observed that the performance of the manufacturing sector has been very unstable as well as chaotic for many years. The inflation rate in the country is rising at alarming rate. In 1995 the inflation was increased in the country up to the level of 100 percent that draw major impact on the performance of the business sector that ultimately affects the manufacturing sector. Despite this uncertainty of the business environment some of the companies of Nigeria are successfully operating in the country and getting high returns on their investments through superior competitive performance.

The researchers took the examples of two Nigerian firms that have achieves high level of performance in business sector and by analyzing their strategies and management planning, the researchers highlight the main factors that contributed towards the success of these organizations so that the other firms can also adopt such strategies to perform well being within the uncertain environment of the country.

Adekoya, A. (1987) conducted a research study to indentify the main factors behind the disappointing performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria after 1970s and it is revealed from the research that there are some importance factors that are playing leading role behind the lower productivity of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

The researchers revealed that one of the most important constraints for the high productivity of manufacturing sector of the country is low level of technology because the advancements in the technology are changing lot the manufacturing sector all over the world and the developing countries are rapidly adopting the new technologies so that they can secure multiplied productivity and can revolutionize their manufacturing industry. Unfortunately the Nigerian manufacturing companies are not focusing enough on acquiring modern machinery and till now they are using the same methods and machinery in their manufacturing units that was introduced in 1960 s and 1970s.

Due to this low level of technology adaptation the manufacturing sector is lagging behind in producing different capital goods like raw materials, spare parts and machinery due to which the country has to import these things. In this way low level of technology led to low level of productivity of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. The researchers also pointed out another important barrier that exists in the Nigerian manufacturing sector and that is the low level of capital utilization rate. It is observed that in the manufacturing sector there is gross underutilization of the resources and only 30 to 40 per cent of the capital is being utilized in this sector due to “frequent power outages, lack of funds to procure inputs, fallen demand for manufactures and frequent strikes and lockouts by workers and their employers”. Due to this reason also the productivity of the sector is badly affected and it is unable to perform positive role in attaining economic stability.

Ephraim Okejiri (2003) identified the problems associated with the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and draws the attention towards an important issue that in Nigeria the social scientists and experts work out effectively for the identification of the issues and problems associated with the manufacturing sector performance but unfortunately the results of these research works are not properly utilized in the sector for bringing improvement.

The operators of the manufacturing sector seems less interested in the suggestions and recommendations put forwarded by the researchers and social scientists during different time periods and as a result the solutions proposed by these experts are not even tried and they have given no chance to improve the situation. This expert focus on the issue that if there is willingness to bring some improvement in the performance level of the Nigerian manufacturing sector then it is essential that the authorities and operators of the manufacturing sector must work for creation of an effective and workable link between the research studies and operational situation and they should also pick up the workable strategies and suggestions offered by different experts and then translate them in to the actions so that the sector can witness the wave of improvement.

O. B. Ayeni (2003) also strives to identify the core issues and problems surrounding the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and after analyzing the past and present situation and growth of the manufacturing sector, the researcher pointed out that the Nigerian manufacturing sector is lagging behind in attaining sustainable growth because most of the times the authorities and operators of the sector used to react to the ongoing market situation by formulating short term policies and strategies and in this way they mostly neglect the need of formulating long run plans and policies.

The researcher also pointed out an important flaw in the economic policies of the country that there are most of the times less attention given to satisfying the needs of the domestic consumers due to which the local demands of the manufacturing products and goods remain unfulfilled. In addition to this the infrastructural issues were also identified as the factors that frequently hinder the growth of the economic sector because the organizations and agencies related with the provision of different utilities to the manufacturing sector often failed to adequately deliver the required utilities and facilities to the manufacturing industry that affects the flow of work in the sector.

At the same time the manufacturers and the investors also need to be motivated and encouraged so that the investors can become open towards investing in different manufacturing firms and ultimately the manufacturing companies can get access to the finance to run their certain manufacturing related operations and activities in effective and updated manner.

Adenikinju (2003) mainly blamed the government for the inefficient performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and claimed that the increased interference of the government in different matters related with the manufacturing industry has minimized the role of the private sector due to which the contribution of the private manufacturers seems to be very low in the manufacturing out put. The government has established some of the industrial banks and institutions to assure the provision of the financing facilities to the manufacturers but these organizations work in inefficient manner and the policies of the government further narrow down the scope of these institutions.

Along with broadening the scope and role of the private sector in the manufacturing process it is also necessary that the government and other authorities must consult different social scientists and review their research works so that the problems identified by the researchers can be resolved with the help of some of the workable suggestions put in place by different experts.

S.A. Talabi (2003) argues that the issues associated with the Nigerian manufacturing sectors are very complicated and these are the by products of policies and strategies that have been in practice for many years. Thus to resolve the core issues and problems there is the basic requirement of identifying and realizing all of the problems and barriers that are affecting the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. In this regard the government must focus upon the formulation of an equipment leasing law that can work for the improvement in the weak infrastructure of the country and in turn the manufacturers will be facilitated to manufacture high quality products.

It is also important that there must be management of the funds and donations in proper manner that are meant for assisting the manufacturing activities. It has been realized that many of the funds and finance facilities provided nu international and regional financial and trading institutions like World Bank and African Development Bank (ADB) are immensely mismanaged at national level due to which the fruits of the funds are not transferred to the manufacturing sector.

The corruption in the government and financial institutions presented the manufacturing industry to get the benefits from the finance provided by different institution and in order to stop this corruption; the government must formulate such rules and laws that can assure the safe and fair provision of all the funds and donations to the manufacturing sector. If the government succeeds to provide the funds to the manufacturers and then the manufacturers will make positive use of the funds, then the manufacturing industry of Nigeria can progress in the positive direction and can make its presence valuable at regional and international level.

In this way the entire scenario of the manufacturing industry in Nigeria became very clear in the light of the review of the above research studies. It is found that many of the social scientists have focused their work on the manufacturing industry of Nigeria and by employing different research approaches they have unfolded various aspects of the Nigerian manufacturing industry. The part and present of the Nigerian manufacturing sector became very clear in the above discussion however it is found that the analysis if Nigerian manufacturing sector is mostly done on the general basis in the above research studies and there is none of the research work that analyze the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector on the basis of specific performance measures like product design, manufacturing strategy and innovation etc.

This is a big gap found in the literature that the social scientists have not judged the performance of the Nigerian sector on the basis of the performance measures and factors that are important for the manufacturing industry and in order to fill up this gap the research study has identified five important factors that will become the basis for the examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance in this research study.

Manufacturing Sectors of Some Developing Countries

Malaysian Manufacturing Sector Performance

Agence France (2003) reviews the performance of the Malaysian manufacturing sector and observed that the year 2002 bring some problems for the manufacturing sector in Malaysia however after that the government work out to implement some economic reforms in the country that bring some hope that the sector will continue with good performance in the coming days. The country also faces tough competition with china and other South Asian countries including Thailand and Singapore. The growth of the manufacturing sector needs some major reforms to compete with the neighboring countries as well as in the international market.

Eileen (2007) disclosed that the foreign investments in the manufacturing sector are increasing with high rate and in the year 2006, the FDI in the manufacturing sector reached its peak and hit a high record when it was increased with the rate of 13 percent and touched the level of 20.2 billion ringgit (US$5.8 billion, euro4.8 billion). It is also observed by the researcher that the Malaysian manufacturing sector is also facing some of the very critical issues like the Intellectual Property right, human resource management and the environmental issues.

Due to these problems there is some level of dissatisfaction among the local manufacturers as well as among the foreign investors due to which Malaysian talks with USA for an agreement were also dismissed without any agreement. Along with these issues the country also has to work for liberalization the trade regime of the country so that the domestic and foreign investors can get facilitates and encouragement to invest in the country.

At present the employment offered by the manufacturing sector in Malaysia is around 28percent that must be increased and at the same time the contribution of the sector in the economy is near to one third. The government of Malaysia is also attempting to attract the foreign investors in the manufacturing sector of the country by assuring them environmental certainty and a stable business environment.

Beijing Time (2006) reported that the growth and performance of the Malaysian manufacturing sector can be examined through the fact that the sales values of the Malaysian manufactured products was increased by 10.7 percent and reached to the level of.6 billion ringgit (12.66 billion U.S. dollars) in October 2006. At the same time there was also an increase observed in the employment offered by the manufacturing sector that shows the upward movement of the sector. The report also revealed that the Malaysian manufacturing sector now focus a lot on the outsourcing of the manufacturing activities especially the contract manufacturing has become the most common outsourcing activity for the Malaysian manufacturers and they go for it to be more cost competitive.

The manufacturers also used to outsource logistics and technology services so that they can taker the advantage from the technology advancements of the other countries. It is also observed that there are some important steps required to be taken in order to bring further improvement in the performance of the Malaysian manufacturing sector. For example there is need of establishing trading houses that can help and facilitate the manufacturers. The SMEs of the country are especially in great need of getting assistance professionally and they also look for some reduction in the transportation cost of the raw material and the manufacture goods.

Datuk Mustafa (2005) noticed that after the trade liberalization reforms implemented by the Malaysian government during time periods, the present situation is open for the local and international investors and manufacturers and the present manufacturing sector scenario is quite open and liberal. The equity and export conditions are removed from the investments and diversification projects related with the manufacturing sector. Moreover the existing manufacturers can also apply for the removal of the conditions from the business and these steps are considered very positive and supportive for the growth and development of the Malaysian manufacturing sector.

Different economic reforms implemented by the Malaysian government added to the liberalization of the manufacturing industry due to which now the manufacturing industry possesses little restrictions and trade barriers. The country also faces tough competition at regional and international level due to which the sector mainly looks for the support from the standard compliance to attain good level of manufacturing. There are many challenges that are faced by the manufacturing sector of Malaysia due to the globalization and highly competition in the technology driven market place.

The most important challenge for the manufacturing sector of Malaysia is to maintain competitiveness of its manufactured products for which the manufacturers have to assure that they will make just in time delivery of the manufactured products in the international markets and in this entire process the manufacturers have to keep in view the sub standards and regulations that are part of the international market. In order to be competitive at international level, the Malaysian manufacturing companies are also looking towards the outsourcing of production and operations process so that they can take the advantages of cost effectiveness as a result of outsourcing of the manufacturing activities.

Mahadevan (2001) noticed that the manufacturing sector in Malaysia is required to be highly technology and knowledge driven and this is a great challenge for the manufacturers that they have to prove that they are carrying out their manufacturing operation by being competitive and update with the latest technology. In this way the innovation in the manufactured products will also be assured.

For this purpose the increase in the research and investment expenditures is also very necessary because by spending more on the research and development work will pave new ways for the manufacturers through which they can amend their manufacturing system on innovative basis and can come up with the products offering new, cost effective and attractive features that can grab the attention of the local consumers as well as the international exporters can also look towards these products and the country can get increment in the FDI flows coming through the manufacturing sector.

The Malaysian manufacturing sector also faces an important issue in form of the availability of the skilled and qualified work force. The international contractors have also argues the need of brining more technical and skilled labor in the manufacturing sector of Malaysia. At present the ration of highly qualified engineers and technicians is not satisfying from international standards and there is need of hiring more professionals that can build the product design on the basis of innovation and technological advancements. The researcher also suggested the manufacturing companies that they can also go for hiring of highly technical and skilled manager externally and can bring high skilled managerial staff in the sector.

In the mean time the government and the orators of the manufacturing sector have to develop long term planning that can result in skilled labor availability in the manufacturing sector of the country because the external hiring can not benefit the manufacturing sector in long run. When the international companies tend to involve in the agreement with the manufactures of some country, they want the domestic technicians to handle the work in their traditional manner so there must be planning for preparing highly technical and skilled labor in the sector.

As the manufacturing sector of Malaysia can not be regarded as completely updated and advanced sector so the emergence of some new technologies in the manufacturing sector like the nanotechnology, grid computing, RFID, WiFi etc have also appeared as challenge and problem for the Malaysian manufacturers because they don’t have adequate skill level to cope up with these advanced technologies. The researcher also feels the need that the government of Malaysia must work for the support and promotion of the manufacturing sector of Malaysia like other developing countries.

The role of Chinese government was cited as an example that the government in China has perform supportive role for the promotion of the manufacturing sector activities and there are many trade incentives and facilities provided to the manufacturers due to which the manufacturing sector of China is booming and contributing high in the economic growth of the country. The highly competitive manufacturing market place of today requires a well defined manufacturing policy where the manufacturers can get the benefits from different incentives and the growth of the sector could be accelerated.

Intan Osman (2002) noticed that due to high rate of capital accumulation the manufacturing sector of Malaysia is input driven rather then productivity driven. The research reviews the performance of the Malaysian manufacturing sector and noticed that the country adopted the new industrialized strategy after the 1980s and since then there is lot of emphasis given to the growth and development of the heavy industries in the country.

The Fourth Malaysia Plan (1980-1985) also focused on the need of promoting the heavy industries and the government used to allocate high capital and resources in these industries. As a result of this plan there were many industries well developed under the supervision of the government including the non-metallic mineral, ferrous (iron and steel) and non-ferrous metals, paper and paper products, petrochemicals and transport equipment.

These industries were developed with the objective that the country will then depend less on the import of many products from other countries like the industrial raw materials, intermediate inputs, machinery and capital goods. The structural development in the manufacturing sector brought improvement in the situation and as a result the country became economically stable. At the same time the government and the operators of the manufacturing sector emphasized upon the use of the advanced and updated technology within the manufacturing process. However the present situation is highly competitive and the country is required to focus much more on the issues of human resource management, recruitment of skilled labor and use of appropriate technology to be cost effective so that the manufacturing sector of Malaysia can stand at international market with stability and strength.

Mohamed Ariff (2003) threw the light on some of the problems and challenges that are faced by the Malaysian manufacturing sector and noticed that that the manufacturing sector of Malaysia was imparting good growth rate for more then last thirty years however there are certain problems and challenges in front of the sector that are increasing along with the passage of the time. The business environment of the country is regarded as over regulated environment by many of the experts and the government is increasing its influence and interference in the business and manufacturing regime.

Especially after the proliferation of Non-Financial Public Enterprises or NFPEs in 1975, the role of the government was increased in the business operations and the private sector feels the great need of make the investment climate of the country better where there could be more incentives and opportunities of growth for the private sector as well. In response to these demands, the government has also formulated such policies and strategies that can promote the investment and activities of the private sector but some of the issues remain controversial and the private sector still has reservations on the role of the government in the perspective of the manufacturing sector growth and development. In order to assure the growth of the manufacturing sector in Malaysia it is suggested by the researcher that the government should formulate and implement such policies that can provide new directions to the manufacturers in the country be encouraging fast and high investment rate in the sector.

The manufacturers are also required to increase competitiveness of their products through the utilization of technology devices and advanced techniques. There is great need to focus on the research and development so that the manufacturers can get access to the latest technology and manufacturing techniques and they can employ these techniques in their manufacturing process to assure the innovation in their product design and all activities. Moreover there is also requirement of increasing the supply and quality of technical manpower and industrial skills so that the overall productivity and efficiency of the business and manufacturing sector could be improved and the sector can significantly work for the economic stability of the country.

India Manufacturing Sector Performance

Kaliappa (2004) revealed that the manufacturing sector has an important role to play in the economic scenario of India and it is revealed that the sector has significantly contributed towards the economic sustainability of the country especially during the 1970s and 1980s. While analyzing the performance of the Indian manufacturing sector during 1970s to 1990s, the researcher revealed that the manufacturing sector in India has seen many ups and downs and the reforms taken by the government with the intention to bring improvement in the economic scene, have proved to be beneficial for the sector sometimes and sometimes there are no positive results of these reforms observed on the functioning of the manufacturing sector.

For example in early 1990s the government implemented several economic reforms but the manufacturing sector performance went down by the end of the decade after showing good level of progress in the early 1990s. The researchers revealed that an important reason behind the significant performance of the Indian manufacturing sector is the fact that the sector used to be an input driven factor where the technical efficiency existed at high level. When the manufacturing sector receive good among of investments for the purpose of research and development, the sector kept of progressing well and the technology usage level in the sector was also improved.

In order to keep on the manufacturing sector of India on the path of sustainable growth it is very necessary that there must be adequate investments in the sector for the purpose of research and development so that the sector can carry on with its functioning by employing latest technology and manufacturing techniques. In this way the investments in research and development are identified as one of the main causes that contribute towards the efficient performance of the Indian manufacturing sector for many decades.

Shashanka Bhide (2008) reviewed the performance and contribution of the Indian manufacturing sector in the economic growth of the country and indentified many of the positive signs that confirm the positive and supportive role of the sector in the economic growth of the country. The researcher identified the manufacturing sector is playing vital role in India and is one of the most important source of generating employment for the work force.

At present there are estimated 25.5 millions people employed in 41.8 million manufacturing firms of the country. The increasing rate of employment in the manufacturing sector shows that the sector is becoming increasingly important for the economic development of the country. The non farm manufacturing sector is especially significant source of employment where many millions peoples have been employed. The researcher also noticed that the private sector is also having a considerable share in the manufacturing sector activities and operations and there are about 39.6 million retail and manufacturing firms that are owned and operated under the private ownership.

The researcher concluded that the high rate of employment in the manufacturing shows that the sector has become the backbone for the country and the private ownership contribution in the sector’s performance further explains that the efficiency of the private sector can add to the performance of the manufacturing sector and the government must facilitate and encourage the private owners to take active role in the manufacturing operations if they want good support from the private firms in the development and growth of the manufacturing sector.

Shankar Acharya (2007) found that the manufacturing sector strength and stability is one of the most important issues in front of the government for many years and in different five year economic plans, the government of India has attempted to focus upon promoting the sector by identifying the growth potential and opportunities within the sector. In the five year plan approved in 2007 for the time period 2007-2012, it is estimated that the manufacturing sector of India with witness the growth and development at 10-11 percent annual growth rate in the coming five years. The growth of the manufacturing sector in the country has also shown the signs that the coming decade will be the manufacturing sector growth in India.

The researcher also revealed that the manufacturing sector in India is modest in size from the global perspective and as compared with other developing nations like China and India, the net output of the sector is low i.e. $115 billion in 2005; whereas the output of the manufacturing sector of China was $750 billion and US manufacturing sector was more then $1,500 billion in the year 2005. The research also pointed out that the manufacturing sector of India has gone through many phases of ups and downs and share of the manufacturing sector output in the total GDP of the country also remain low in some of the years.

For example in 1995-96 the manufacturing contributed just 18 percent on the total GDP on India and this rate was further dropped to 15 percent in 2001-02. While looking at the share of the sector in GDP during the entire decade it is found that 16.7 percent of GDP is shared by the manufacturing sector out put during the time period of 1990 to 2000. When compared with the share of the manufacturing sector in the GDP of some developing East Asian countries, it is found that the contribution of the manufacturing sector remain very low in India and there is great need of implementing reforms in the sector that can work for increasing the input share of the sector in the GDP of India so that the manufacturing sector can contribute to the sustainability of the economy in the country. It is observed that the policies of the government implemented during different time periods have drawn strong impact on the performance of the manufacturing sector.

In early 1990s there were some policies enacted by the government that reduced the industrial and trade control in the country. As a result of these reforms the manufacturing sector progresses significantly but this was just for few years and by the end of the decade the growth rate was sharply declined. Thus in the present highly competitive scene it is very necessary that the sector must be supported by adequate investments and high level corporate performance so that it can develop the potential and capabilities of international level and can become strong side of the Indian economy. It is also necessary that the government must formulate the policies and plans for increasing the growth rate of the manufacturing sector in the next five year plan that is estimated just 10 -11 percent and looks an easy target.

This is very necessary because at international level the manufacturing sectors are already booming in the perspective of the powerful, import-intensive boom in the US thus the competition has increased in the sector and India must set high targets for the growth of the manufacturing sector in the coming five year plan. For this it is very necessary that the exchange rate policy must be managed in effective manner and along with that the labor incentives exports and import substitutes must be given proper attention and the infrastructure of the country must support the manufacturing process through the provision of adequate power supply, water, roads and urban services. All of these measures should be taken to assure the growth and development of the manufacturing sector on long run and the role of the government are very crucial in the entire situation.

Nilachal Ray (2004) pointed out that the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the Indian economic growth can not be neglected and during some of the time periods, it has reached up to the level of 25 percent. However it is very important to understand that one organized and one unorganized sector exists and operated within the manufacturing sector of India because many of the manufacturing units are not registered under the Section 2m of Factories Act, 1948.

The researcher examined the performance of the Indian manufacturing sector in terms of Wage Productivity (WPR), Capital Productivity (CP), Industrial Capability (Output-Input Ratio), Workers’ Performance (GVA per Worker) and Wage Rate by state” and found that there is great room for improvement in the situation but even the performance of the sector so far is not much disappointing and some positive reforms in the sector can work for further growth of the sector in positive direction.

Chidambaram and Ramamurthy (2005) pointed out that the manufacturing sector is a great opportunity in front of India that can make the position of the country very stable and strong in the technology driven market place of the modern era. The researchers observed that the manufacturing sector of India is blessed by the technology and its appropriate usage in the manufacturing process due to which there is great possibility that the country can become an innovative leader in manufacturing at regional and international level. However it is very necessary that the country must focus on the introduction and adoption of the coherent synergy in science and technology related activities.

At the same time the manufacturing sector is also required to implement revolutionary plans and policies for the “human resource development, research and development privatization, academia-industry interaction, and international collaboration”. Along with these issues, the technical knowledge and skills of the work force is also identified as an important factor that can improve the performance of the sector. It is observed by the experts that the technology can add to the efficiency and productivity of the manufacturing sector but for this it is essential that the workforce of the country must be literate, highly skilled and capable to handle advanced technology.

The manufacturing sector of India is regarded as the manufacturing sector where there is great room for innovating different ideas and concepts related with the manufacturing of low-cost high quality products and services. It is the positive sign in the manufacturing sector of India that the sector is progressing significantly towards innovative technology and the automotive sector is also booming in the country and as a result the country stands strongly at international level and the manufacturing sector of India has been recognized as the sector where there is great potential for the manufacturing of innovative featured products.

The experts, analysts and social scientists have also noticed that the government of India is also concerned for bringing improvement in the manufacturing sector of the country and for this purpose there have been many polices and plans formulated at government level that are intended to improve the manufacturing sector situation. For example the “Prithwi” (2008) wrote that the government has set the estimated growth rate for the manufacturing sector 10-11 percent but the experts believe that there must be rise in this growth rate and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has also put forward the suggestion in front of the government that it should assure the 12 percent growth rate of the sector in the coming years and for this the government must design such policies that can increase the share of the manufacturing sector in the GDP of the country.

The experts also indentified some of the steps that can work for brining positive changes in the situation. The government is suggested the companies operating in the manufacturing sector must be provided by the guidelines and directions so that they can decide their future role and they must be given some incentives and subsidies so that they can be motivated and encouraged to progress well. In this regard it is also very necessary that the government must work for the technology adoptability within the manufacturing sector and there must be adequate and stable raw material base for the sector.

Moreover some regulatory and procedural reforms are also highly required in the manufacturing sector and the government should guide the monetary and exchange rate policy in a manner that it can support the growth and development of the manufacturing sector of the country. Thus the technology adoptability, regulatory reforms and investment in the research and development work are the main steps that can bring improvement in the performance of the Indian manufacturing sector.

Chinese Manufacturing Sector Performance

Jim Pinto (2007) notices that in the changed manufacturing scenario of today it becomes very important that the countries must go for the manufacturing of chapter and faster goods especially the consumer Goods are highly required to be manufactured with shorter life cycles and low prices. China is progressing well in the manufacturing sector because the country compete the world in the manufacturing of cheap as well as fast goods.

The manufacturing of China has grabbed major share in the global manufacturing for example China has 50 percent share in the manufacturing of cameras, 30% in air conditioners and televisions, 25% in washing machines, 20% of refrigerators. These figures show the major contribution of the Chinese manufacturing sector at international level. There are some positive attributes of the Chinese manufacturing industry that is contributing towards the efficient growth of the sector. The Chinese manufacturing sector is currently producing goods will goods and repetitive quality against very low cost of production.

At the same time there is also increase in the continual manufacturing prowess of the Chinese manufacturing sector. China has identified the key point that in order to retain its consumers, it is very necessary to cu down the prices of the manufactured goods.

Thus the country is focusing on the manufacturing of products will very low cost so that it can offer products will good quality at low prices. Due to this reason the exports of china are increasing at high rate in all over the world and at the same time the share of he Chinese manufacturing at international level is also increasing. These Chinese manufacturing sector has dramatically worked out for cutting down the prices of the manufacturing products and according to rough estimates the country now offers the manufacturing products at almost half of the prices as compared with other countries, that’s why the other countries prefer to import different manufactured products from China as they can have good quality at low price.

One of the main reasons behind the success of the Chinese manufacturing products is that most of the Chinese firms tend to give priority to the innovative features in their manufacturing and they try to manufacture goods with new and advanced features. As a result of all these development china has become an important and successful player of the manufacturing scenario at international level and the economic development of the country is also accelerated.

Ali Agmen (2007) pointed out that the manufacturing industry has changed a lot in the recent years due to the emergence of the new technologies and increasing demands of the consumers. In this highly competitive marketplace there are several important issues in front of the manufacturing companies and they have to face series of challenges to assure their survival in the manufacturing industry of the modern era.

Among the core challenges, the issue of the intellectual property has also appeared as an important problem for the manufacturers because due to the technology advancements every one can get access to different products and techniques of manufacturing. Like all other countries China is also facing the serious threats of the intellectual property issues and the country is looking towards the long term solutions through which it can cope up with this problem.

The Chinese manufacturing companies are attempting to design such products with innovative designs and they are in great need of some rules and regulations that can do something for the protection of their work. In this regard the country has formulated and implemented some of the intellectual property rights and acts but in practice these acts are not forceful enough to prevent the companies and their products from being copied.

Thus it is very important for the government of China that it must develop sound strategies for the prevention of the intellectual property thefts otherwise there will be rise in the wave of discomfort in the industry and the overall performance of the manufacturing sector will also be affected badly. The researcher also revealed that another important challenge in front of the Chinese manufacturing companies is to arrange highly skilled labor. The manufacturing sector of the country is trying to adopt advanced and latest technology and for successful handling of these technological devices and machinery they also need highly skilled labor.

It was a general impression that there is very cheap labor available in China but the fact is that when there is rise in the demand of the highly skilled and qualified labor, the cost of the labor has also increased and the manufacturing companies of China now have to attract the skilled labor by offering them competitive salaries and incentives. In this regards it become very crucial that the manufacturing companies of China must restructure and reanalyze their recruitment policies so that they can be in better position to conduct the human resource management and the skilled labor can add to the efficiency of their companies.

It is also observed that despite the relative low cost of labor there are many of the manufacturing companies that are facing difficulties in getting highly skilled and qualified employees hired at their companies. despite all of these challenges there are still many opportunities in the manufacturing sector of China and the sector is progressing well in the upwards direction due to which the manufacturing sector has succeed to play important role on the economic development of the country as well but in order to assure the successful conduction of the manufacturing operations in China, the government of China should have to focus upon the issues of intellectual property theft and skilled labor availability so that the sector can carry on with good performance in coming decades as well.

Wright (2001) revealed that China has passed through a golden age of manufacturing however in the recent days the world oil prices have drawn impact of the performance of the Chinese manufacturing sector as well. The researcher revealed that the rise in the oil prices has led to the increase in the manufacturing cost and the Chinese firms have to pay more for the diesel and energy resources that they use in their manufacturing processes. The transportation cost as also raised due to the rise in the oil prices and the companies have to pay more for getting access to the raw material and spare parts required in the manufacturing of certain products. in the same way the manufacturing sector of China is also facing the challenge of the availability of skilled and qualified labor at low cost that has become very difficult in the recent days.

All of these issues have build up pressure of the manufacturing industry of China and if these issues and problems will not be resolved on early basis then China will loose its position at international marketing scene. The sector has to seriously look towards the issue of talent shortage in the sector. Though these are many students that came out from the universities after taking their degrees every year in different advanced field but due to low labor cost they prefer to get hired at other countries where they can get better incentives and salaries thus the Chinese manufacturing companies must work to stop the talent from going outside the country otherwise the availability of the skilled labor will become a very serious threat for the manufacturing industry of China.

Schneider and Brown (2003) found that the Chinese manufacturing sector is now struggling with the problem that how these firms can manage to manufacture quality product on low prices when there is rise in the labor, energy and material cost. It is a fact that the labor cost is very low in china as compared with other manufacturing sector and at the same time there is low cost of capital and the country is doing will in adopting new technology.

The manufacturing sector of China has proved to be capable of adopting new technology and advanced techniques of manufacturing due to which the manufacturing quality of the Chinese manufactured products are accepted at international level and the Chinese manufacturing sector has succeed to make its position in designing standard products ay relative low cost due to which the countries from all over the world are attracted towards the Chinese manufacturing sector and china is exporting goods and products to different countries at low prices because the Chinese manufacturers keep low rates of profit for themselves to keep the price of the manufactured products at lower levels. In this way they are successfully retaining their existing consumers and attracting new consumers from all over the world.

Blanchard (2007) noticed that the most important reason behind the success of the Chinese manufacturing sector at international level is that, the Chinese manufacturers take the standard and quality of the product as a very serious issue and they always remain concerned about the maintenance of their standard and quality in their manufacturing process. Due to the success of the Chinese manufacturing industry there are many international firms that are operating in the manufacturing sector of china.

According to a study there are about 59 percent of the US manufacturing firms that have operations in China mainly because they have to spend low cost on the production of quality products in the manufacturing industry of china. The international firms are also attracted towards China because they realized that the manufacturing industry of china is capable enough to cope up with the ongoing rapid advancements in the technology and they are good at adopting and utilizing latest techniques of manufacturing. The role of the government in very important in the entire situation because the regulations and rules related with allowing the operations of the foreign firms are the important issues that are decided by the government and when the government opened the country for the international investors and manufacturers as an attempt to liberalize the trade, there was massive increase in the companies coming to China and there was good amount of FDI that came in the country through the manufacturing sector.

Along with the regulation related with the trade liberalization the government of China also has to play important role to discourage the intellectual property theft because it is also an important issue in front of the Chinese manufacturers as well as for those international companies that operate in china.

Mike Stevens (2008) noticed that the rapid growth and development of the Chinese manufacturing sector that is well supported by the technology usage and innovative designing is forcing the experts to make the prediction that in the coming years the input rate of Chinese manufacturing sector will be much higher then that of the United States. At present there are huge amount of products that are manufactured in China for being used in USA and these products are both manufactured by the Chinese companies and then exported to US or the American firms manufacture these products in China to get the advantages of the low cost of production within the Chinese manufacturing industry.

Due to the technology adoptability capability, Chinese manufacturing sector has emerged as a great opportunity for the US manufacturers and as a result the economy of china is witnessing improvement in various other economic fields as well because when the foreign companies came in the country, they sue to invest in other sectors as well and as a result there is rise in the foreign investments in different sectors of China like including finance, information technology, and business services.

In this way the growth and development of the manufacturing sector bring FDI in the country and other sectors of the economy are also benefits. As a result the entire economy of China is flourishing and the main reason behind this situation is the decision of the Chinese government to open up the doors of the country for every country by allowing them to start their operation in the country through the implementation of certain trade liberalization measures. Thus the researcher credited the government for taking up the manufacturing sector of the country up to the level where the foreign companies are highly interested in operating in the sector and in turn the entire economy is enjoying the benefits.

Summary

The above discussion presented the detailed account of information related with the manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria, India, China and Malaysia. It is revealed from the above discussion that the economy of Nigeria highly depends upon the oil sector and the fluctuations in the oil prices in the global market have contributed towards the economic instability in the country. The government of Nigeria is concentrating towards diversifying the economy towards the non oil sector and for this there are many policies also designed by the government that are discussed in the above description.

At present the growth and performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is found in great need of reforms and improvement because the share of the manufacturing production is very low and some steps are necessary to be taken in the fields of trade liberalizations, skill development of the work force, research and development work and technology adoptability. The above discussion also reviews the past and present situation of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and identifies the core problems and limitations surrounding the sector. Moreover the chapter also provided information about the manufacturing sectors of India, China and Malaysia separately.

It is found from the above review of the researches that in China the manufacturing sector is booming and supporting well the economic growth of the country be offering employment and contributing to the GDP of the country. India and Malaysia are also doing well in the manufacturing industry however the social scientists have realized that there is great need of increasing the contribution of these sectors in the economic growth of the country and the governments of these countries are required to implement reforms in the manufacturing industry to encourage and promote the private sector.

There are some common problems also identified in the above discussion and it is found that all of the manufacturing sectors discussed above are facing great challenges due to globalization and high competition. The issues of intellectual property, human resource management, technology adoptability, cost competitiveness and availability of skilled and qualified labor are the common challenges that are faced by the manufacturing sectors of these countries and the role of the governments is also required to be more supportive and positive for the promotion of the manufacturing sector activities.

In this way the review of the literature came up with the explanation of several important issues associated with the topic of the dissertation and all the background issues related with the research study become clear in the light of the above literature review. Moreover the major gaps identified in the literature are also discussed above so that the research study can present the discussion and analysis of these issues to fill these literature gaps.

The review of the above literature also identified some of the gap and it is found that most of the research studies evaluated the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with respect to trade liberalization or technological adoptability and none of the research has focused on all the important factors related with the manufacturing industry like product design, manufacturing process, strategy, technology, competitiveness and environmental uncertainty. Thus this research is intended to fill up this gap found in the literature and it will present the analysis and review of the manufacturing sector with respect to the important performance measures and not just in general or historical. It is also found that there are few studies that have compared the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with developing countries and there are little strategies of the developing countries identified by the researchers that can be applied in the Nigerian manufacturing sector to bring improvement.

Thus this gap of the literature will also be filled in the research study and the dissertation will present the detailed account of strategies and polices of the developing nations that can adopted by Nigeria as well to move towards the better direction in attaining high quality performance of the manufacturing industry. There is another important factor missing in the above research studies that the performance of Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors have been analysed individually or in comparison with the competitor countries but none of the social scientists have compared these countries will the manufacturing sectors of the under developed countries due to which the differences between the strategies and policies of these countries and their effects on the manufacturing sector performances are also not identified in these studies.

In order to fill this gap found in the literature this research study will present the comparative analysis of the manufacturing sectors of these countries to identified the major differences in their polices and strategies while the selected five performance measures will act as the basis of the analysis and examination of this comparison.

The other gaps found in the literature will also be filled in this research study because the research questions and objectives mainly revolve around the issues and gaps that are found in the literature and to fill the gaps found in the related literature is the main intention of the study that adds to the significance and need of this research study. In sum it can be said that the main literature gaps identified include the identification of certain issues like the technology impact on manufacturing and changes required in the countries’ policies and strategies, the need of manufacturing FMCG with such strategies that can assist the economic development in the under developing countries as well.

Moreover the examination and comparison of the manufacturing sector performances is also an important research objective that is aimed at filling up the gap found in the literature. These gaps found in the literature will be filled with the help of the primary research and the analysis of its results and in order to have adequate identification of the fact that the literature gaps are successfully filled by the research findings and analysis the following research questions will be answered at the end of the research study so that it will become clear that the points raised in the above discussion are successfully discussed and the requirements of the research study are also met successfully. The research questions aimed at filling the literature gaps found in the above discussion are as followed

  • What is the performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria from 1985-2005 in terms of product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty?
  • What are the main problems and limitations faced by the manufacturing sector of country?
  • What are the factors that have played important role in undermining the manufacturing sector growth in Nigeria?
  • What are the main differences in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Design, Process and Innovations of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with India, China and Malaysia?
  • What are the main differences in the growth patterns, strategies and planning of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with India, China and Malaysia?
  • What are the main differences between the manufacturing sector operating environments between Nigeria and China, India and Malaysia?

Research Design

Introduction

This chapter describes the research methodology upon which the entire research study is based. There are different research approached that are commonly used by the social scientists for the attainment of their research purposes and it is important to select from these research methods the most appropriate and the most suitable research methods in accordance with the topic and objectives of the research.

Thus in this chapter the different research approaches, purposes and types of expected outcomes are discussed and then the research study is judges on the basis of this description to find out that what is the purpose of the research, what would be the best way to attain this purpose and what would be the nature of the expected outcome of the study. Moreover the chapter explicitly explains the entire process through which the entire research work is conducted including the selection of the sources of information, survey sampling, data gathering, and questionnaire construction and result calculation methods etc.

Research Questions

The research study is emphasized upon the analysis, review and examination of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector during the last twenty five years and there are five factors selected as the performance measures to conduct this examination. These performance measures are “Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Design, Process, Innovations, and Environmental Uncertainty”.

Furthermore the dissertation also presents the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance with the manufacturing sectors of Malaysia, India and China with the intention of finding some ways for the improved performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. Thus it is found that the research study is going to cover a wide topic and for the attainment of the research objectives in systematic and managed manner it is necessary to organize the research objectives in terms of different research questions so that the findings of the study could be evaluated on the basis of providing the answers of the main research questions. Thus the research study is aimed at finding the answers of the following research questions:

  • What is the performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria from 1985-2005 in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Design, Process and Innovations in a very Uncertain Environmental?
  • What are the main problems and limitations faced by the manufacturing sector of country?
  • What are the main differences in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Design, Process and Innovations of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with India, China and Malaysia?
  • What are the main differences in the growth patterns, strategies and planning of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with India, China and Malaysia?
  • What are the main differences between the manufacturing sector operating environments between Nigeria and China, India and Malaysia?
  • What strategies and planning can improve the performance and productivity of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria?

Research Approach

The research approach employed for conducting the research study is the “mixed methodological approach” and the dissertation strives to attain its objectives through the secondary analysis of data and statistical survey. These two research approaches are chosen keeping in view the significance and relevance of these research methods for the study. The review of the literature is conducted with the intention of having deep insight over the entire issue.

Moreover two of the main research questions are also attained through the review of the literature. The research study seeks the answers of the research questions mentioned in the last section, among them an important one to review the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last 25 years. The review of the literature has allowed to attain this objective as there is review of different researched conducted that are focused on the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector during the last few decades.

Moreover the research also attempts to review the performance of Indian, Malaysian and Chinese manufacturing sector for comparing it with the Nigerian manufacturing sector and this analysis and review is also done with the help of the review of the literature. Thus the qualitative research method i.e. secondary analysis of data is approached to find the answers of the research questions. Moreover the study will also compare the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the performance of the manufacturing sectors of china, India and Malaysia.

The comparative analysis is also one of the significant and commonly employed research approaches. Akinlo and E. A. (1996) observed that in order to find some better ways for the improvement in the economic performance of a country, it would be a better approach to compare the performance and economic conditions of that country with some developing nation so that the implacable strategies and policies of the developing countries can be identified and implemented for gaining economic stability. In this way the growth patterns of one country can help in determining the future path for the developments of other country.

Thus this approach is also employed in this research and the performance of the manufacturing sector of India, China and Malaysia with Nigeria will help in designing the strategies for the Nigerian manufacturing sector that can take Nigeria towards the path of economic stability through manufacturing sector performance. Along with that the statistical survey among 200 manufacturing forms of Nigeria involved in the manufacturing of different consumer products is also conducted to gather quantitative information about the topic of the dissertation.

The views of the CEO and operations department personnel will help in pointing out the main obstacles in the development of the sector and to collect the options for betterment in the views. This research approach is found significant for the research study because it allows collecting the practical evidences from the business world regarding the present and part performance of the Nigerian manufacturing firms and these primary research findings will support the findings of the secondary research.

Research Methodology

There are three important issues that must be clearly understood while formulating the research design and methodology. First of all the researchers have to decide what would be the purpose of the research, what would be the process of conducting the entire research and finally what would be the outcome of the research. Therefore before describing the research design, these three issues are discussed in details to decide the “Purpose, Process and Outcome” of this research.

Purpose of the Research

While deciding the purpose of the research the research types must be understood very clearly so that it could be explained that which of the research type will mostly suit the research purpose. There are basically four types of research purposes including “exploratory, descriptive, analytical and predictive” (Aaker and Days, 1990). In order to understand that this research study will strive to fulfill which of these research purposes, these four research types are explained as under.

The “Exploratory research” is one of the important methods of conducting the research study. The social scientists always give proper attention to this research type in order to find out the answer of their research question. It is explained by the social scientists that the exploratory type of research is a significant research type that stands for the investigator just to look around regarding the needed phenomenon, for developing suggestive ideas.

This research type is beneficial for conducting research study because the main objective of this research type is to collect maximum information related to a specific problem. This type of research type is selected for uncommon problems or when the available information is not much reliable and absolute. This technique is most suitable for conducting interviews (Aaker and Days, 1990). This type of research is also chosen where there are no or very few researched done in the same direction for reference. In this research the social scientist generally look for the ideas and patterns to gain insight and deep familiarity with the subject matter.

If we analyze the current research study in the light of the exploratory research then it is found that out research is also exploratory in nature as it will explore various issues that are not unfolded yet in the previous researches. As identified in the literature review, there are some gaps found in the literature available around this topic and this research study strived to fill those gaps by exploring the issues that are undiscovered yet.

The second type of research is the “Descriptive Research”. It is another important type of conducting the research studies that is frequently employed by the social scientists for conducting research studies on variety of topics. The purpose of this type of research is to provide a description of different phenomenon related to different individuals, events and situations. The main objective is to build up empirical generalizations.

It is commonly used for searching secondary data for the solution of different problem statements. Thus it can be noticed here that this research type mostly deal with the qualitative issues and there is involvement of data and literature in conducting this type of research study. The descriptive research also involved the data collection through the quantitative methods like statistical techniques that are employed for summarizing the gathered information. While looking at the research study, it is realized that the current study is not entirely descriptive in nature as it is mostly aimed at examining, analyzing and exploring the issues rather just describing them.

The third type of research is the “Explanatory Research” that possesses great importance in the context of the social scientific researchers because the main purpose of the explanatory researches is to build up precise theory that is utilized to describe the empirical generalizations. Mostly this type of research is based on the empirical studies and tested hypotheses that are formulated by the researchers in order to find out the solution to their problem statement. This type of study is effective to focus cause and affect relationship.

The explanatory research is also called the analytical research in which the researcher generally goes for the description of the characteristic and the analysis and explanation of the entire situation to find out the reasons behind the happening of any incident. This type of research strives to understand and explain the phenomena through the discovery and measurement of the casual relationship between different factors.

It is clear that our research study is also an explanatory research as it is aimed at explaining different issues and topics in details in order to conduct the analysis and examination of the situation. Moreover the research also attempts to find out the main reasons behind the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector thus the explanation of these issues will further confirm the research study as an explanatory research.

The fourth type of research is the “predictive research” in which the social scientists generally go further for making certain statements and comments by forecasting the likelihood of a similar situation occurring elsewhere. In this type of research, the social scientist mostly give the answers of the questions like how why and where and these questions are related with the future of the subject matter of the research and the research will provide the possibilities in the light of the findings that what will happen in case of any occurrence in future.

Although this research study will also give some suggestions for the future of the Nigerian manufacturing sector but it is not based on making predictions for the issues and the research is not going to be a predictive research. In the light of the above explanation and description of the research purposes it is found that this research study is meant to be a combination of “explanatory and exploratory research” because it will strive to explore the issues related with the topic with the help of the existing research works as well as statistical methods and at the same time the research report will also go for the detailed explanation of the issues linked with the topic of the dissertation.

Thus the purpose of the research become clear in the light of the above description and it is clear now that the research study is aimed at the explanation and exploring of the subject of the dissertation with the help of different sources of data collection and research methods.

Process of the Research

After clarifying the purpose of the research the next step is to find out that which research process will best suit the purpose of the research. As discussed above the explanatory and exploratory research studies can be conducted by employing both the research approaches including qualitative and quantitative research. Thus for conducting this research study also the mixed methodology is employed and both the qualitative and quantitative researches are conducted to attain the objectives of the study.

The mixed methodology is chosen because it is significance method for conducting different types of research studies as Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004) explained that “mixed-method kind of research draws upon the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative analysis, which enables the researcher to draw upon several methodologies in measuring the variables of the study.” In this way the research study will be consist of both the qualitative and quantitative research. Both of these research approaches are explained as under to explain their significance and importance for the research work.

Qualitative research “is a field of inquiry that crosscuts disciplines and subject matters” (Becker and Howard, 1996). The qualitative researchers are most of the times aimed at having deep understanding of different issues, human behaviors and the reasons and factors governing the human behaviors. In other words the qualitative research strived to fund the answers of why and how rather then just where when and what. It is among the older research forms of researches that lost popularity for some times after the evaluation of quantitative research methods during the time periods of 1950s and 1960s (Adler and Adler, 1987) however by the end of 1970s the social scientists again recognize its importance and started conducting researches in different disciplines using this research method.

The qualitative research is also meant to be explanatory most of the time rather then just conclusive (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000). While conducting a qualitative research it is common to use different theories, models and hypothesis. Qualitative research is also regarded by the experts as an instrument that can be used for the development of in depth understanding of any phenomenon that can become the base for the quantitative research later on. (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000)

The significance of the qualitative research methodology justifies its selection for conducting the research studies and in the nest step it is required to decide that which one of the qualitative research methods will be suitable for the study. As identified by Berg (1989), there are many ways of conducting a qualitative research including “case study, literature review, natural experiment, participant observation, interviews based, and secondary analysis of data or combination of these.” Each of these strategies has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the following conditions:

  • Type of research questions;
  • The investigator’s control over the actual behavioral events;
  • Degree of focus on contemporary events

The researcher can selected from these methods according to the suitability with the research objectives. As the research study is aimed at analyzing and examining the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last 25 years, so it is very necessary to look at the literature conducted around this time period. Thus the research studies focused on the Nigerian manufacturing sector and its performance are reviewed to get deep understanding of the issues and it is found that it is found that the most appropriate method for conducting this research would be “secondary analysis of data” that is a significant method of conducting qualitative research.

This research method allows to conduct the review and analysis of the secondary data and to have a critical look at the existing researches and documents related with the topic. Thus the dissertation employs a qualitative research method i.e. “secondary analysis of data” and different secondary resources are accessed for conducting the analysis of the available secondary material related with the topic.

Along with the qualitative research, the dissertation also employs a quantitative research methodology. The quantitative research is the “systematic and scientific investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships. It is all about quantifying relationships between variables” (Berg, 1989). The quantitative research methods are most of the times aimed at developing and employing different mathematical models, theories and hypothesis that pertain to the natural phenomenon.

In the quantitative research methods, the measurement and calculation of the result possesses the central importance because through the measurement or calculation the fundamental relationship between different empirical and mathematical expressions is established. The quantitative research methods are very commonly used by the social scientists for many years and through the gathering of the quantitative data, the researchers seek for information that is measurable in numbers.

Usually the graphs, tables and statistics are used for the presentation of the results of these types of research methods and some computer software like Excel and SPSS are commonly used for the calculation of the survey results. The social scientists supporting the employment of the quantitative research methods in the social studies believe that through the use of different quantitative methods social researches become scientific in real terms however the some of the social scientists disagreed with the significance of the quantitative methods usage for the social studies. The quantitative research can also be done through different ways like Polls, statistical surveys etc.

However it is found that for this research study the statistical surveys will be most appropriate methods, thus along with the secondary analysis of data a statistical survey among 200 consumer products manufacturing firms operating in Nigeria is also conducted to find more information and data related with the topic. Statistical survey is also one of the important and preferred methods of conducting research studies.

In this way the significance and implications of both of the research approaches are studied and it is found that in accordance with the research objectives, both of these research methods i.e. qualitative and quantitative are appropriate for conducting this research study and thus a “mixed methodological research approach” is selected for the study and “secondary analysis of data” and “statistical survey” are conducted for completing the research study.

Outcome of the Study

The third important decision regarding the research design is to identify the nature of the expected outcome of the study. Shaughnessy et al (2006) explains that there could be three types of possible outcomes of a research study including “Applied, basic or pure and action”. When any of the research study is conducted with the intention of bringing out the solution of any of the specific problem then the results or outcome of the research is expected to be applicable because the outcome will be in form of some suggestions or decisions that can be used for resolving the issue (Shaughnessy et al, 2006).

For example of there is questions about improving the condition of any workplace, sector or community etc, then there could be an applied research conducted that will specifically focus on that same community, workplace or sector and will analyze the situation to identify the problem and find the solutions. While looking at the objectives and approach employed for this research study, it is found that this research study is also going to bean applied research as it is intended to bring out the solutions that can help in improving the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

The second type of outcome of the research study could be basic that is also called the basic or fundamental research. In this type of research the research strived to improve the understanding about any general issues while the emphasis of the research does not remains on the immediate applications of the study on any facet of the issue (Shaughnessy et al, 2006).

The outcome of the research is mostly academic in nature as it adds to the knowledge and literature related with the topic for a general good rather then proposing the solution for any problem. In this type of research study, the outcome might offer some discovery, invention or reflection. While analyzing our research study in accordance with the basic research, it is found that this research is not the basic research as it is not only aimed at contributing to the existing literature but it goes on further for indentifying and proposing the solution for the problem.

The third type of outcome of the study is action. In this type of research study, action is the outcome of the research as well as the part of the research. In this the social scientists attempts to interfere in the environment where the problem exists and work out to bring changes in the situation. However this is not a common type of research in the social science fields because the researchers often do not have the authority and access to interfere and make changes in the existing situations.

Likewise this research study is also not an action oriented research study because the expected outcome of the research will not be in form of practical actions but just in form of suggestions, analysis, review and recommendation. Hence the above discussion helps in deciding the outcome of the study and it is finally concluded that the expected outcome of this research study will be “applied” because the research study will offer some suggestions and recommendations that can help in improving the situation of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. (Shaughnessy et al, 2006)

Sources for Data Collection

The research employs different secondary sources for conducting the secondary analysis of data and in this regard different journals, research reports, magazines, books, electronic journals and web portals are accessed and information is gathered from these sources to conduct the analysis of the available secondary data. Moreover the primary sources are also utilized and the responses of representatives of 200 Nigerian manufacturing firms are collected with the help of structures questionnaire constructed for the statistical survey.

Secondary Analysis of Data – Significance and Relevance to the Research Objective

The social scientists use to conduct the studies on wide range of topics by employing secondary analysis of data as the research method because this method has proved its significance as one of the most useful qualitative research method. That’s why it has been employed in conducting different researches for many years and different social scientist have agreed upon the importance and significance of this research method.

This method is found relevant with the research study because the review of the researches focused on the Nigerian manufacturing sector allows the analysis and examination of the sector by going through the historical perspective of the sector’s performance. Miles and Huberman (1994) explain that the secondary analysis of data basically helps to “reanalyze the data that is already compiled by other researchers and organizations to meet the requirements of their own study or data base”. Hence in the light of the significance of secondary analysis of data as a qualitative research method, it is selected as the research methodology for the paper.

John Heaton (2000) also threw the light over the significance of the secondary analysis of data and explains that the secondary analysis of data is a significant research method that is used for the description of various analytical practices using the pre existing data. This could be done either for the investigation of the new research question or for the re examination of any of the primary study for the purpose of collaboration. He further explains that in order to conduct the secondary analysis of data there are the literature review conducted of the available material in order to describe and appraise the ways in which the social scientist have found the answers of the research questions. This review of the literature is also helpful in considering the future implications and development of the issues related with the topic of the research.

Statistical Survey – Significance and Relevance to the Research Objective

Statistical survey is selected as the quantitative research method for conducting the study. The research method is found relevant with the research topic and objective because it allows collecting the evidences from the manufacturing sector of Nigeria in form of opinions of the professionals working in the field. With the help of the statistical survey it become possible to evaluate and analyze the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in the view of the CEOs and operations managers working in the sector and involved in the manufacturing of different consumers goods.

Moreover the survey also allows collecting the professional’s opinions about the manufacturing sector performance specifically in terms of the five performance measures selected for the examination of the performance of Nigerian manufacturing sector. It was very necessary to collect the opinions regarding these issues specifically because the literature review has already show that there are few researches that have focused on the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Design, Process, Innovations, and Environmental Uncertainty and the research study is aimed at filling this gap found in the literature thus the survey helps in filling up this gap through the collection of information specifically about these issues.

The statistical survey appeared to be the most appropriate and suitable research method for the study and the social scientists has also confirmed the importance and significance of this research method for conducting quantitative research studies. Tanur (1982) explains that a statistical survey is an efficient way of collecting information from a large number of respondents, the gathered information can be used to study attitudes, concepts, values, beliefs, and behaviors.

Massey, O’Connor and Krotki (1997) explained that a survey is effective and efficient method of collecting data from large number of respondents that allows the data collection from very large samples. The data can be use to determine validity, reliability, and statistical significance. Surveys are also considered as flexible research methods because they are standardized and easy to administer. Abramson and Abramson (1999) clarified that the statistical survey possesses some advantages as well as disadvantages that can be experienced by the social scientist while conducting the research studies using the statistical survey as the research method.

According to the researchers, the statistical surveys are very efficient method of research that allows the researcher to collect information from a large number of respondents because the study over a very large sample is possible with the help of the statistical surveys. The information gathered from large sample can easily by used for the determination of validity, reliability, and statistical significance with the help of the statistical techniques that are commonly used for the calculation of the survey results. The surveys are considered significant because of being standardized and there are usually free from certain errors and easy to administer at different levels.

In the same way there is less time and money required to conduct the survey because the survey sampling prior to the survey allows to specifically contacting the people whom opinions are required and in this way the money of contacting and accessing many people is saved. Moreover the specific questions related with the topic and objective of the research allow gathering the information in less time as focused questions and their answers are asked, recorded, codified, and analyzed by the researchers with the help of the statistical surveys. Despite all of the above mentioned advantages there are some disadvantages also associated with the statistical surveys.

For example the respondents’ willingness, motivation, honesty, memory, and ability to respond matter a lot for the successful conduction of the statistical surveys. If the respondents are not interest in providing the answers to the questions due to time shortage or any other reason, or if they are not convinced to provide accurate information, then the survey results will also be affected. There is also a possibility that the people lie under the survey sample possess quite different opinions regarding the matter, then those who are not included in the survey sample due to unavailability or any other reason.

In this way the reliability and authenticity of the survey results is affected and people belonging to same group can be found in large number with different opinions then the survey results. Keeping in view the significance of surveys and the requirement of the research study, this research tools is selected and quantitative data is gathered by conducting a survey. Grooves (1989) further explain that the statistical survey is an important useful method to conduct a social scientific research because it allows the research to remain focused on any opinion or fact on the basic of the research objective.

Survey Sampling/ Criteria for selecting respondents and Data Gathering Method

Survey sampling is one of the most important issues and step that the social scientists have to conduct very carefully and systematically because the selection of the survey sample is considered very critical to the validity of the information that represents the populations that are being studied. The sampling of the survey determines the focus of the study on the particular level and group of people and should also assure that there is no biasness in the selection of the respondents. Ornstein (1988) explains that there are two main techniques for the selection of survey sample; these include the non probability sampling approach and the probability sampling approach.

The non probability sampling approach is also called the convenience sampling approach as it included the respondents in the survey on the basis of their willingness and availability regardless of their group affiliations. This method is very convenient for the researchers as they can go for gathering the information from anyone whom they can access but at the same time the level of the validity is also very low in this type of sampling because it does not assures the representation of different groups and level of people. Thus this sampling approach is not employed for this survey because for this research study it is necessary to have proper representation of the professionals working at key positions in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria.

The another approach for the survey sampling is the probability sampling approach that assures that each of the elements associated with the research will get equal representation in the survey and responses will be collected from the people that specifically belong to the group under study. It is regarded as a true representation of the population however the researchers often face problems due to unwillingness, non availability and inaccessibility of some of the respondents. According to this sampling approach, the researcher can either simple random sampling or stratified random sampling.

For this research study the stratified random sampling approach is used as the country is divided in to three zones and then samples are drawn from each zone on the basis of the ratio of the manufacturing companies operating in each zone. The following procedure is followed in selecting the survey sample for the research study. First of all the country was divided in to three zones: Lagos and West Nigeria, East Nigeria and North Nigeria. Then the list of the 200 manufacturing companies involved in the manufacturing of the consumer goods was drawn from the Yellow Pages Publications in Nigeria.

Only those companies were selected that are involved in the manufacturing of the fast moving consumer goods including the areas of foods, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, automotive parts that are consumed regularly like bicycle and motorcycles spokes and nipples, chemicals and petrochemicals industry. The list offers the names of 5000 companies and from then 200 were finally selected on the basis of the factors that there must be more then 50 employees working at the companies and it must be operating in the field for more then five years, means the selected companies must be established before 2002.

The companies falling under this criterion were selected for the survey and the final list of 200 firms was made. The introductory letters were sent to the CEO and the head of the manufacturing departments of these countries so that the respondents can be the persons having certain degree of authority to take the final decisions in their firm as these people will be in a better position to provide the answers of the questions included in the survey. In this way the survey sample was selected for the statistical survey and the research work entered in to the next phase i.e. the data gathering.

Grooves (1989) explain that there could be different methods of collecting the information from the survey sample. These methods of conducting surveys include “mail, electronic email, face to face, telephonic interviews, online surveys and personal in home surveys. The researcher can choose from these methods according to the sample and requirement of the research objective. Each of these methods causes different cost and time to the researcher and every method possesses different level of significance and response rate. For example sending the questionnaire is low cost method but requires more time, on the other hand accessing the respondents face to face takes more cost of transportation and human resource but it takes less time to collect the response and the rate of returns is also higher in this method.

The online survey are very low costing methods but for this it is necessary that all the respondents included in the survey must have access to the internet. Thus for this statistical survey the face to face administration method is chosen. When the statistical surveys are administered by the researchers then they are called “researcher administered survey” (Grooves, 1989). This statistical survey is also administered by the researcher after hiring 3 research assistants that administered the survey face to face. Some of the respondents were also accessed through email.

Ornstein (1998) revealed that the social scientists can also use several techniques and methods in order to increase the response rate of their survey questionnaires. For example they should try to keep the questionnaire short so that the respondents can be assure of spending less time in giving the answers. The long questionnaires often stop the respondents from giving answers as they have to allow more time for them.

However as per the requirement of the research and topic, it was not possible to keep the questionnaire of the research shorter because there are different issues that must be covered in the questionnaire in order to gather the opinions of the respondents about these issues in details. The researchers can also offer some financial incentives to the respondents by informing them that they will be paid in advance or after the completion for filling up the survey questionnaires.

However the respondents of this survey are mostly CEO and managers of the manufacturing companies that generally have little interest in these types of financial benefits due to their positions and professional engagements so no financial incentives offered to the respondents for filling up this questionnaire. Some other techniques of increasing the response rate of survey have been utilized in the survey for example the respondents were notified prior to the face to face meeting about the research objective and details so that they can be mentally prepare to answer the question and feel easy and less time consuming to fill the questionnaires.

The respondents were also convinced that the research study is aimed at brining improvement in the situation where these professionals are working so of they will positively contribute to the study and will make it successful and reliable then they will also be among the beneficiaries of the research because if the overall situation of the manufacturing sector will be improved at any level as a result of this research contribution, then all the people and organizations affiliated with the sector will be benefited from this improvement.

The introductory letter was also to the selected companies wither via email or personally handled to inform them about the research objectives ands details and then reminders were also sent to the respondents via telephone and emails. Moreover the respondents’ were also assured about the confidentiality of the information they provided in the survey questionnaire and the details of the respondents is not mentioned in the research reports as per the agreement of anatomy.

In this way attempts were made to increase the response rate of the survey questionnaires. The deadline of completing the data gathering was decided 3 month and within this time period there were 132 responses collected from the respondents. Out of 132 questionnaires 5 were rejected because the information provided in these questionnaires was either not completely filled by the respondents or the information provided in the returned questionnaires was unclear. Finally there were 127 filled questionnaire accepted for the survey result compiling and further calculation and analysis.

Almost half of the manufacturing companies of Nigeria are located in Lagos and west area so there were more then half of the selected manufacturing companies were in this region. The response rate was also high from this region and there were total 81 manufacturing companies of Lagos and West Area that took part in the survey and returned the filled questionnaire within the given time. Along with that 26 and 33 manufacturing companies operating in the North and East areas respectively retuned the filled questionnaire within the agreed deadline.

The responding firms are involved in the manufacturing of different consumer goods and out of 127 responding manufacturing companies, 32 firms operate in the food industry, 28 in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industry, 13 firms in the automotive industry – mainly bicycles and motorcycles, 9 firms in the chemicals and petrochemicals sector, 12 firms in the agricultural products ( farm implements, seeds processing, fertilizer blending, 28 firms in the manufacturing of plates, containers etc and the 5 operate in manufacturing of different other consumer goods. The CEO and operations officers of the responding firms were mostly requested to take part in the survey and finally there were total 27 CEOs of the manufacturing firms that take part in the survey.

Moreover there were 8 Chief operating officers, 76 Head of Operations department and 16 managers and communication officers filled the questionnaires on the behalf of their companies. In this manner the data is gathered from 127 firms and then placed in the statistical software including SPSS and Excel for calculation and further analysis.

Questionnaire Construction Using Likert Scale

The questionnaire for the survey is constructed by using the Likert scale as well as the traditional open ended questions. Some of the questions (in Section VIII) are kept open ended in order to obtain detailed answers related with the topic whereas most of the questions are constructed using the Likert scale that a bipolar scaling method used to measure either positive or negative responses to a statement (Likert, 1932).

It is a common system that is used in surveys. The Likert scale is also called the psychometric response scale and it has given the name of the Likert Scale after the name of its founder Rensis Likert who described in details the method of using this scale and calculating the responses through the use of this survey tool (Meyers et al, 2005). According to the Likert Scale Principle the set of attitude statements are presented in front of the respondents and the respondents are required to express the level fop their agreement and disagreement using the five point scale. Each of the degree of agreement is donated by a numerical value that ranges from 1 to 5.

Some of the experts also emphasis on the use of 7 scale and 9 scale to study the differences in opinions more deeply but the most preferred method is the usage of the five point system in the questionnaires. After getting all the responses, the total numerical values from all the responses are calculated for each statement. For this statistical survey also the questionnaire is constructed using the Likert scale and by following the Likert Scale the respondents are asked to indicate their degree of agreement with the statement or any kind of subjective or objective evaluation of the statement (Meyers et al, 2005).

The traditional five-point scale is used the respondents were asked to express their opinions about the given statement by picking the answer from the given 5 options: “Strongly disagree, Disagree, neither agree nor disagree, Agree and strongly agree”. These points were also rated from 1-5 where:

  1. = Very High
  2. = High
  3. = Medium
  4. = Low
  5. = Very Low

After getting all the filled questionnaires, the scores for each of the questions is collected individually and then the responses are also summed according to the group of the items. For example in the survey there are five performance measures selected for the evaluation of the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance and along with that the comparative analysis with some of the developing countries is also done with the help of putting the relevant answers in different sections. Thus the answers for each of the questions are collected separately and then they are summed in group to find the collective response for each of the group of the questions.

For this use, the Likert scale is often termed as the “Summative Scale” (Likert, 1932). Thus the questionnaire is mainly constructed using the Likert scale except one section that comprises of open and close ended questions to get detailed opinions of the respondents regarding the subject matter. The first section asked the respondents to provide information about their companies and designation however this information is kept confidential and not disclosed in the research report.

The next five sections of the questionnaire are focused on gathering the opinion of the respondents regarding the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with respect to five performance measures selected for the study. The sixth section of the questionnaire consists of the questions that are aimed at gathering the opinions of the respondents related with the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with India, Malaysian and Chinese manufacturing sector. The eights and the last section of the questions consists of open as well as close ended questions aimed at gathering the views about the overall performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector, the core problems and issues and the recommendations and suggestions of the respondents that can work for the improvement of the entire situation.

The Questionnaire for Survey

Section I – Information about Respondent and Company

Contact Name and Designation
Company Name
Address:
Phone Number:
City:
State:
E-mail:
Fax:
Web Address of Company:

Section II – Opinions about Product Design

(1= Very High, 2= High, 3= Medium, 4= Low, 5= Very low)

Statement Rating
  1. How you evaluate the skills and technical capabilities of Nigerian labor in the perspective of maintaining high level of product design quality of the products produced in the Nigerian manufacturing sector?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. What is the level of Nigerian companies’ concentrating on the product designing? Is it enough to improve the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in terms of high productivity and revenues?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How do you evaluate the products deigned by the Nigerian consumer goods manufacturing companies at international level
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. The consumer sectors’ product designers of Nigeria have the potential to generate unique and competitive ideas and concepts for the product design?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. What is the trend among the manufacturing companies to do adequate research to determine the demands and expectations of the consumers before they went for product design process
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How do you see the present product designs of Nigerian consumer products in assisting the country to compete at domestic and global level?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. The present product design of consumer goods in Nigeria successfully meets the expectations and demands of the Nigerian consumers?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Section III – Information about Innovation in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

(1= Very High, 2= High, 3= Medium, 4= Low, 5= Very low)

Statement Rating
  1. How do you see the present level of technology usage in the product designing of Nigerian sector?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Up to what extent the manufacturing companies of Nigeria offer different consumer products with innovative features?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Are there differences in the present Nigerian consumer products’ manufacturing designing and features as compared with the past?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Is the present level of advanced technology usage in the product designing of Nigerian manufacturing sector is satisfying?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. What is the standard of Nigerian Manufacturing Sector in offering innovative consumer products in the context of globalization and high competition?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. What is the level of awareness among the Nigerian Manufacturing companies regarding adopting innovative designing and techniques for product manufacturing?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Do the manufacturing firms give strategic and critical importance to innovations product design?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Section IV – Information about Manufacturing Strategy in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

(1= Very High, 2= High, 3= Medium, 4= Low, 5= Very low)

Statement Rating
  1. Are the Nigerian manufacturing companies following an up to date strategy for the manufacturing of different consumer products?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Is the manufacturing process adopted by the Nigerian manufacturing companies is acceptable at international standards?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Do you feel that the Nigerian manufacturing firms are successfully capturing the attention and loyalty of the consumer through adoption of effective manufacturing strategy?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much the weak infrastructure of the operating environment of the country hinders the development and implementation of effective manufacturing strategy in the country?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Are there some major flaws in the manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian Manufacturing companies?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Is there need that the Nigerian firms should follow the patterns of other developing countries’ firms to develop effective and productive manufacturing strategy?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. What is the need of major reforms in the manufacturing strategies adopted by the Nigerian Manufacturing companies?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Section V – Information about Manufacturing Process followed in Nigerian manufacturing sector

(1= Very High, 2= High, 3= Medium, 4= Low, 5= Very low)

Statement Rating
  1. Do you think that the SAP induced high cost of imported manufacturing machinery and raw material hinders the growth and high productivity of Nigerian Manufacturing sector?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Is there need of training and skill development programs for the workers of the Nigerian manufacturing companies to enable them following a high level manufacturing process?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Up to what level the Nigerian Manufacturing companies are adopting new machinery and methodology within their manufacturing processes?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. Is the Nigerian Manufacturing sector well equipped with the skills needed to conduct international level manufacturing process?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. In there need of restructuring the manufacturing process of Nigerian firms and focusing of remanufacturing the products?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much the technical know how and machinery availably can affects the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much the Nigerian manufacturing firms should focus on the issues of chain, lean and agile manufacturing,
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Section VI – Information about Environmental Uncertainty in Nigerian manufacturing sector

(1= Very High, 2= High, 3= Medium, 4= Low, 5= Very low)

Statement Rating
  1. Is the current business environment and market structure of Nigeria is satisfying and supportive for the manufacturing activities?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. In the environmental uncertainty in Nigeria has reached the level where the manufacturing activities are also affecting?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. The non availability or difficulties in getting finance and credits hinders the growth and high quality performance of Nigerian Manufacturing sector?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much the socio-political environment of the country supports the manufacturing activities?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much improvement could be made by the efforts of the government by assuring a stable and suitable environment for the manufacturing activities?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much influence do the foreign products have over the operations of the Nigerian manufacturing firms?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much the Nigerian manufacturing firms are open towards adopting rapid environmental and technological advancements?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Section VII: Comparative Analysis with Indian, Malaysian and Chinese Manufacturing Sectors

(1= Very High, 2= High, 3= Medium, 4= Low, 5= Very low)

Statement Rating
  1. How do you evaluate the performance of the Nigerian Manufacturing sector at international level in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much difference in there in the performance of Nigerian Manufacturing sector as compared with Indian Manufacturing sector performance in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much difference in there in the performance of Nigerian Manufacturing sector as compared with Malaysian Manufacturing sector performance in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much difference in there in the performance of Nigerian Manufacturing sector as compared with Chinese Manufacturing sector performance in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much the social and economic stability of India, China and Malaysia makes the difference in the performance of manufacturing sectors of these countries as compare with Nigeria?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much the relatively better performance of the manufacturing sectors of these countries contributes to the difference in economic growth patterns of these countries as compared with Nigeria?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  1. How much Nigerian manufacturing sector can improve by following the policies and strategies of manufacturing sectors of these developing countries?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Section VIII: About Overall Situation of Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

  1. Which factor do you think plays the most important role in impeding effective Product design, adequate manufacturing process, manufacturing strategy and innovation within the Nigerian Manufacturing sector?
  1. What are the major environmental challenges currently faced by the Nigerian manufacturing companies?
  2. What are the key issues in front of the manufacturing firms of Nigeria in maintaining high performance level at domestic and international level?
  3. What are the main influential factors that hinder the high quality performance and growth of the Nigerian manufacturing sector?
  4. Do you think the present situation has become more challenging and demanding for the Nigerian manufacturing firms as compared with past?
  5. Do you think that as compared with last 5-10 years, the Nigerian manufacturing sector will face more challenges and demanding situation in coming 3-5 years?
  6. What are your recommendations and Suggestions that the Nigerian Manufacturing sector has to emphasis upon which issues to bring improvement in the overall position of the Nigerian manufacturing sector?
  7. Which of the following attribute is weakest in the Nigerian Manufacturing sector in comparison with the Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors?
  • Product Design
  • Innovation
  • Manufacturing Strategy
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Environmental Uncertainty

Basis for Data Analysis/Method for results calculation

After the survey sampling, selecting the method for data collection and gathering of the responses the next important step to decide the method for the calculation of the survey results and to decide that on what base the results of the survey would be analyzed and interpreted. As decided earlier all of the results and responses related with the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector will be analyzed on the basis of five performance measures that are selected for conducting the analysis and examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance.

The data gathered from the questionnaires will be placed in the statistical software that is designed especially for the calculation of the survey results and for creating charts and diagrams like SPSS and Excel. The data gathered from the questionnaire will be analyzed on the basis of the score obtained by each of the statement as the score show the level of agreement of the respondents with that particular statement.

There are six sections of the questionnaire that are constructed using the Likert scale so these six sections will be calculated first separately as well as collectively to find out the overall response of the respondents about the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance. All of the statements of the questionnaire are made in positive sense and the higher the responses collected for the numeric value one, shows the higher agreement of the respondents with the statements.

The results for the last section will be calculated individually because among them some of the questions are close ended and some are open ended. After calculating all the responses for each of the section, the sum of all the responses will be used for making the charts and diagrams to give a clear understanding of the survey results and to allow the reader to have quick look at the survey results. The answers gathered for each section will be compared with each other to find out that the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance is weakest with respect to which of the performance measure among the five selected performance measures and which of the factor is considered strongest by the professionals in the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

Moreover the results of the section containing the comparative analysis of the Chinese, Malaysian and Indian manufacturing sector will be calculated and compare to find out that in the opinion of the respondents which of these three countries is performing better then Nigeria with respect to the five selected performance measures.

Summary

The chapter discussed all the points related with the research methodology employed for conducting the study. In the chapter all the decisions regarding the research method are taken. The chapter describes different purposes of conducting the research studies and it is found that this research is going to be an exploratory and explanatory research as the research strives to find out the solution of a problem and at the same time it will also describe and explain several issues in details.

Moreover it is also explained that the mixed methodology is selected for the research and “secondary analysis of data and statistical survey” are selected as the most appropriate research methods for the study are selected keeping in view the objectives of the research and the relevance of these methods with the research objectives. In the same way it also become clear that the research study will come up with applied results or outcome because the research will propose some suggestions and recommendations for the improvement of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector rather then just describing and explaining the issues.

The survey sampling, methods for data gathering and questionnaire construction using the Likert scale is also explained in this chapter and finally all the details regarding the steps and procedures involved in conducting the research right from the beginning till the end are explicitly described in this chapter.

Research Findings

Introduction

This chapter contains the detailed description of the research findings. There are two types of researches employed for the study including the secondary analysis of data and the statistical survey. Both of these approaches are aimed at exploring and explaining different issues and aspects associated with the topic of the dissertation. Following are the key findings derived from both the types of research methods.

The secondary research was the secondary analysis of data that was conducted by accessing and reviewing the secondary literature conducted around the topic. The secondary research was divided in to two parts. In the first part of the literature review the information about the manufacturing industry, its beginning and importance for the economic growth is studied.

Moreover the five measures of the manufacturing sector performance (Product Design, Innovation, Manufacturing Strategy, Process and Environmental Uncertainty) are studied to understand their contribution and importance for the manufacturing industry and to explain the reasons behind the selection of these five features as the measures of evaluation the performance of the manufacturing sectors. In the second part of the literature review the dissertation specifically focuses on the performance and history of Nigerian economy and the manufacturing sector. Moreover the manufacturing sectors of Malaysia, India and China are also discussed in details to prepare the background for the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the manufacturing sectors of these developing countries.

The primary research i.e. the statistical survey is conducted with the help of structured questionnaire that was divided in to different sections to attain comprehensive information about each and every aspect of the issue in details. This chapter will present the results of the statistical survey separately for each question and then collectively for every section. The charts are used to further clarify the results allowing the reader to view the results of the survey at a glance.

Key Findings from the Primary Research – Result Calculation (charts/ figures)

The primary research conducted for the study is the statistical survey for which the sample of 200 companies involved in the manufacturing of different consumer goods in Nigeria was selected and the questionnaire was send to these companies using different methods like email and face to face administration. After the decided deadline of 3 month total 132 responses were collected and out of them 5 were rejects and 127 were finally accepted for the results calculation.

The following results of the survey are consisting of the responses collected and calculated from the 127 questionnaires received after filling the answers. As the questionnaire was divided in to different sections to individually focus on each and every aspect of the issues, the results of the survey are also calculated separately for each question and section. These results are presented according to the sections of the questionnaires. Six sections of the questionnaire (excluding the section I and VIII) are constructed using the Likert scale and the respondents were requested to select the numerical value for each and every given statement to show their degree of agreement with that statement.

The respondents were asked to express their views about the matter in given statements as

  1. = Very High,
  2. = High,
  3. = Medium,
  4. = Low,
  5. = Very low.

The responses received for each of the value are calculated and then presented in the results according to the meaning of that numerical value to show the level of agreement of the respondents. For example if there are 34 responses received for the value 1 then it is stated in the results that 34 percent of the respondents are graded the expression in the given statement as Very High and so on. The last section consists of both open and close ended questions and the results are separately calculated for each of these questions.

Section I – Information about Respondent and Company

In the first section of the questionnaire the respondents were asked to fill up the fields in order to provide the information about their company, designation and contact information. Before conducting the survey the respondents were assured of the confidentiality and secrecy of their professional details and information provided in the questionnaire thus the details gathered from the first section are not disclosed in the research report as per the agreement of anatomy done with the respondents.

Though the details of the respondents are not disclosed in the research report however it is obvious that all of the respondents participated in the survey are working at responsible and key positions at different manufacturing companies operating in Nigeria that are involved in the manufacturing of different consumer products like food items, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, plates, containers, chemicals and petrochemicals sector etc.

The CEOs, heads of the operations and manufacturing department and the communication officers of these companies participated in the survey and most of these manufacturing firms are located in Lagos whereas some are selected from the East and West areas. As most of the manufacturing firms of Nigeria are located in Logos that’s why most of the firms participated in the survey are also located in Logos.

Section II – Opinions about Product Design

There are total seven questions included in the second section of the questionnaire and the respondents were asked in this section to express their views about the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance according to the product designing. These seven questions came up with the following results.

The first question was asked from the respondents in the second section that how do they evaluate the skills and technical capabilities of Nigerian labor in the perspective of maintaining high level of product design quality of the products produced in the Nigerian manufacturing sector? While answering this question 18 (14%) of the respondents replied Very High, 28 (22%) said high, 52 (41%) said Medium, 25 (20%) said Low and 4 (3%) said Very Low. Thus the results of the survey revealed that many of the professionals working in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria regard the skills and technical capabilities of Nigerian workers at medium level.

The second question was asked from the respondents that in their view what is the level of Nigerian companies’ concentrating on the product designing and it that level enough to improve the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in terms of high productivity and revenues. There were 4 (3%) of the respondents that replied Very High; 56 (45%) said high, 50 (40%) said Medium, 14(11%) said Low and 1 (1%) said Very Low. Thus it is found that the respondents of the survey agree that the Nigerian firms are focusing high on the product designs.

In this third question of the first section, the respondents were asked that how do they evaluate the products deigned by the Nigerian consumer goods manufacturing companies at international level. In reply to this question 3(2%) of the respondents said Very High, 7 (6%) said high, 33 (26%) said Medium, 60 (47%) said Low and 24 (19%) said Very Low. Thus it is clear from these results that most of the respondents have the opinion that at international level the product designing of the consumer goods manufacturing sector in Nigeria is at very low level.

The fourth question was asked that if the consumer sectors’ product designers of Nigeria have the potential to generate unique and competitive ideas and concepts for the product design. In reply to this question 6 (5%) of the respondents said Very High, 9 (7%) said high, 56 (44%) said Medium, 52 (41%) said Low and 4 (3%) said Very Low. It is discovered from these results that the respondents of the survey see very low level of potential in the product designers of Nigeria to manufacture products with unique and competitive designs.

The fifth question was asked from the respondents about the trend among the manufacturing companies to do adequate research to determine the demands and expectations of the consumers before they went for product design process. While replying this question, there were 6 (5%) of the respondents who said Very High, 28 (25%) said high, 47 (37%) said Medium, 44 (35%) said Low and 2 (1%) said Very Low. These results show that most of the respondents of the survey believe that the research work trend level is very low among the manufacturing companies of Nigeria.

The sixth question was asked from the respondents that how do they see the present product designs of Nigerian consumer products in assisting the country to compete at domestic and global level. While answering this question there were 5 (4%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 9 (7%) said high, 30 (24%) said Medium, 51(40%) said Low and 32 (25%) said Very Low. The results show the in the view of the survey respondents the present level of product design is very low to assist the country in competing other companies at domestic and international level.

The seventh and the last question of the second section of the questionnaire was asked from the respondents that does the present product design of consumer goods in Nigeria successfully meet the expectations and demands of the Nigerian consumers. In reply to this question 8 (6%) of the respondents said Very high, 1 (1%) said high, 28 (22%) said Medium, 63 (50%) said Low and 27 (21%) said Very Low. It is revealed from these results that the present product designs of the products manufactured in the Nigerian manufacturing sector are of very low level to meet the demands and expectations of the consumers.

All the seven questions of this section were calculated separately as well as combined for getting the overall opinion of the respondents about the product designing in the Nigerian manufacturing sector and according to the combined calculation 50 (6%) of the respondents rated the Product design of the Nigerian manufacturing Very High. According to the opinion of 138 (15%) respondents the level of product design is high, 296 (33%) regarded it Medium, 309 (35%) low and 94 (11%) very low.

The collective results of the section also show the similar results like the questions and it is found from the questions asked from different aspects that the present level of product designs in the consumer goods manufacturing is not satisfying for the professionals working in the same field and they believe that the product designing of the Nigerian consumer goods manufacturing sector is lying at very low level due to which it can not assist the country to e competitive at domestic and international level. Moreover the lack of research and development work trend among the manufacturing companies of Nigeria is also identified in the results of this section of the questionnaire.

The results of the seven questions of the second section and the combined results of the second section questions can be seen in chart form as below.

Section III – Information about Innovation in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

The third section of the questionnaire consists of seven question and these questions are related to the innovation in the manufacturing of the consumer goods in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. Following are the results obtained from the section III of the questionnaire.

In the third section of the questionnaire, the first question was asked from the respondents that how do they see the present level of technology usage in the product designing of Nigerian sector. In reply to this question 6 (5%) of the respondents said Very high, 18 (14%) said high, 61 (48%) said Medium, 42 (33%) said Low and 0 (0%) said Very Low. It is found from the results of the question that the respondents of the survey believe that the technology usage level in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria has reached to a level that can be regarded medium for the product designing of the consumer goods.

The second question was asked from the respondents that up to what extent the manufacturing companies of Nigeria offer different consumer products with innovative features. There were 10 (8%) of the respondents that replied Very High; 17 (14%) said high, 66 (52%) said Medium, 29 (23%) said Low and 4 (3%) said Very Low. The answers of the this question also make it clear that most of the respondents of the survey see innovation in the product designing of the Nigeria manufactured consumer goods at medium level.

In the third question of the third section, the respondents were asked if there are differences in the present Nigerian consumer products’ manufacturing designing and features as compared with the past. In reply to this question 12 (9%) of the respondents said Very High, 72 (57%) said high, 39 (31%) said Medium, 3 (2%) said Low and 1 (1%) said Very Low. It is found from the results of this question that the difference between the present designing of the products in the Nigerian manufacturing sector is very high as compared with the consumer products’ manufacturing designing and features of past.

The fourth question was asked from the respondents if in their view the present level of advanced technology usage in the product designing of Nigerian manufacturing sector is satisfying. In reply to this question 0 (0%) of the respondents said Very high, 2 (1%) said high, 24 (19%) said Medium, 67 (53%) said Low and 34 (27%) said Very Low. It is found that most of the respondents of the survey believe that the present technology usage in the product designing is at low level.

The fifth question was asked from the respondents about the standard of Nigerian Manufacturing Sector in offering innovative consumer products in the context of globalization and high competition. While replying this question, there were 5 (4%) of the respondents who said Very High, 4 (3%) said high, 19 (15%) said Medium, 44 (35%) said Low and 53 (43%) said Very Low. Thus it is found that there is low standard of the Nigerian manufacturing companies in offering innovative consumer products in highly competitive environment.

The sixth question was asked from the respondents about the level of awareness among the Nigerian Manufacturing companies regarding adopting innovative designing and techniques for product manufacturing. While answering this question there were 49 (38%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 44 (35%) said high, 34 (27%) said Medium, 0 (0%) said Low and 0 (0%) said Very Low. It is found that the level of awareness is very high among the manufacturing companies of Nigeria regarding the adoptability of innovative designing and techniques for product manufacturing

The seventh and the last question of the third section of the questionnaire was asked from the respondents that how much the manufacturing firms of Nigeria give strategic and critical importance to innovations product design. In reply to this question 3 (2%) of the respondents said Very high, 6 (5%) said high, 66 (52%) said Medium, 33 (26%) said Low and 19 (15%) said Very Low. It is found that many of the survey respondents see that the manufacturing companies of Nigeria give very high level importance to the innovation in the product designing.

All the seven questions of this section were calculated separately as well as combined for getting the overall opinion of the respondents about the innovation in the Nigerian manufacturing sector and according to the combined calculation 85 (10%) of the respondents rated the Innovation within the Nigerian manufacturing sector Very High. According to the opinion of 163 (18%) respondents the level of innovation is high, 309 (35%) regarded it Medium, 218 (25%) low and 111 (12%) very low. Thus it is revealed from the collective results of this section that the respondents of the survey rated the innovation within the manufacturing sector of Nigeria at medium level.

The results of all the seven questions of the third section as well as the over all results of the third section can be seen in chart form as below.

Section IV – Information about Manufacturing Strategy in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

The fourth section of the questionnaire consists of seven question and these questions are related to the manufacturing strategy adopted by the companies operating in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. Following are the results obtained from the section IV of the questionnaire.

In the fourth section of the questionnaire, the first question was asked from the respondents if the Nigerian manufacturing companies following an up to date strategy for the manufacturing of different consumer products. In reply to this question 3 (2%) of the respondents said Very high, 10 (8%) said high, 29 (23%) said Medium, 71 (56%) said Low and 14 (11%) said Very Low. It is revealed from the results of this question that most of the professionals operating in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria believe that the manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian manufacturing companies is at medium level

The second question was asked from the respondents if the manufacturing process adopted by the Nigerian manufacturing companies is acceptable at international standards. There were 0 (0%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 1 (1%) said high, 2 (1%) said Medium, 63 (50%) said Low and 61 (48%) said Very Low. Thus it is found that the respondents of the survey strongly believe that the manufacturing process adopted by the manufacturing companies of Nigeria is very low according to the international standards.

In this third question of the third section, the respondents were asked that if they feel that the Nigerian manufacturing firms are successfully capturing the attention and loyalty of the consumer through adoption of effective manufacturing strategy. In reply to this question 1 (1%) of the respondents said Very high, 1 (1%) said high, 9 (7%) said Medium, 58 (45%) said Low and 58 (46%) said Very Low. The results of this question make it clear that the professional participated in the survey believe that the manufacturing companies of Nigeria are progressing at very low level in the context of capturing the attention of the consumers and retaining their loyalty.

The fourth question was asked that how much the weak infrastructure of the operating environment of the country hinders the development and implementation of effective manufacturing strategy in the country. In reply to this question 79 (63%) of the respondents said Very high, 34 (27%) said high, 13 (10%) said Medium, 0 (0%) said Low and 0 (0%) said Very Low. Thus it is clarified from the results of this section that the manufacturing sector is highly affected by the weak infrastructure of the country according to the opinions of the respondents of the survey.

The fifth question was asked from the respondents if there are some major flaws in the manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian Manufacturing companies. While replying this question, there were 66 (52%) of the respondents who said Very High, 49 (39%) said high, 6 (5%) said Medium, 4 (3%) said Low and 2 (1%) said Very Low. It is found that there are very high level of flaws observed in the manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian manufacturing firms by the professionals participated in the survey.

The sixth question was asked from the respondents if there is need that the Nigerian firms should follow the patterns of other developing countries’ firms to develop effective and productive manufacturing strategy. While answering this question there were 43 (34%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 71 (56%) said high, 10 (8%) said Medium, 3 (2%) said Low and 0 (0%) said Very Low. The answers of this question show that the respondents of the survey strongly feel the need that the Nigerian firms should follow the patterns of the other developing countries’ manufacturing processes.

The seventh and the last question of the fourth section of the questionnaire was asked from the respondents that how much need is there for major reforms in the manufacturing strategies adopted by the Nigerian Manufacturing companies. In reply to this question 41 (32%) of the respondents said Very high, 48 (39%) said high, 35 (27%) said Medium, 2 (2%) said Low and 1 (1%) said Very Low. It is discovered from the answer of this question that the professionals working in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria strongly feel the need of major reforms in the manufacturing sector strategies adopted by the companies.

All the seven questions of this section were calculated separately as well as combined for getting the overall opinion of the respondents about the manufacturing strategy adopted in the Nigerian manufacturing sector and according to the combined calculation 233 (26%) of the respondents rated the manufacturing strategy adopted by the companies operating in the Nigerian manufacturing sector Very High.

According to the opinion of 214 (24%) respondents the manufacturing strategy level is high, 104 (12%) regarded it Medium, 201(23%) low and 136 (15%) very low. It is shown from the collective results of the survey that the participants of the survey at large feel the need of reforms in the manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian companies and at the same time they also think that the Nigerian firms should learn from other developing countries so that they can also proceed towards development path. It is also discovered from the survey results that most of the respondents see the present manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian forms at very low level and realize that it can not help the country at international level because through this strategy the manufacturing firms are not able to capture the attention of the consumers neither they can successfully retain the loyalty of their existing consumers

The results of the seven questions of the fourth section and the over all results of this section can be seen in chart form as below.

Section V – Information about Manufacturing Process in Nigerian manufacturing sector

There are total seven questions in the fifth section of the questionnaire and the respondents were asked in this section to express their views about the manufacturing process employed in the Nigerian manufacturing sector. These seven questions came up with the following results.

In the fifth section of the questionnaire, the first question was asked from the respondents if they think that the SAP induced high cost of imported manufacturing machinery and raw material hinders the growth and high productivity of Nigerian Manufacturing sector. In reply to this question 48 (38%) of the respondents said Very high, 44 (35%) said high, 28 (22%) said Medium, 4 (3%) said Low and 3 (2%) said Very Low. The results of the question indicated that the respondents of the survey share the common view that the SAP induced reforms have proved to be non supportive for the growth and development of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

The second question was asked from the respondents Is there need of training and skill development programs for the workers of the Nigerian manufacturing companies to enable them following a high level manufacturing process. There were 23 (18%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 44 (33%) said high, 58 (46%) said Medium, 4 (3%) said Low and 0 (%) said Very Low. The results show that the processionals working in the manufacturing sector feel that there is a medium level need for the training and skill development of the workers engaged in the manufacturing of the products.

In this third question of the third section, the respondents were asked that up to what level the Nigerian Manufacturing companies are adopting new machinery and methodology within their manufacturing processes. In reply to this question 0 (0%) of the respondents said Very High, 3 (2%) said high, 10 (8%) said Medium, 42 (33%) said Low and 72 (57%) said Very Low. In this way it is discovered that according to the opinion of the respondents of the survey the Nigerian firms are preceding with very low level in adopting the new technology and machinery in their manufacturing process.

The fourth question was asked from the respondents if the Nigerian Manufacturing sector well equipped with the skills needed to conduct international level manufacturing process that. In reply to this question 10 (8%) of the respondents said Very high, 57 (45%) said high, 33 (34%) said Medium, 10 (8%) said Low and 6 (5%) said Very Low. It shows that the professionals working in the Nigerian manufacturing sector see the skills of the sector at high level and capable to conduct international standard manufacturing.

The fifth question was asked from the respondents if there is need for restructuring the manufacturing process of Nigerian firms and focusing of remanufacturing the products. While replying this question, there were 34 (27%) of the respondents who said Very High, 48 (38%) said high, 40 (31%) said Medium, 4 (3%) said Low and 1 (1%) said Very Low. The results indicate that most of the participants of the survey feel the need of restructuring the manufacturing process of Nigerian companies at high level.

The sixth question was asked from the respondents that how much the technical know how and machinery availably can affects the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. While answering this question there were 76 (60%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 30 (24%) said high, 10 (8%) said Medium, 8 (6%) said Low and 3 (2%) said Very Low. It is discovered from the results that the technical knowledge affects the performance of the manufacturing process up to a very high level in Nigeria.

The seventh and the last question of the fifth section of the questionnaire was asked from the respondents that how much the Nigerian manufacturing firms should focus on the issues of chain, lean and agile manufacturing. In reply to this question 27 (21%) of the respondents said Very high, 44 (35%) said high, 43 (34%) said Medium, 7 (5%) said Low and 6 (5%) said Very Low. The results show that the above mentioned issues are considered very important by the participants of the survey and they feel high level need for concentrating upon these issues.

All the seven questions of this section were calculated separately as well as combined for getting the overall opinion of the respondents about the manufacturing process followed in the Nigerian manufacturing sector and according to the combined calculation 218 (25%) of the respondents rated the manufacturing process followed by the companies operating in the Nigerian manufacturing sector Very High.

According to the opinion of 267 (30%) respondents the manufacturing process level is high, 233 (26%) regarded it Medium, 79 (9%) low and 91 (10%) very low. The combined results show that the participants of the survey have strong believe that the SAP reforms have affected the growth of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and there is need for restructuring the manufacturing process as well as to concentrate over certain important issues like chain, lean and agile manufacturing to become in a string position. In this section the participants also expressed their views that the skills and technical equipment affects the performance of the manufacturing in Nigeria at high level however the sector possesses the capabilities to adopt the new technology and work at international standard.

The results of the seven questions of the fifth section and the combined results of the fifth section can be seen in chart form as below.

Section VI – Information about Environmental Uncertainty in Nigerian manufacturing sector

The sixth section of the questionnaire also consists of seven question and these questions are related to the environmental uncertainty in the Nigerian business environment and its affect on the operations and activities of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. Following are the results that are obtained from the section VI of the questionnaire.

In the sixth section of the questionnaire, the first question was asked from the respondents if the current business environment and market structure of Nigeria is satisfying and supportive for the manufacturing activities. There were 3 (3%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 3 (2%) said high, 3 (2%) said Medium, 25 (20%) said Low and 92 (73%) said Very Low. It is indicated from the results of this question that in the view of the respondents of the survey, at present the business environment of the country is very low in supporting the manufacturing activities

The second question was asked from the respondents if environmental uncertainty in Nigeria has reached the level where the manufacturing activities are also affecting. In reply to this question 93 (73%) of the respondents said Very high, 30 (24%) said high, 4 (3%) said Medium, 0 (0%) said Low and 0 (0%) said Very Low. The results of this question also indicate that the participants of the survey think that the environmental uncertainty in Nigeria has reached a very high level where it can strongly affect the manufacturing sector activities, operations and development.

In this third question of the third section, the respondents were asked if the non availability or difficulties in getting finance and credits hinders the growth and high quality performance of Nigerian Manufacturing sector. In reply to this question 127 (100%) of the respondents said Very high, 0 (0%) said high, 0 (0%) said Medium, 0 (0%) said Low and 0 (0%) said Very Low. The results of this question came up with very clear answer and it is found that all of the participants of the survey share common believe and have no differences on the matter that the unavailability of financial resources is an important barrier to the growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

The fourth question was asked that how much the socio-political environment of the country supports the manufacturing activities. While replying this question, there were 0 (0%) of the respondents who said Very High, 0 (0%) said high, 2 (2%) said Medium, 33 (26%) said Low and 91 (72%) said Very Low. The answers of this question make it clear that the respondents of the survey strongly believe that the manufacturing sector is very little supported by the sociopolitical environment of the country.

The fifth question was asked from the respondents that how much improvement could be made by the efforts of the government by assuring a stable and suitable environment for the manufacturing activities. While answering this question there were 72 (57%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 34 (27%) said high, 18 (14%) said Medium, 2 (1%) said Low and 1 (1%) said Very Low. These results show that most of the participants of the survey believe that the government can play role in the situation as the government steps can make high leveled changes in the entire situation.

The sixth question was asked from the respondents that how much influence the foreign products have over the operations of the Nigerian manufacturing firms. In reply to this question 93 (73%) of the respondents said Very high, 28 (22%) said high, 4 (3%) said Medium, 1 (1%) said Low and 1 (1%) said Very Low. It is shows in the results of this question that most of the participants of the survey believe that the foreign products highly influence the operations of the manufacturing firms in Nigeria.

The seventh and the last question of the sixth section of the questionnaire was asked from the respondents that how much the Nigerian manufacturing firms are open towards adopting rapid environmental and technological advancements. In reply to this question 66 (52%) of the respondents said Very high, 51 (40%) said high, 6 (5%) said Medium, 3 (2%) said Low and 1 (1%) said Very Low. The results indicate that many of the participants of the survey see a very high level of openness in the Nigerian manufacturing sector with regard to the adaptation of new technology.

All the seven questions of this section were calculated separately as well as combined for getting the overall opinion of the respondents about the environmental uncertainty and its effects on the Nigerian manufacturing sector and according to the combined calculation 454 (51%) of the respondents rated the environmental uncertainty prevailing in the business environment of Nigeria effects the companies operating in the Nigerian manufacturing sector Very High.

According to the opinion of 146 (17%) respondents the environmental uncertainty affecting level is high, 37 (4%) regarded it Medium, 64 (7%) low and 186 (21%) very low. Thus it is revealed from the combined results of this section that in the opinion of the participants of the survey the environmental uncertainty in Nigeria has reached at very high level and along with the sociopolitical instability it is very unsupportive for the manufacturing sector development in Nigeria.

It is also found that the participants of the survey see high level influence of the foreign products on the Nigerian manufacturing sector and they believe that the Nigerian sector is much open for the adaptation of new technologies and machineries in their manufacturing process. The finance availability is also identified as the most important barrier for the development of the manufacturing sector by all of the participants of the survey. The results of all the seven questions and the combined results of the sixth section can be seen in chart form as below:

Section VII: Comparative Analysis with Indian, Malaysian and Chinese Manufacturing Sectors

There are total seven questions in the seventh section of the questionnaire and the respondents were asked in this section to express their views about the manufacturing performance of some of the developing countries like India, China and Malaysia in comparison with performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. These seven questions came up with the following results.

In the seventh section of the questionnaire, the first question was asked from the respondents that how do they evaluate the performance of the Nigerian Manufacturing sector at international level in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty. In reply to this question 1 (1%) of the respondents said Very high, 3 (2%) said high, 35 (28%) said Medium, 48 (38%) said Low and 39 (31%) said Very Low. The results show that in the opinion of most of the participants of the survey, the level of Nigerian manufacturing is very low according to the international standards.

The second question was asked from the respondents that how much difference is there in the performance of Nigerian Manufacturing sector as compared with Indian Manufacturing sector performance in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty. There were 51 (40%) of the respondents that replied Very High; 44 (35%) said high, 20 (16%) said Medium, 8 (6%) said Low and 4 (3%) said Very Low. These results indicated that the professionals working in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria see very high difference in the performance of Indian and Nigerian manufacturing sector.

In this third question of the third section, the respondents were asked that how much difference is there in the performance of Nigerian Manufacturing sector as compared with Malaysian Manufacturing sector performance in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty. In reply to this question 66 (52%) of the respondents said Very High, 38 (30%) said high, 18 (14%) said Medium, 4 (3%) said Low and 1 (1%) said Very Low. These results indicated that the professionals working in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria see very high level of difference in the performance of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with the Malaysian manufacturing sector.

The fourth question was asked from the respondents that how much difference is there in the performance of Nigerian Manufacturing sector as compared with Chinese Manufacturing sector performance in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty. In reply to this question 64 (50%) of the respondents said Very high, 37 (29%) said high, 20 (16%) said Medium, 4 (3%) said Low and 2 (2%) said Very Low. These results indicated that the professionals working in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria see very high level of difference in the performance of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with the Chinese manufacturing sector.

The fifth question was asked from the respondents that how much the social and economic stability of India, China and Malaysia makes the difference in the performance of manufacturing sectors of these countries as compare with Nigeria. While replying this question, there were 60 (47%) of the respondents who said Very High, 44 (35%) said high, 19 (15%) said Medium, 2 (1%) said Low and 2 (2%) said Very Low. The results of this question show that according to the opinion of the participants of the survey, the social and economic stability in the developing countries like India, China and Malaysia plays important role in make the high differences in the performance of the manufacturing sector of these countries as compared with Nigeria.

The sixth question was asked from the respondents that how much the relatively better performance of the manufacturing sectors of these countries contributes to the difference in economic growth patterns of these countries as compared with Nigeria. While answering this question there were 78 (64%) of the respondents that replied Very High, 45 (36%) said high, 4 (3%) said Medium, 0 (0%) said Low and 0 (0%) said Very Low. These results show that most of the participants of the survey believe that the manufacturing sector in India, Malaysia and China is supporting the economic growth of these countries at very high level.

The seventh and the last question of the seventh section of the questionnaire was asked from the respondents that how much Nigerian manufacturing sector can improve by following the policies and strategies of manufacturing sectors of these developing countries. In reply to this question 44 (35%) of the respondents said Very high, 40 (32%) said high, 36 (28%) said Medium, 4 (3%) said Low and 3 (2%) said Very Low. These results show that most of the respondents think that Nigeria can improve up to a high level if it will follow the manufacturing industry growth patterns of some developing countries like India, China and Malaysia.

All the seven questions of this section were calculated separately as well as combined for getting the overall opinion of the respondents about the comparison of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the manufacturing sectors of India, Malaysia and China. According to the combined calculations of this section, 364 (41%) of the respondents rated the manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria in comparison with Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors performance Very High.

According to the opinion of 251 (28%) respondents the manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria is high, 152 (17%) regarded it Medium, 70 (8%) low and 51 (6%) very low as compared with the performance of Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors.

It is revealed from the combined results of the section that the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is very low in the eyes of the participants of the survey in comparison with the performance of the Indian, Malaysian and Chinese manufacturing sectors and they also believe that Nigeria should follow the patterns of the development of these sectors to become successful because in these countries the economic growth is very well supported by the manufacturing sector and the socio political stability of these countries has also led towards the batter performance of the manufacturing industry in these countries.

The results of the seven questions of the seventh section and the combined results of this section can be seen in chart form as below.

Section VIII: About Overall Situation of Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

In the eight section of the questionnaire there were eight questions asked from the respondents and out of eight, seven questions were open ended whereas one question was close ended. In this section the first question was asked from the respondents that which factor they think plays the most important role in impeding effective Product design, adequate manufacturing process, manufacturing strategy and innovation within the Nigerian Manufacturing sector. While replying this question, the respondents mentioned a number of factors that are affecting the growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

It is found from the results that all of these four mentioned factors are regarded almost equally responsible for the inefficient growth and development of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. There were 28 (22%) of the respondents that select product design, 31 (24%) selected manufacturing process, 34 (27%) selected manufacturing strategy and 31 (25%) respondents selected innovation as the most influential factor whereas 3 (2%) of the respondents have not chose any of these factors influencing the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

The following chart further shows the responses collected for this question and it becomes clear from these results that there is not any single factor that can be mentioned as the most influential for affecting the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector but the respondents give almost equal responsibility to all of these factors.

The second question was asked from the respondents that what are the major environmental challenges currently faced by the Nigerian manufacturing companies. It was an open ended question and the respondents were requested to mention the challenges without given the choices in front of the question. There were a number of challenges identified in the answers of this question and the most common and most agreed upon ten challenges in front of the Nigerian manufacturing sector are identified as

  • lack of infrastructure,
  • lack of capital /difficulties in getting funds,
  • strong competition from china and India,
  • lack of appropriate technology,
  • dependence on overseas for supply of raw materials,
  • lack of governments support/ inconstancies in major policies,
  • consumers preference of foreign products,
  • multiple taxation/fess and other form of charges,
  • decline purchase power of consumers,
  • brain drain i.e. Nigerian workers preference to take overseas jobs.

In this way the results of the second question of the last section of the questionnaire came up with the identification of different challenges affecting the performance of manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

The third question of the last section of the questionnaire was asked from the respondents about key issues in front of the manufacturing firms of Nigeria in maintaining high performance level at domestic and international level. While replying to this question also, the respondents mentioned many issues that they think are important to be focused by the Nigerian manufacturing sector for maintaining international and domestic level standard. The most common and most agreed upon issues identified by the respondents are as followed:

  • Need to have better basic infrastructure especially power and supply.
  • Need to have better technology through having good and modern machinery and equipment, software packages and also training and attachments in other overseas or multinational companies.
  • Need for better salaries and incentives.
  • Need to improve products quality by adopting update technology and manufacturing process.
  • Need to improve appeal through effective marketing and advertising.
  • Need to regular inflows of overseas products through tariffs enhancement.
  • Need for government to develop basic industries for supply of raw materials.
  • Need for governments and firms to support research and development.

Thus the answers of this identified the key issues in front of the Nigerian manufacturing companies that affect their performances.

The fourth question was asked from the respondents that what influential factors hinder the high quality performance and growth of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. While replying to this question the following factors were identified by the respondents that are barrier for the growth and development of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

  • Lack of energy resources and adequate power supply.
  • Lack of appropriate machinery and equipment.
  • Lack of government patronage.
  • Inadequate capital.
  • Lower consumer spending power that is low disposal income to go for quality products.
  • High manufacturing costs.
  • Inadequate options in terms of raw materials procurement.

The fifth question was asked from the respondents if they think that the present situation has become more challenging and demanding for the Nigerian manufacturing firms as compared with past. Most of the respondents were totally agreed with the statement that in the present situation the Nigerian manufacturing companies are facing highly competitive, demanding and challenging situation. More then 90 percent of the respondents believe that due to the increasing challenges and demands of the emerging situation, many of the manufacturing companies are struggling for their survival and manufacturing is also declining in the country as there are many new and challenging problems in the operating environment for the manufacturing companies.

The sixth question was asked from the respondents if they think that as compared with last 5-10 years, the Nigerian manufacturing sector will face more challenges and demanding situation in coming 3-5 years. The respondents were mostly agreed with this statement as well and there were more then 70 percent of the participants of the survey that expressed their opinions in favor of the fact that the rise in competition and technology advancement has brought many difficulties for the manufacturing firms of Nigeria and they are having many difficulties in aligning their operations and activities in accordance with the changes occurring at international manufacturing industry.

The respondents also share their opinions that in this situation it is very necessary that the basic infrastructure of the Nigeria must be improved and developed to support the manufacturing activities otherwise there are possibilities that the manufacturing environment of the country will be further deteriorate. The manufacturing sector is in great need of support in terms of capital availability, increase local manufacturing by introducing tariffs, manufacturing incentives etc

The seventh question was asked from the respondents that what are their recommendations and Suggestions that the Nigerian Manufacturing sector has to emphasis upon which issues to bring improvement in the overall position of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. The participants of the survey came up with many suggestions and recommendation that they think can work for the improvement in the overall situation and performance and the manufacturing sector of Nigeria.

Though the respondents gave different suggestions and recommendation but overall their opinions and views are focused on the similar issues. The participants of the survey suggested that for the improvement in the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector it is very necessary that there must be improvement in the basic infrastructure of the country that is required for the manufacturing activities and operations.

The participants of the survey also suggested that the adequate supply of the energy resources like electricity and gas is also very crucial for the smooth flow of the manufacturing process so the government and the related authorities must make such arrangements that can work for the improvement of the energy supply to the manufacturing industry. The railways, roads and communication network also require the attention of the authorities so that the manufacturing companies can easily conduct their activities like the supply of the raw material, logistics and distribution of the finished goods etc.

At the same time it is also very important that the manufacturing companies must give attention towards the issue of the technology adaptation and there must be investments in the manufacturing sector that can enable these firms to adopt better technology and to have modern and updated technology. In this regard the training and skill development of the work force is also very necessary and the manufacturing companies of Nigeria must look towards the opportunities and options through which they can arrange for attachment with the overseas and multinational companies. in this way they can keep in touch with the modern manufacturing process and can also adopt some of their techniques and methods according to the requirement and capabilities of own industry.

It is also recommended by the professionals participated in the survey that the present level of the salaries is not attractive and this is one of the main reason behind lack of motivation of the workers. Thus it is also important that there must be increment in the salaries and incentives of the work force associated with the manufacturing sector so that they can get better facilities and incentives and can work for their companies in efficient manners with more dedication and motivation.

It is also recommended by the participants of the survey that the companies operating in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria are required to revolutionize their ways of operations and they should look towards new methods and techniques of manufacturing to keep their products update with the modern technology advancements. There is great need that there must be improvement in the quality and standard of the products manufactured within the Nigerian industry so that it can satisfy the needs of the consumers in effective manner.

For this it is very important the companies must carry on their manufacturing activities with the help of updated technology and adequate and modern manufacturing process. There are some other issues also highlighted by the participants of the survey and they recommended that the Nigerian firms should also focus on better marketing strategies so that they can promote their products at domestic and international level in effective manner and can increase the numbers of the consumers for the industry.

The government being an important player of the entire situation needs to emphasis on many of the important issue related with the manufacturing industry and in the view of the survey participants the government needs to work for the improvement of the tariff rates in favor of the manufacturing companies of the country and they should take steps for the development of the basic industries in Nigeria so that the manufacturing companies can get the raw material for the manufacturing of their products from the industries of the country and they can have an easy and low cost access to the raw material.

The research and development work also lacks in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria so it is very important that the research and development must be supported and encouraged at government level so that the entire manufacturing sector can get the benefit of the research and development work and can update their strategy and manufacturing process according to the requirement of the new situation. Moreover it is also suggested by the professionals participated in the survey that there must be complete overhaul of the energy generation and supply systems. At the same time it is also necessary that the energy based companies must be encouraged and facilitated to invest in power generation, transmission and distribution.

Especially it should be compulsory for the oil companies operating in Nigeria that they should participate in the power generation and supply so that they can play supportive role for the adequate supply of the energy resources to the manufacturing industry. The firms operating in the manufacturing industry must also be facilitated and supported to get finance from different banks and other financial institutions at competitive rates.

At the same time it is also very necessary that there must be recognition of the ICT contributions in the manufacturing industry both at government level and at the private level so that the manufacturing companies can understand that importance of ITC and can adopt it according to the requirement and capabilities of industry and can improve the quality and standard of the manufactured products.

The last question in the eighth section of the questionnaire was asked from the respondents that which attribute is weakest in the Nigerian Manufacturing sector in comparison with the Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors. There were five options given to the respondents to choose including Product Design, Innovation, Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Process and Environmental Uncertainty.

After calculating the results for this question it is found that there are total 12 (9%) respondents that select product design, 5 (4%) respondents selected Innovation, 18 (14%) respondents selected manufacturing strategy, 35 (28%) respondents selected manufacturing process whereas there were 57 (45%)respondents of the survey that selected environmental uncertainty as the weakest attribute of the Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with the Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors.

In this way the highest responses are received for the environmental uncertainty and it is found that when the professional operating in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria compare the manufacturing industry of Nigeria with that of India, China and Malaysia then they found that the operating environment of Nigeria contains lot of uncertainty that is most important factor in weakening the performance and growth of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

In this way the last section of the questionnaire also came up with different answers and some of the important issues are dicsucced by the particpants of the survey in this section. The respondedntd expressed their views about the core issues and challenges that are barriers for the grwoth of manufacturing sector in Nigeria and also give many suggestions and recommendations for the imprvement in the performance of the Nigerian manfuacturing industry.

It is also found from the results of the survey that in the opinion of the particpants of the survey the environmental uncertanility is the most important factor due to which the manufacturing sector is unable to perform well in Nigeria and the key problems faced by the Nigerian mnaufacutirng industry are also identified by the partipants of the survey in the results of the answers of this section.

Key Findings of Secondary Research – Finding Support for Primary Research Findings

The secondary analysis of data allows to have detailed understanding of different aspects of the issue. For this research study also the secondary analysis of data was focused on gathering and reviewing information about different aspects of the topic and thus the key findings of the secondary research are also arranged according to the topic explored, reviewed and explained in the literature review.

Manufacturing Industry – History and Developments

The review of the researches related with the manufacturing industry history and development revealed that the manufacturing industry has become an integral part of the business world after going through several phases of innovations and restructuring. The manufacturing began when the people start giving attention towards industrialization along with other activities like agriculture etc. The invention of new tools and techniques further added to the scope of the manufacturing industry and the emphasis of people towards the manufacturing industry resulted in the invention of different products like bicycles, vacuum cleaners etc in the early days of manufacturing.

After that the people carried on working with modifying the objects and to manufacture products for different type of uses. In present days the manufacturing has become en entire industry that possesses great important from the economic perspective. The consumer goods manufacturing is also an important part of the manufacturing industry and the experts believe that to accelerate the economic growth of a country it is very necessary that the manufacturing sector must support the economy of the country by contributing good share in the GDP.

The advancements in the technologies have pave many new ways for the manufacturers all over the world and at present the modern day manufacturing is quite different from the manufacturing of the early days. The differences are occurring in the manufacturing field at very high speed and the consumers are also becoming more demanding regarding the features and attributes of the products. The technology impact on the manufacturing sector is mainly due to the invention of new techniques and machinery that has added to the efficiency of the manufacturing sector by lowering down the cost and time of production.

At the same time the technology has also added to rise in the competition in the manufacturing sector because due to the development of communication technology the consumers of today have more knowledge and awareness about the products and they are more demanding now.

Thus to satisfy the needs of these consumers the manufacturing companies are also required to be more focused on the quality and standard of the products. in this regard the manufacturing companies are required to adopt innovative strategies in their product design and they also have to design the product with shorter life cycles so that they can offer the consumer new products very shortly according to their rapidly changing demands. Thus the secondary analysis of data provided the complete understand about the manufacturing industry; its beginning, development and the impact of technology advancement on this industry.

At the same time the secondary research also explains the importance of the manufacturing sector for the economic growth and it is proved in different researches that the manufacturing sector can contribute efficiently to the economic growth of the share of the manufacturing products will be high in the GDP of the country. The secondary research also presented some evidences from different countries that in U and China the manufacturing sector accounts for good portion of GDP and the economic growth of these countries is also accelerating. This explanation helps in establishing the fact that the growth of the manufacturing sector is very important and necessary for the economic development of any country.

The secondary research also highlighted the fast moving consumer goods FMCG manufacturing and it is revealed that this is an important part of the manufacturing sector. The research study basically focuses on the consumer goods thus the secondary research also explains the importance of the FMCG manufacturing for a country. In this way the first section of the secondary analysis of data explains the back ground of the topic of the dissertation by describing the importance and significance of manufacturing sector for the economic development.

Measures of Performance of the manufacturing sectors

One of the important objectives of the secondary analysis of data was to find out the reasons for the selection of five attributes (product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process and environmental uncertainty) as the measures of evaluating the performance of the manufacturing sector. These five attributes are used as the performance measures through out the research study and the Nigerian manufacturing sector is examined on the basis of these factors in the survey also.

At the same time these factors are also used to conduct the comparative analysis of Nigerian manufacturing sector with other countries. Thus it is very important to justify that why these five factors are studied for the examination of the performances of the manufacturing sectors. The secondary research describes the importance and contribution of each of these factors separately for the manufacturing industry and provided the reasons for the selection of these factors are the performance measures for this research study.

It is revealed from the secondary research that within the manufacturing sector the product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy and process plays an integral role and at the same time the certainty and stability of the environment also affects the successful operations of the manufacturing companies. Product design is important issue for the manufacturing firms to focus for many years because the product design is among the basic attributes of the product that can attract the attention of the consumers.

That’s why the manufacturing companies traditionally give much importance to the product design but in the context of the rapid advancement in the technology the product design is rather become a challenge for the manufacturing companies because they have to come up with such unique and attractive product design that can help them in surviving in the highly competitive market place and at the same time they can grab the attention of the highly demanding consumers only through uniqueness of their product design.

Thus the present situation requires more concentration on the product design and the manufacturing sectors focusing on these issues are successfully surviving in the highly competitive markets whereas the manufacturers ignoring the importance of the product deign are at higher risk of loosing their market position and consumers due to the negligence of this important issue. In the light of the importance of the product design for the manufacturing companies it becomes clear that if one want to evaluate the performance of any manufacturing sector then the product designs of that sector must be reviewed and examined to determine the level of manufacturing in that sector. Thus the product design is selected for the examination of the manufacturing sector performance in this research study also keeping in view the crucial importance of this attribute for the manufacturing industry.

In the same way it is also found in the secondary research that innovation is also one of the success factors for the manufacturing companies. the manufacturing sector have to focus a lot on innovative idea for the manufacturing of their products so that they can justify their operations and output in accordance with the modern world and advanced lifestyle of the consumers. In the technology driven world, the consumers are also changing their ways of living after getting inspired from technology advancement due to which they demand such products that can match with their living standards and life style.

The consumer products are more closely affected by this changed thinking style because the FMCG are used by the consumers in their daily routine where they want to see innovative changes. Thus the manufacturers of the consumer goods also have to work more on the innovation of the ideas for the manufacturing of the consumer goods so that they can fulfill the expectations of the consumers and also catch the attention of more consumers. In this regard the manufacturing firms are not only required to bring innovation in their product designs but also within their manufacturing strategies and manufacturing process by adopting new technology and techniques of manufacturing.

The review of the researches further explain that the manufacturing sectors that have brought innovation in their operations and activities are successful in maintaining and stabilizing their market position and the manufacturers lagging behind in innovation of the ideas are facing serious problems in retaining their market position. Thus the examination of the performance of a manufacturing sector required the analysis of the innovation in the sector also and for this research study this factor is selected as the performance measures and it is found from the secondary research that it is important to judge a manufacturing sector on the basis of innovative ideas, concepts and strategies adopted by that sector.

Another important factor is manufacturing process that is also explained with the help of the secondary analysis of data and according to the findings of the secondary research; manufacturing process is also the critical factor for evaluating the performance of any manufacturing sector. The manufacturing sector determines the success and quality level of the products designed by a manufacturing companies and it is also very important that the companies operating in the manufacturing sector must update their processes according to the changes occurring in the surrounding environment.

Due to the technology advancement the manufacturers are required to bring modern machinery and techniques within the manufacturing process so that the manufacturing process followed by these companies can be evaluated according to the international standards. It is revealed from the secondary research that the manufacturing companies in the modern era are in much need to restructure their manufacturing process on short term basis in order to keep in align with the advancements.

The companies following update manufacturing process can expect that they will retain their existing consumers and will increase the number of their consumers as well but the companies following out dated manufacturing process can not become successful because the consumers want to see new features in the products every time that is possible only by following updated manufacturing process. Thus this is also an important factor that is important to judge for the evaluation of the performance of the manufacturing sector and this research study also judge the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing process by analyzing the manufacturing process followed by the companies operating in the country.

The secondary analysis of data also provided the understanding about the importance of the manufacturing strategy for the manufacturing industry and it is found from the secondary research that the adaptation of the adequate manufacturing strategy is also a key to the success of the manufacturing sector. The social scientists have focus a lot on the importance and significance of the manufacturing strategy because it involves all the major decisions that have to be taken by the manufacturing firm management regarding the place, material and methods of manufacturing the product.

If the manufacturing firm management adopt the right strategy and took correct decision for the selection of the manufacturing place of their product where they can have an easy access to the labor and raw material then the manufacturing firm can accomplish its operation while taking the advantage of low cost of labor and products. in the same way if the management makes any mistake in the selection of the manufacturing unit for the products then the operations of the company can be affected badly and the company might face different sort of problems if the management select the place for the manufacturing where the business environment is not suitable or where the rules and regulations are not in favor of the company.

Thus it is revealed in the light of the review of the researches that manufacturing strategy is also an important component of the manufacturing strategy and the success of the sector largely depends upon the strategy adopted by the management of the company. That’s why the manufacturing strategy adopted by the Nigerian firms is also reviewed and analyzed in the survey so that there could be an understanding of the manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and on the basis of this factor also the performance of the sector could be evaluated.

The fifth and most important measure selected for evaluating the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is the environmental uncertainty and the secondary research also provided deep understanding of the issue that how the uncertainty in the environment can affect the performance of the manufacturing industry. It is revealed from the secondary analysis of data that the availability of the work force and the raw material needs the favorable business environment but if there is instability in the operating environment due to any socio political issue then the manufacturing companies will also face problems in making several decisions regarding their operations.

The uncertainty in the operating environment creates much confusion in the minds of the manufacturing company management and their decision making power is badly affected. In the same way the physical problems in the operating environment like the pollution issues also affect the manufacturing industry performance and the companies need stability in the surroundings to focus on their objectives. The secondary research makes it clear that the environmental uncertainty possesses great potential to affect the performance of a manufacturing sector so the manufacturing industry needs a stable environment to grow in upward direction. Thus it is proved that this factor is also very important for the evaluation of the performance of the manufacturing industry due to its influence on the activities and operating of the manufacturing industry.

In this way all the five selected performance measures are explained in the secondary analysis of data and their relative importance is proved in the light of the review of different social research studies. It is also found that all of these measures are related with each other for example the product design needs innovation and at the same time innovative ideas are needed to be implemented within the manufacturing processes followed by the manufacturing firms.

The certainty in the environment helps the manufacturing companies to adequately follow their manufacturing strategies and conduct their operations in effective manner. Thus these five are important factors that must be studied for the evaluation of the performance of any manufacturing sector and their contribution and significance for the manufacturing industry is very well explained in the secondary research.

Nigerian manufacturing sector – Performance and Impact of Oil dependency

The secondary research also focuses on reviewing the researches conducting around different aspects of the Nigerian economic conditions and it is found from these research studies review that oil dependency plays major role in determining the economic conditions of Nigeria. The country possesses major reserves of oil in the region and is among the largest exporter of crude oil in the world but despite this fact the economy of the country is not stable.

Due to the oil price spike in 1980s Nigeria faced critical situation and there was massive drawback in export revenue of the country. The fluctuations in the oil prices further added to the economic instability of the country and most of the population of Nigeria was compelled to live below the poverty line because the other industries are not developed and the oil sector revenue were also not stable due to price fluctuations in the global market.

Thus it is found that Nigeria faced economic drawbacks mainly due to the fact that the government of Nigeria did not concentrated towards the development of other industries and as a result the other industries failed to support the economy of the country in the critical situation. After the phases of price fluctuations and their impact on the economy of Nigeria, the government realized the importance on concentrating towards other industry so that the economy of the country can be diversified and the impacts of the oil price fluctuation could also be minimized.

Thus there were several plans and strategies implemented by the government for the trade liberalization so that other industries including the manufacturing sector can grow and support the economy. Some of these steps were proved positive and the companies are facilitated to work efficiently in the sector whereas some of the reforms further added to the difficulties of the manufacturing companies and they find it difficult to be competitive in the emerging situation.

The manufacturing industry development is also regarded very important in Nigeria because there are millions of consumers in the country and millions in the neighboring countries that are potential market for the products manufactured in Nigeria and if the manufacturing sector of Nigeria succeeds to meet the expectations of the consumers then the country can easily generate good revenue and can get support for the economic development. The secondary research also disclosed that at present the situation is not very positive in the manufacturing industry of Nigeria because the sector is not performing efficiently to contribute in the economic growth.

There are many issues and limitations that are identified in the secondary research as the reasons behind the inefficient performance of the Nigerian manufacturing industry. The basic industries are not developed in Nigeria due to which the firms have to import raw material for the manufacturing of the products from different countries and for this they have to pay high import duties and tariffs. As a result the cost of production rises for these companies and they failed to manufacture cost effective products for the consumers.

The infrastructure of the country is also not developed enough to support the manufacturing activities and the supply of the energy resources is also not adequate in the country due to which the firms are unable to carry on their manufacturing process in smooth way. At the same time the manufacturing companies face many difficulties in getting finance from banks and other institution due to which the research and development work also lacks in the sector. Lack of the finance resources also result in difficulties of the manufacturing companies to adopt updated manufacturing process because they are unable to introduce new technology and machinery in their business as it cost them high.

Some other factors are also identified in the secondary research that hinders the growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria and it is found that due to the corruption at government level the manufacturing industry is unable to get the amount of donations and aids granted by different international institutions and organizations due to which there is no improvement in the performance of the sector despite getting aid from organizations like African Development bank etc.

The workers are also getting low salaries in Nigeria and the skills and technical knowledge level is also very low in the work force thus there is also need of training and skill development of the workers in the Nigerian manufacturing industry. At present the government is regarded supportive for the manufacturing industry by some of the researchers but in the view of many other social scientists the role of the government should also be more supportive for the sector and these social scientists highlighted the needs that the government must take some positive initiatives that can work for the trade liberalization and improvement in the performance of the manufacturing industry.

Thus it is found that due to the above mentioned factors the manufacturing sector is growing in Nigeria with low speed and the contribution of the manufacturing output is also very low in the total GDP of Nigeria. In order to attain sustainable economic growth, the social scientists stressed a lot on the need of reforms in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. Along with the above mentioned fact there is an important finding of the research study that the social scientists have not evaluated the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector on the basis of different performance measures like product design, innovation and manufacturing strategy due to which there are many issues that remain unfolded as a result of the secondary analysis of data.

Some of the issues like uncertainty and innovation are discussed by the researchers in reference to the Nigerian manufacturing industry but none of the research focus on different performance measures to evaluate the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing industry.

Moreover the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is also not compared specifically with the developing countries that’s why there are little ways identified by the researchers that Nigeria can follow to come towards the path of these developing countries, due to this fact there are little strategies of the developing countries found workable for Nigeria. Thus there is a gap found in the literature as a result of the secondary analysis of data and this research study is aimed at filling up these gaps by discussing the issues missed by other researches, with the help of the results and analysis of the statistical survey answers.

Manufacturing sectors of India, China and Malaysia

The research study is also aimed at comparing the performances of Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors with that of Nigerian and in this regard the secondary research is employed to collect the information about the manufacturing sectors of these countries. With the help of review of different research studies the manufacturing sector of these developing countries are studied and their performances are analyzed with regard to the policies and the government and other factors.

It is revealed from the secondary research that Indian manufacturing sector is progressing well and the contribution of the sector is also significant in the total GDP of the country however the critics have argued that the government of India must set a high target for the manufacturing sector so that the rate of GDP could be increased further. It is found that the Indian manufacturing sector is supported by the government policies and measures to keep the trade regime liberal and the basic industries are also developing in the country to support the activities of manufacturing sector.

The research study also make it cleat that the technical capability of the sector is an important factor behind the success of the Indian manufacturing sector. The sector also provides employment to large portion of the population and the private sector is also contributing in the manufacturing industry activities due to the facilities provided by the government. The research studies also identify some of the critical factors and highlighted the need of reforms in the manufacturing industry of India. It is observed that the manufacturing sector in India is required to increase the out put and the policies of the government are needed to be more favorable for the manufacturing industry.

An important attribute of the Indian manufacturing sector is also identified in the research that the Indian manufacturers are giving due attention towards the issue of innovation and as a result they are coming up with new ideas for their product design and manufacturing processes. This is an important success factor behind the growth and development of Indian manufacturing sector but the social scientists still believe that they must be more investment on the research and development work so that new techniques can be introduced in the sector and the government should also working for providing different guidelines to the companies so that they can progress will in maintaining high level standard of Indian manufacturing.

The secondary research also portrayed the position of the Malaysian manufacturing sector and it is revealed from the research that the manufacturing sector In Malaysia is facing tough competition with other countries in the region and the sector has gone through several phases of ups and down tor each the current position. It is also revealed from the secondary research that role of the government has always been many important for the growth of the sector in the country and it is very important that the government should further implement the policies and strategies that can work for the improvement of the situation.

The foreign investment is also very high in the country and it is identified by the researchers that increment in the foreign investment is a significant sign for the manufacturing sector and there must be more steps for the trade liberalization so that the companies can be facilitated and encouraged to work well in the sector. The contribution of the manufacturing sector in the total GDP of the country is very significant and almost one third of the GDP is contributed by the out put of the manufacturing sector in Malaysia.

The present investment regime is also open for the investors due to which there are domestic and foreign companies financing the manufacturing industry related activities and the research and development work is also progressing well in the country. However the sector is also facing many problems and challenges due to increased competition and they have to assure the timely delivery of manufactured products to the consumers to remain competitive in the market place. At the same time the issues of human resource management, skilled labor, technical adoptability and the cost of production are very important to be focused by the operators of the Malaysian manufacturing sector.

The study of the Chinese manufacturing sector shows many positive signs that confirm the efficient performance of the sector and its support to the economic development of the country. At present China has major share in the manufacturing of consumer goods at international level and the products manufactured in China have been imported to many countries due to low cost of production and quality of these products. an important attribute of the Chinese manufactured is identified in the research studies review that the Chinese manufacturers focus a lot on the product design and quality to remain competitive and at the same time the prices of the manufactured products are also low in China that’s why many countries are attracted towards the countries to set up their manufacturing sites.

However after the rise in the prices of petrol and other energy resources, China is also struggling to keep the prices of the products at low level. At the same time the issue of availability of skilled labor is important challenge in front of Chinese manufacturing industry because the introduction of modern machinery required highly skilled labor for operating the machinery. The role of the government is a very important factor behind the success of the Chinese manufacturing industry and it is identified by the researchers that China is an open trade regime due to which foreign and domestic investors are encourages to invest in the manufacturing industry and as a result not only the manufacturing sector is flourishing but the other related industries are also growing well due to the foreign investments.

The technology adoptability is also the key to success for the Chinese manufacturers because they have focus a lot on the modern ways of manufacturing and through adequate research and development work, the Chinese manufacturers have bring innovation within their product designs and manufacturing processes. Thus the secondary research provided complete understanding of all the issues related with the research study and the background topics associated with the dissertation are clearly understood with the help of the secondary analysis of data. The secondary research explains different concepts and features of the manufacturing industry and also described the position and performance of manufacturing sectors of Nigeria, India, China and Malaysia and this explanation will be helpful in conducting the comparative analysis of these manufacturing sectors

Matching the Results of Primary and Secondary Research

The above discussed explained in details the key findings of the secondary research with respect to different aspects and issues discussed in the secondary analysis of data. Prior to that the key finings of the primary research are also presented with the help of percentages, calculations and charts and different aspects and issues of the research study discussed in the primary research also become clear in the light of the primary research findings.

The findings of the primary and secondary research show that there are little contradiction between the existing work of the social scientists and the practical evidences collected from the business world because most of the problems and issues identified in different social scientific research are further confirmed by the opinions of the participants of the survey. For example it is found that most of the researchers are disappointed from the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and see the role of the sector very unsupportive for the economic development of the country and in the same way the participants of the survey also expressed their iews that the present performance level of the manufacturing industry is very low in their opinions.

Likewise the measures of the manufacturing sector performance are also regarded very weak in the primary research and in the secondary research also there is an overall impression reflected that the product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy and process adopted by the Nigerian manufacturing firm is not updated with the demands of the modern era and the uncertainty in the environment further adds to the difficulties of the manfuiacturing industry. The participants of the survey also regarded the uncertainty in the operating environment as the most influential factors that is highly responsible for low level performance of the manufacturing sector in the country.

In the same way there are some common problems and limitations identified by the social scientists and the participants of the survey that are acting as barrier for the growth and development of the manufacturing industry in Nigeria. It is found that the researchers and the participants of the survey are agreed upon the fact the problem of inadequate supply of energy resources, raw material and spare part, lack of technology adoptability, lack of economic diversification, low level of technology adoptability and low level of concentration upon the research and development work are the main limitations faced by the manufacturing sector in Nigeria and the researchers and participants of the survey both stressed upon the supportive role of the government for the manufacturing industry growth and development.

The secondary and primary research findings also highlighted an important point that there are some issues and aspects related with the research study that are not discussed in the social research works done so far but in the primary research these issues are discussed in details.

For example the product design, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process and innovation in the Nigerian manufacturing sector is not discussed in the social researches separately and in details and there is mostly an overall view of the entire situation presented by most of the researchers but in this research study, the primary data came up with in depth review of all of these issues and the views of the high level professionals operating in the manufacturing industry are used for exploring the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector specifically in terms of the five selected performance measures and this is the thing that was lacking in the secondary research. This gap in the literature was also identified in the review of the literature and in order to fill this gap the primary research was conducted and the missing aspects of the issues are discussed in details with the help of the statistical survey conducted among 200 manufacturing firms of Nigeria.

In the same way the primary research also prepared the background for conducting the comparative analysis of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with that of India, China and Malaysia. It was found during the review of the literature that this point is also missing in the existing research studies and the social scientists have worked out little for the in depth review and comparison of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with Nigeria.

In order to fill this gap also, the primary research was conducted and a separate section was included in the survey questionnaire so that the respondents of the survey can express their view about the comparison of the performances of these manufacturing sectors in details and specifically in terms of the five selected performance measures. Thus there are two major literature gaps that are attempted to fill up with the help of the primary research.

It is concluded from the matching of the primary and secondary research that there is great support of the secondary findings for the primary research findings because the observations of the social scientists are almost the same as the experiences of the personnel operating in the manufacturing industry of Nigeria and at the same time the points missed by the social scientists have also explored with the help of the opinions of the participants of the survey.

Summary

The chapter presented the key findings of the research in details. The findings of the secondary analysis of data are presented in the chapter according to the main topics discussed in the literature review and it is revealed that the secondary analysis of data very well explained all the issues and topic that are related with the research study. The findings of the secondary research provided complete understanding of the manufacturing industry contribution to the economic growth and also explain the past and present situation of the Nigerian manufacturing sector along with the identification of the main problems and limitations faced by the sector.

Moreover the secondary research also enables to get a deep understanding of the importance of the performance measures selected for the evaluation of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and it is very well explained in the secondary research finings that the five performance measures (product design, innovation, environmental uncertainty, manufacturing process and manufacturing strategy) are selected for the examination of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector because these five are the important factors that play major role in determining the quality of the manufactured products and the companies operating in the manufacturing industry have to focus a lot on these issues to remain strategic towards the attainment of their objectives.

The secondary research findings also presented clear picture of the manufacturing sectors of India, Malaysia and China and these findings will be used in conducting the comparative analysis of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the Indian, Malaysian and Chinese manufacturing sectors.

Along with the secondary research findings, the chapter also presented detailed account of the information about the results and findings of the primary research i.e. the statistical survey. The chapter presented the results of the survey according to the different sections and questions of the survey questionnaire. The answers for each of the question are calculated separately and the percentages of the responses for each option are calculated for each question.

Moreover the combined results of all the sections are also calculated and the opinions of the respondents for each section are calculated to know the overall response of the professional regarding that particular issue. The charts are used for presenting the answers of each of the question and section along with the percentages of the responses obtained for each section. It is revealed from the survey results that the most of the respondents rated the product design of the Nigerian manufacturing sector Medium and Low and there were little opinions in favor of high level of product designing in the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

It is also found that most of the professional participated in the survey view the level of innovation in the Nigerian manufacturing sector medium and Low. However the manufacturing strategy is viewed differently by the different professionals and there was a mixed response received for the level of the manufacturing strategy adopted by the Nigerian manufacturing companies. The level of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria is regarded high and Medium by most of the professionals participated in the survey and it is also discovered that in the opinions of the manufacturing industry professionals the environmental strategy has the greatest impact on the manufacturing sector performance and growth in Nigeria.

The comparison of Indian, Malaysian and Chinese manufacturing sector with Nigerian sector shows that more then half of the respondents are very clear in their views that the performance level of Indian, Malaysian and Chinese manufacturing sector is very high as compared with Nigeria. The results of the statistical survey also disclosed some of the major barriers that hinders the growth and high quality performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and the participants of the survey also highlighted some of the major problems and issues that are faced by the Nigerian manufacturing sector and creating many challenges for their survival.

The suggestions and recommendations given by the survey respondents are also described in the findings of the primary research and all the views of the respondents regarding the weaknesses of the Nigerian manufacturing sector are explained in details in the chapter. The matching of the primary and secondary research findings further make it clear that the secondary research findings strongly support the primary findings and there are lot of things that are found common among the studies and analysis of the social scientists and the experiences of the survey participants. In this way the gaps found in the literature during the secondary analysis of data are also filled with the help of the primary research finings.

Discussion and Analysis

Introduction

In this chapter the entire findings of the research study are discussed with the objective of determining the answers of the research question and to attain the research objectives. The results of the survey as well as the key findings of the secondary research are analyzed and interpreted in the chapter so that the entire research work and discussion can come towards a logical conclusion where the research objectives could be achieved in terms of finding the answers of the research question.

The chapter contains the examination of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria with regard to the product design, innovation, manufacturing process, manufacturing strategy and environmental uncertainty that is the main issue and basic objective of the research and also contains the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with that of china, India and Malaysia. In order to conduct this examination, the secondary research findings are used along with the data gathered from the statistical survey. All of the issues are discussed in this chapter to show that the issues are unfolded with the help of the secondary and primary research and the dissertation is heading towards the attainment of all of the objectives that were set out for the research study.

Interpretation and Analysis of Research Findings

The findings of the research are divided in to the secondary research findings and the primary research findings with regard to the topics discussed in the literature review and the issues covered in the statistical survey respectively. There are certain issues upon which the primary research results very well supported the secondary research and there are little contradictions found among the findings of the primary and secondary research, that proves that the observations and studies of the social scientists are matched with the evidences collected from the business world in form of the opinions of the professional working in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and involved in the manufacturing of the consumer goods.

The study of the manufacturing from global perspective and the impact of technology on manufacturing industry shows that manufacturing has emerged as one of the fundamental industries that possesses the potential to accelerate the economic growth of the country and the countries are essentially required to focus upon the growth and development of this sector to assure the stability of their economies. Moreover the impacts of technology are also very strong on the manufacturing sector and the situation becomes more challenging and difficult for the manufacturing companies due to the advent of new techniques and methods of products.

The manufacturing companies are now required to be very open as well as very careful regarding the adoptability of the new tools and techniques in their manufacturing process so that they can remain cost effective while maintaining their quality and standard. Moreover the secondary research also provided in depth review of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria by throwing light on its economic structure, historical perspective of the manufacturing sector, the main problems and limitations and the current scenario. Along with that the manufacturing sectors of India, China and Malaysia are also studied in the dissertation to have access to information for conducting the comparative analysis of these sectors with Nigerian manufacturing sector.

It became very clear in the light of the secondary research that the Nigerian manufacturing sector is surrounded by many problems and limitations due to which the performance of the sector is badly affecting. Due to these limitations and problems, the sector is not able to follow the same pattern of growth and development as followed by other developing countries. The role of the government also appeared to be less supportive for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

However some of the research studies argues that the government has realized the importance of economic diversification and some steps have been taken by the government to encourage the growth and development of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria but still the barriers existed in the country that are hindering the growth of the sector. The secondary research make it clear that the social scientists have stressed upon the need of liberalizing and diversifying the economy of Nigeria because the improvement can come in to the sector only through these doors.

Along with the secondary research, the primary research is also conducted to unfold many important issues related with the topic of the dissertation and the statistical survey among 200 firms of Nigeria is conducted with the intention of collecting evidences from the business world about the performance and problems of the manufacturing sector. The results of the statistical survey are calculated and presented in the last chapter and now it is very important to interpret and analyze these results to dig out the meanings of the collected responses and to give words to the figures so that the entire situation become clear.

The survey came up with the collection of the responses of the professionals working in the manufacturing sector through different aspects and there are different topics discussed with the survey respondents to find more about their opinions and views regarding the manufacturing sector performance in Nigeria. The primary research threw light over the issues of Nigerian manufacturing sector performance in terms of the five selected performance measures, the over all performance of the sector and the comparison of the performance of the Nigerian sector with that of Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors. The results of the statistical survey enable to conduct the examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance on the basis of following performance measures.

Product Design in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

In order to examine the product design of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria, there is a separated section included in the survey questionnaire in which there were seven questions asked from the participants of the survey about the Nigerian product designs. The results of these seven questions are calculated in the last chapter and it is found from these results that the professionals working in the manufacturing industry of Nigeria seems little satisfied about the skills and capabilities of the workers of Nigerian manufacturing sector in the perspective of maintaining high standards of product design.

There are more responses collected for medium level of skills and technical capabilities standard because 41 percent of the respondents selected the option of Medium. In addition to this it is also found that the manufacturing companies in Nigeria are concentrating much on the product design and it seems that these companies will work positively to maintain the standard of Nigerian manufacturing and the overall revenues of the sector will also be increased as a result of their efforts however despite the focus of the manufacturing companies towards the product designing, the present level of the products manufactured by the Nigerian manufacturers is not still of international level and more then half of the respondents of the survey see the product design at very low level on international scale.

Many of the survey respondents also their disappointment regarding the potential of the Nigerian product designers and they are not very much hopeful that these product designers can bring innovation in the manufacturing sector. The participants of the survey also seem disappointed due to their thinking that the manufacturing companies of Nigeria do little research work before going for the product design of their manufacturing goods. Due to these facts the present level and standard of the product designs offered by the Nigerian manufacturing sector does not meet the demands and expectations of the consumers and at the same time Nigeria can not stand in the international market with the present level of the product design according to the view of the participants of the survey.

Thus there are some disappointments but at the same time some hopes also expressed by the participants of the survey in the section related with the product design and it is revealed that the professionals working in the manufacturing sector are not very much satisfy with the present level of product design made by the manufacturers of Nigeria because they believe that the product design is not of at international level. Even they are not sure about the fact that this level of product design will meet the demands and expectations of the domestic consumers.

However there are some hope also expressed and the participants of the survey inform that they see potential in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria that it possesses the capability to come up with innovative designs of the products because there is wave of awareness among the manufacturers of Nigeria regarding the realization of the importance of the product design for the success of the manufacturing industry. In this way the participants of the survey evaluated the product designs of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and it is found that in the coming days there are some hope in the minds of the survey participants but the current situation is just dissatisfying and disappointing for them.

Innovation in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

In order to examine the innovation in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria, there is a section included in the survey questionnaire and there were seven questions asked from the respondents to know about their views regarding innovation in the Nigerian manufacturing sector. It is found from the survey results calculated in the last chapter that the present level of technology usage is not very much high in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and many of the participants of the survey see it at medium and low level.

Due to this relatively low level of technology usage the manufacturing companies of Nigeria also failed to offer the consumers much innovative products in the view of the survey participants however the participants of the survey also noticed that there is high level of improvement came in the designing and offered features of the Nigerian products as compared with the past but despite this improvement as compared with the olden days, the present level of technology usage and innovation is not satisfactory in the eyes of the survey participants and they are also concerned about the fact that in the present wave of globalization and high competition, the product designs and features of the Nigerian manufacturing sector are not of that standard that can assist the country in its survival.

At the same time the survey participant see that the manufacturers in Nigeria are getting more and more aware about bringing innovation in the manufacturing sector but still they do not give much strategic importance to the innovation in the product design. Thus the innovation within the product design and the manufacturing process of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is not found at very satisfactory level in the eyes of the professionals working in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria because they see the present level of innovation and technology usage at very low position.

Although the respondents of the survey have also observed that as compared with past the manufacturing companies in Nigeria are doing well with the point of view of innovating new ideas but comparing this innovation level at international standards, it is found that the Nigerian firms are doing at very low level. In this regard the attitude of the manufacturing sector companies is somewhat positive that they are aware of the fact that in order to compete at international as well as domestic level they need to be more innovative and strategic towards the adaptation of innovation however despite this awareness in practice they are focusing less on innovating new ideas for the product design and manufacturing process due to which the present level of innovation still can not be evaluated at some satisfactory level according to the opinion of the participants of the survey.

Manufacturing Strategy in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

In order to evaluate the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector on the basis of the manufacturing strategy adopted by the Nigerian companies, a section was dedicated in the survey questionnaire and there are seven questions asked from the respondents about the manufacturing strategy adopted by the Nigerian manufacturing sector. The results of this section calculated in the last chapter show that the participants of the survey are not much satisfied from the current manufacturing strategy adopted by the manufacturing companies of Nigeria because most of the respondents think that the present strategy of the manufacturing in Nigeria is not aligned with the requirements of the present situation.

Due to this fact that manufacturing strategy is not update, the manufacturing sector of Nigeria can not compete with other countries at international level. Moreover the manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian companies looks at such a low level that there are little chances that with this manufacturing strategy the manufacturing companies of Nigeria will be able to retain their existing consumers or they will be able to further catch the attention of new consumers.

The participants also identify that the operating environment of the country is not suitable for the activities of the manufacturing industry due to this reason also the strategy adopted by the companies is not appeared to be successful in the current situation.

Despite the presence of problems in the operating environment the participants of the survey also blamed that the companies operating in the manufacturing sector are also responsible for the ineffectiveness of the manufacturing strategy because there are lots of flaws in the current strategy due to which there is essential need that the manufacturing companies must make some major reforms in the current manufacturing strategy and for this purpose they can also look towards the developing countries and can pick from their strategies and planning to implement the suitable strategies in own manufacturing sector.

Thus there is an overall dissatisfaction observed among the participants of the survey and the results of this section clearly indicated that there are major reforms required in the manufacturing sector strategy as the present strategy is not acceptable at domestic or international level. The operating environment of the country is also a factor behind the inefficient manufacturing strategy and the manufacturing companies can work for removing the flaws from their system by following the patterns of the developing countries like China, India and Malaysia.

This will help them in identifying the factors that are creating problems for them and then they can also dig the solution from the policies of the developing countries and in turn the manufacturing strategy of the Nigerian sector can also came to a level where it is compete with other countries and can also catch the attention of more consumers from inside the country as well as from international market. In this regard the planning of the owners and operators of the manufacturing forms of Nigeria is very important because proper planning can determine the success of the manufacturing strategy and can take the country towards the path of development.

Manufacturing Process in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturing process is also among the five performance measures that are selected for the examination of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. In order to conduct the analysis of the sector on the basis of the manufacturing process followed by the country, there are seven question constructed within a separate section of the questionnaire and in the light of the results of these questions calculated in the last chapter, the performance of Nigerian manufacturing sector is evaluated and examined. It is found that there are some very important issues that have played role in determining the progress of the manufacturing process of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

The SAP induced reforms that remained topic of debates of many social scientists as well, are regarded by the participants of the survey as the way through which more difficulties entered in to the manufacturing sector. The survey participants were mostly agreed that the performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria further declined after the introduction of SAP because the cost of production for the Nigerian manufacturers went on further increasing and they have to pay more on the import of the raw material and spare parts for the manufacturing of the products. Due to this reason the overall cost of production was increased as well and the growth level of the sector wend on declining.

Along with the SAP induced reforms, the skills and qualification level of the Nigerian manufacturing work force is not at high level where they can run an advanced and modern technology based manufacturing process because they do not possess the required skills and knowledge to handle new tools and techniques of manufacturing. Due to this fact there is not trend of introducing and using modern machinery and tools in the manufacturing process because the owners of the manufacturing firms are aware of the fact that without proper training their workers can not use the advanced technology based machinery and tools of production.

As a result the manufacturing process remain at low standard and the firms use to manufacture products through their traditional methods. The participants of the survey also make it clear that there is great need for the manufacturing firms that they should focus upon the issues of chain, lean and agile manufacturing to keep them update with the emerging concepts and philosophies in the manufacturing industry. Thus there is great need that the manufacturing firms’ owners and operators must think over the matter that they should restructure their manufacturing process and keep it update with the emerging concepts and technologies in the manufacturing industry.

The present situation of the manufacturing process seems quite dissatisfying in the eyes of the participants of the survey and it appears that the participants of the survey feel essential need of restructuring the present manufacturing process followed by the Nigerian manufacturing companies and in this regard they stress on the need of adequate infrastructure, skilled labor and usage of advances machinery and techniques in the manufacturing of the products.

Environmental Uncertainty in Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

The uncertainty in the environment has proved to be an important influential factor that can harm the activities and performance level of any business or industry. In order to examine the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector the uncertainty in the business environment of Nigeria is also studied and analyzed to trace the impact of this factor on the performance of the manufacturing industry.

A section of the questionnaire was dedicated for the questions about the impact of environmental uncertainty on the performance of Nigerian manufacturing sector and with the help of the seven questions included in the section, the responses of the survey participants are collected regarding the environmental uncertainty in Nigerian manufacturing sector. It is revealed from the survey results that the survey participants are not satisfied with the business environment of Nigeria and they think that there is very low support to the manufacturing sector activities from the environment of the country due to which the activities of the manufacturers are also harmfully affecting.

At the same time all of the survey participants are also strongly agrees with the fact that there is unavailability of adequate finance resources for the manufacturers in Nigeria due to which the performance of the sector is also very low. Moreover there is no support from the sociopolitical conditions to the manufacturing companies instead there is instability in the business environment due to which the companies’ owners remain uncertain to take important decisions about their operations and activities.

At the same time it is also realized by the survey respondents that if the government of Nigeria will take some positive steps towards bringing stability in the business environment then the activities and performance level of the manufacturers will be affected very strongly. There is another threat in the business environment of Nigeria in form of foreign products because in the presence of the foreign manufactured products the level of the Nigerian manufacturing products seem further low because the foreign products are high in product design and innovation and the market value of the Nigerian manufactured products further went down in the presence of advanced manufactured foreign products.

The only hope for the survey participants in the Nigerian manufacturing sector is the openness of the Nigerian manufacturing owners towards the adoptability of technological changes due to which the participants think that some improvement can bring in the sector. Thus it is revealed from the answers of this section that environmental uncertainty exists in the business environment of Nigeria at very high level and this factor is highly influencing the performance and productivity of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

The uncertainty is evaluated in terms of difficulties in getting finance from different institutions and the participants of the survey are strongly agreed upon this matter that in Nigeria there is lack of availability of sufficient financial resources and finally it is revealed that the high level of uncertainty in the business environment of Nigeria is among the important factors that contribute towards the decline of the performance of the sector.

Discussion of Main Issue

The main issue upon which the entire research study is based is to conduct the examination and comparative analysis of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last 25 years so that the main problems and limitations surrounding the manufacturing industry could be identified and then some workable suggestions can be formulated so that there could be improvement in the performance level of the sector.

The examination came up with detailed explanation of the present situation of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria in terms of the five measures (product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process and environmental uncertainty) selected for conducting the examination of the performance of the sector. The secondary and primary research findings help in unfolding all the issues related with the research study and in the light of the research findings the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is evaluated as well as compared with the performances of the manufacturing sectors of India, China and Malaysia.

The performance examination and the comparative analysis came up with identification of several problems and limitations that are responsible for the low level performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and it is revealed that Nigeria could also follow the growth patterns of other developing countries but it will require high level of cooperation, willingness and attention of the government.

It appears that the government of Nigeria is now open towards the diversification and liberalization of the economy and some measures are also taken for the improvement in the performance of the manufacturing industry in Nigeria but the practical evidences collected from the business world prove that till now there is no major improvement in the situation has observed by the people operating in the sector and there is further need for revolutionary steps and reforms that can work for the restructuring of the entire manufacturing sector on the basis of the advanced knowledge of modern methods and techniques of manufacturing.

The strategies and policies of developing countries like China, India and Malaysia can also be followed by Nigeria but for this it is very necessary that the government of Nigeria took major steps in this regards and make the investment regime of the country as attractive as the Chinese, Indian and Malaysian investment regimes are for the foreign investors. For this the policies and trade duties should be minimized and government should also assure the foreign and domestic manufacturers about the certainty of the business environment.

Finally it is concluded that there could be improvement in the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector as a result of the government decisions and along with that the manufacturing companies operating in the sector are also required to take some steps towards the improvement of the product design, manufacturing process and strategies by brining innovation to the entire system and they also have to be dedicated towards conducting research and development work, skills development and training of the workforce and adoptability of the appropriate technology.

Comparative Analysis of Manufacturing Sectors of different countries with Nigeria

In order to conduct the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the manufacturing sectors of some of the developing countries, there are three countries selected including India, China and Malaysia. The objective of the comparative analysis is to identify the major factors that have contributed towards the differences in the manufacturing sector performance of these countries. this identification will help in formulating some suggestions for the Nigeria that the government and the manufacturing companies in Nigeria can also adopt and implement the policies and strategies of the developing country that are applicable to their own systems as well so that Nigeria can also follow the path of these developing countries by improving the performance of its manufacturing sector.

In order to conduct this comparative analysis the information and data is collected from two sources i.e. the secondary and the primary research approaches. In the first phase the related researches are reviewed to get information about the performances of the manufacturing sectors of these countries and then in the statistical survey also the participants were asked different questions to compare the performances of these manufacturing sectors. The results of the survey and the secondary analysis of data threw light on many aspects of the issue and as a result the comparison of the manufacturing sectors of these countries become possible.

First of all it is observed that the manufacturing sector in India, Malaysia and China are giving significant out put due to which the contribution of these sectors in the total GDP of the country is also significant. For example the manufacturing sector of China accounts for more then 34 percent of its total GDP (Chi Hung, 2002), the manufacturing sector of Malaysia accounts for nearly 30 percent of its GDP (Asian Economic Bulletin, 2004) whereas in India the manufacturing sector share in GDP has reached to the level of 25 percent (Nilachal Ray, 2004).

On the other hand according to the facts and figures maintained by SASRIC the manufacturing sector accounts for just 3.99 percent (as in 2003) in the total GDP of the country (SASRIC member profile, 2008). There is major difference in the contribution of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in the total GDP of the country as compared with the developed countries like India, China and Malaysia and this difference clearly indicates the inefficient performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and it also become clear that the sector is unable to support the economic growth of the country in effective manner.

It is also observed that the developing countries like India, China and Malaysia also have differences in the share of manufacturing sector in the GDP and this share has also witnessed several ups and down but still the manufacturing sector share in GDP of these countries has never dropped down to the level of the current Nigerian manufacturing share in GDP. Moreover the research studies and reports have also showed many signs that the government and the sector operators are concentrating towards further increasing the share of the sector in GDP whereas the Nigerian manufacturing sector is struggling to maintain an acceptable level of this share that looks far away in the present situation.

Along with the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the GDP, there are many other aspects and measures that are used for comparing the performances of the manufacturing sectors of these countries and it is found from the survey results that more then 60 percent of the survey participants that are the professionals working in the Nigerian manufacturing sector evaluate the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector at international level at very low position and there are just 3 percent of the respondents that view the performance of the Nigerian sector at high level in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing process, Product Design, Competitiveness, Innovation and Environmental Uncertainty.

These results also show an overall disappointment of the people related with the manufacturing sector of Nigeria about the performance of the sector and in the light of these results it can be evaluated that the sector performs very low at international level.

It is also found from that almost 79 percent of the survey respondents see high differences in the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in comparison with the manufacturing sector performance of China whereas just 5 percent see little differences in the performances. In the same way the survey results also show that 82 percent of the respondents see high differences in the manufacturing sectors performances of Nigeria and Malaysia whereas the high differences in the performances of Indian and Nigerian manufacturing sector is also witnessed by 75 percent of the survey participants.

These figures further confirmed that the Nigerian manufacturing sector is performing very low according to the opinions of the professionals operating in the sector and they feel huge differences in the product designing, manufacturing process, strategy, innovation and environment of these sectors. Thus in the light of these results it become very clear that according to the performance measures the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is evaluated at very low level as compared with some of the developing countries and the factors studied are found very weak in Nigerian manufacturing sector due to which the sector is unable to progress well like the sectors of the developing countries.

There are several important factors that have contributed towards this huge difference in the performance level of the manufacturing sector and among them the social and economic stability is an important factor that supports the manufacturing sector operations in China, India and Malaysia very well but in Nigeria this stability lacks due to which the manufacturing sector is also unable to efficiently perform (survey results).

In the same manner environmental uncertainty in the Nigerian manufacturing sector is also identified as one of the main factor that led to the huge differences in the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with that of India, China and Malaysia (survey results). These findings show that Nigeria must work for attaining stability at social and economic scenario so that there will be favorable business environment available for the manufacturing companies and they can be certain about the operating environment in taking certain decisions. This is an important factor that is hindering the growth of Nigerian manufacturing sector and the other developing countries are performing well in manufacturing because along with many other reasons the stability in the environment supports their activities and operations.

The research study results also revealed that in Nigerian manufacturing sectors many of the performance measures are not followed adequately whereas the other developing countries are concentrating upon these issues with great attention. For example in India the manufacturing sector is focusing more and more on the innovation of new ideas for the product designing and manufacturing process and the social scientists have observed that the related authorities and organizations like Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) also realized the importance of bringing innovation in the manufacturing sector so that the overall growth rate of the sector could be increased.

However in Nigeria the business community despite all the willingness for bringing improvement is not concentrating much upon the innovation of new ideas for the product design. In the same way the social scientists have observed that in China the manufacturers used to give lot of emphasis and attention towards maintaining as well as rising the standard and quality of their products through the adaptation of appropriate technology and manufacturing process but in Nigeria lack of adequate energy resources and skilled labor prevents the manufacturers to focus upon these issues and as a result the products designed in the manufacturing industry of Nigeria fail to grab the attention of the consumers at international level.

Cost effectiveness of the manufacturing process also appeared to be one of the main differences in the manufacturing sectors of these countries. It is found that the developing countries especially China focus a lot on minimizing the cost of production so that they can provide the consumers and the importers different quality products at low price. In this regard the sector has adopted several strategies like the adaptation of appropriate technology and the arrangement for easy access to the raw material.

But in case of Nigeria, the manufacturers are not able to adopt cost effective manufacturing process because they have to access to the raw material through their domestic industries and due to lack of development of the basic industries in the country they have to import the raw material and spare parts from other countries and have to pay a lot on the duties and tariffs due to which the overall cost of product increases for them.

Further more the weak infrastructure and inadequate supply of the energy resources also prevent them to manufacture products at low cost. As a result the countries willing to import manufactured products from other countries concentrate less towards Nigeria; instead they give importance and preference to China, India and Malaysia because these countries offer them innovative products at competitive rates.

The comparison of the manufacturing sector performance of these countries also show that the role of government in very fundamental in determining the growth and performance level of the manufacturing sectors of these countries. In china the government has adopted trade liberalization policies due to which the investment in the sector are increasing and the sector is progressing very well as a result of the strong support of FDI.

In Malaysia and India also the government has implemented several investor friendly policies due to which the foreign investors are encouraged to invest in the manufacturing sector. In Malaysia the government policies have resulted in massive rise of the foreign investments in the manufacturing sector due to which the overall performance and productivity of the sector has also improved. In Nigeria despite the realization of liberalization the economy and investment regime, the government enacted policies have not yet proved to be significant for the prominent increase in the manufacturing sector.

As a result the foreign direct investment flows are not coming to the country with high rates and the manufacturing sector also lacks the need of adequate investments for research and development work and technology adaptation. Moreover the government of Nigeria has not worked out effectively for the development of adequate infrastructure and energy resources flow to the manufacturing sector that also hinders the growth of the sector. Unlike other developing countries like China, India and Malaysia the infrastructure and energy supply in Nigeria is not effective enough to support the manufacturing activities and this factor has also contributed towards the difference in the performance of the manufacturing sectors of these countries.

The skilled labor availability and adoptability of new technology is also an important point of difference in the performance of the manufacturing sectors of these countries. In Nigeria the workers in the manufacturing sector are getting very low wages rates due to which poverty prevails in the country and the manufacturing companies can not afford to hire qualified and skilled labor as they have less financial resources.

Due to this fact the qualification and skill development of the workers is also affected badly and the technology adaptation in the manufacturing sector also remains at low level due to the unavailability of the financial resources. The manufacturing companies in Nigeria also have little access to the finance providers. In India, China and Malaysia there are different financial institution as well as venture capital firms that work for the provision of finance to the manufacturing companies but in Nigeria the finance providers are not effectively working for the manufacturing industry due to which the sector is lagging behind with other developing countries in maintaining good standard and growth level of the manufacturing sector.

The uncertainty in the business environment is also among the most influential factors that act as barrier in Nigeria for the development of the manufacturing industry and the other developing countries like China India and Malaysia are having sound and stable business environments due to which the manufacturers are encouraged to perform well but the situation is quite different in Nigeria where the manufacturing company owners most of the times remain confused regarding taking even major decisions about the business due to which their activities are also affected and the efficiency and productivity of the manufacturing firm also declines.

Whereas in China, Malaysia and India the certainty in the environments does not lies at this much high level due to which the manufacturing sector works very smoothly. Moreover the economic structures of these countries are also important differential points that changed the working patterns of the manufacturing sectors. India, china and Malaysia have diversified their economies in different sectors and none of these countries are rather oil based, industrial agriculture or manufacturing based economy but they are concentrating upon different sectors according to their importance and capabilities of their economy.

Whereas in Nigeria historically the economy used to be oil based economy and the government and other authorities have worked very little for the diversification of the economy. As a result the other sectors lack development and growth and they lag behind other developing countries.

Finally it is revealed from the secondary as well as primary research and the analysis of their findings that the performance of Nigeria is very week than the manufacturing sectors of India, China and Malaysia in terms of productivity, share in GDP, innovation, skills development, trade liberalization, input resources availability, manufacturing strategy, process access to the energy resources and environmental conditions. If Nigeria wants to follow the development patterns of these countries then it is very necessary that there must be some major and revolutionary reforms implemented in the economy of Nigeria that can work for the declining of the hurdles and barriers that are impending the growth of the manufacturing sector in the country and in turn the economy is getting unstable.

The comparison of Nigeria with other countries shows that for improving the performance of manufacturing sector in Nigeria and to take it at the same standard as of the Indian, Malaysian and Chinese manufacturing sector first of all it is very necessary to diversify the economy towards the non oil sector so that there could be development of other industries. Nigeria strongly needs the attention of the government to take some solid steps that can work for the promotion of the basic industries in the country. When the basic industries will be developed in Nigeria just like India, China and Malaysia then Nigeria will also be able to have an easy access to the raw material and spare parts within the county.

The manufacturing companies will then not have to pay high amount of money for the tariff and import duties and the cost of production will be minimized. As a result the manufacturers will get the opportunity to concentrate towards other issues like research and development, technology adoptability and skills development of the labor etc. All these steps can contribute towards the development of the manufacturing sector. Thus Nigeria has to follow the strategies of India, China and Malaysia to develop its basic industry to make possible the easy availability of raw material in order to cut down the cost of production of manufacturing the goods in the industry.

In the same way the government of Nigeria should also review the trade and import policies of India, China and Malaysia to pick the applicable strategies from their policies so that the trade regime of Nigeria could also become open and favorable for the investors and the local as well as the foreign investors will also be encouraged to bring their money in Nigeria to finance the manufacturing of different products.

At present the foreign investors are not attracted towards Nigeria as the trade conditions and business environment of the country does not fully support the foreign investment, furthermore the compilation in setting up the business or financing the business are too much that the foreign investors prefer to go to other countries rather then Nigeria. The high rate of corruption at different level also prevents the foreign investors and the law and order situation also act as a barrier.

Thus the government has to assure the foreign investors about the security of their money and property in Nigeria along with offering them several other incentives and investment opportunities so that the rate of FDI can be increased in Nigeria and the sector can spend the money for the adoptability of appropriate and updated technology, research and development work and restructuring of the manufacturing process.

The government should also make assure the certainty of the business environment to encourage the manufacturing and other business activities. Apart from the government, the manufacturers and investors of the country should also work at their own if they want to follow the development patterns of China, India and Malaysia. the manufacturers have to focus on the research and development work through which they can bring innovation in their manufacturing process and along with that they also have to make arrangements for the skill development of the workers so that a highly skilled and qualified work force can support the innovation process within the manufacturing sector and can also work for bringing new idea in the industry.

Thus there are many differences found in the manufacturing sector performances of Nigeria, India and Malaysia and it is revealed from the above discussion that there are many important factors that have contributed towards creating this huge difference.

The secondary analysis of data came up with many evidences that prove high differences in the performance of these manufacturing sector and then the results and analysis of the primary data further supported the findings of the secondary research and it become very clear that in terms of product design, innovation, manufacturing process, manufacturing strategy and environmental uncertainty, the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is lagging behind the developing countries due to which the sector is not able to support the economic development of Nigeria just like the manufacturing sectors do in India, China and Malaysia.

There are some very influential factors that are responsible for these differences and some major and revolutionary reforms are required to be taken by the government of Nigeria in order to follow the growth and development patterns of the manufacturing sectors of India, Malaysia and China.

Answering the Research Questions

The findings of the primary and secondary research and the interpretation and analysis of these findings enabled to conduct the examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last 25 years and the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing industry with Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sector. This examination and comparative analysis helped in unfolding various issues and topic related with the research study and after discussing the main issues of the research study, now it become possible to give the answers of the research questions that were set at the beginning of the research.

To find the answers of these questions is the base for this research study because these research questions are based on the main objectives of the research as well as on the objective of filling up the gaps found in the literature and giving the answers of these research questions is b=necessary to show that the research study has successfully attained its objectives and all the issues that were unclear before the conduction of the research study have become clear now. There were eight questions upon which the research study is based and in the light of the research study findings, analysis and examination conducted in the above section, the answers of all of these questions can be found as below.

The first question of the research study was to find out that what the performance of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is from 1985-2005 in terms of product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty. In order to find out the answer of this research question data and information is collected from both the secondary and primary sources.

The secondary research provided the history of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last decades but it was found that the examination and analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is not conducted by any of the researchers on the basis of specific performance measures like product design, Innovations, Manufacturing Process, manufacturing strategy, and environmental uncertainty thus these issues were asked in details in the statistical survey and with the help of the questions formulated under different sections of the questionnaire, the opinions of the survey participants are gathered with regard to the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in terms of each of the five selected performance measures.

The performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with respect to the five selected performance measures has already discussed in details in the above section and all these five factors within the Nigerian manufacturing sector are evaluated on the basis of the survey results and the secondary research. In order to find out the answer of this specific question, the above mentioned employed research methods came up with detailed findings and analysis and it is found that the Nigerian manufacturing sector historically being a victim of the oil based economy of Nigeria, has never flourished due to the negligence of the government and authorities.

The government of Nigeria always focus towards the oil sectors and little attention given to promote and encourage the activities of the manufacturing industry. The oil prices shocks in the global oil market also directly affects the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector because when the government face massive decline in the revenues coming from the oil export, it increased the duties and tariffs on the import of certain products and material due to which the difficulties were further increased for the manufacturing sector. Moreover the implementation of SAP reforms that were assisted by IMF also resulted in increment of the raw material and spare parts prices in the country rather than facilitating the manufacturers of the country.

Despite all these difficulties it is also a fact that Nigeria has great potential to grow as a manufacturing country because of its geographical locations. There are millions of potential consumers present in Nigeria as well as in the surrounding countries that can be attracted by the manufacturing industry of Nigeria if it works in efficient manner. Thus the availability of the millions of the consumers near to the manufacturing unit is a great advantage that must be realized by the government as well as the manufacturers of Nigeria so that they can work out to catch the attention of these consumers in the early phase and then look towards the international markets to bring more consumers and investment to the country.

The manufacturing industry development in Nigeria is marked with lot of limitations, difficulties and stories of corruption and defaults. The funds and donations provided by different financial institutions like African Development Bank etc always failed to reach adequate to the manufacturers because these funds are enjoyed by the corrupt authorities working at different levels of Nigerian government. Moreover the investment policies of the Nigerian government are still not open and supportive for the investors due to which there is low foreign direct investment coming in to the country and the manufacturing unit also faces lot of difficulties in managing their certain activities.

The research study also make it clear that improvement in the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector is possible only when the government and the manufacturers both show willingness and positive attitude towards the changes required in the situation because the research study found many flaws in the decisions and policies of the government and at the same time the need of taking some of the major reforms in the manufacturers activities are also identified in the research. Thus the answer of this research question is achieved very successfully in the light of the findings and analysis of the secondary and primary research and this matter is discussed in details in the above section of this chapter.

The second research question was about main problems and limitations faced by the manufacturing sector of country. The review of the literature also threw light on many of the problems and limitations that are surrounding the manufacturing companies in Nigeria however this question was also asked from the participants of the survey so that the information about the current problems faced by the people in the sector can also be gathered.

The literature review and the survey results came up with the identification of many problems and issues that are limiting the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and both of the research types came up with almost common problems and limitations. It is found that the economy of Nigeria is not still diversified towards the non oil sectors due to which there is little attention given by the government to solutions of the issues faced by the manufacturing sector.

The corruption prevailing at different governmental agencies and departments also hinders the growth and stability of the sector. In addition to this the infrastructure and energy supply to the manufacturing sector are also the deficiencies that create problems for the manufacturing companies because they often get problem in getting smooth and proper supply of energy and the infrastructure is also weak enough to support the manufacturing activities. Another important problem faced by the manufacturing companies is the lack of financial resources because neither the local nor the foreign investors are much attracted towards the manufacturing sector of Nigeria.

Due to this lack of interest less amount of money came in the manufacturing sector. The research and development work, labor wages, training and skill development programs and adoptability of technology etc are badly affected due to the shortage of the financial resources. Moreover the trade regime of the country is not liberal enough to create investor friendly environment in the business world. All of the above mentioned problems and limitations are identified as the result of the research work and in this way the answer to this research question is also achieved successfully.

The third research question was to find out that what factors have played important role in undermining the manufacturing sector growth in Nigeria. This question is also asked by the participants of the survey and at the same time the review of many of the research studies also highlighted the factors having negative effects on the performance and growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

Both of the research findings identified almost common factors and it is found that the corruption, negligence of government towards the manufacturing sector, inadequate infrastructure, inadequate supply of the energy resources, lack of innovation and technology adoptability, low skills and qualification level of the work force and insufficient financial resources are the important factors that have undermined the performance and growth level of Nigerian manufacturing sector during the last decades.

These issues and factors are discussed in details in the above chapters and above section of the same chapter and in this way the answer to this research question is also searched successfully with the help of the analysis and interpretation of the findings of the primary and secondary research work done for conducting the study.

The fourth question of the research was about the main differences in terms of Manufacturing Strategy, Manufacturing Design, Process and Innovations of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with India, China and Malaysia. The participants of the survey were given different options to identify that which of the factors according to their opinion has contributed to the difference in the performance of Nigeria with other developing countries and the secondary analysis of data is also conduct to review the performance of these countries to identify the main differential factors.

The comparative analysis conducted among these countries in the light of the secondary and primary research findings further helped in getting the answer of this question and it is revealed that environmental uncertainty is the most important factors that is blamed for creating huge difference in the performances of the manufacturing sectors of India, China, Malaysia as compared with the manufacturing sector performance of Nigeria. It appears that most of the participants of the survey and the social scientists have firm believe that the business environment of India, China and Malaysia is very supportive for the manufacturing activities but in Nigeria the situation is totally opposite and worst due to which the manufacturing companies got little encouragement and motivation as well as opportunities to progress in positive direction.

The social and political uncertainty works with the economic instability and brings the level of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector at lowest degree in comparison with the manufacturing sector performances of India, China and Malaysia. Thus the main factors in the view of social scientists and participants of the survey is identified that is highly responsible for the difference in the manufacturing sectors performances of these countries and in this way the secondary and primary research studies successfully came up with the answer of this research as well.

The fifth research question of the study was about the main differences in the growth patterns, strategies and planning of Nigerian manufacturing sector as compared with India, China and Malaysia. This question can also be answered with the help of the comparative analysis conducted between the manufacturing sectors of these countries in the same chapter and it is found that there are some very important issues that are responsible for the difference in the performance level of these manufacturing sectors.

The comparative analysis first of all makes it clear that the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the total GDP growth of the country is very low in Nigeria as compared with the contributions of the Indian. Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sectors and based on this fact it can be finally concluded that the Nigerian manufacturing sector is performing lower then the sectors of these countries.

In this regard the main reasons behind this difference are also highlighted and it is revealed that in china, India and Malaysia the manufacturing firms have easy access to the raw material, spare parts, energy resources, finance resources, foreign investment and the infrastructure of these countries is also very supportive for the manufacturing activities. Due to all these above mentioned reasons the manufacturing sectors are performing well in these countries whereas Nigerian manufacturing sector is lacking east access to all of these facilities due to which the firms are not able to smoothly run their activities and the efficiency and the productivity of the sector is affected.

The differences found in the manufacturing sector performances of these countries are identified and discussed in details in the comparative analysis of the performances of these countries in the same chapter and on the basis of this comparative analysis, it is revealed that the answer of this question is also given successfully by the research study findings and analysis.

The sixth question of the research was about the main differences between the manufacturing sector operating environments between Nigeria and China, India and Malaysia. The answer of this question is found in the comparative analysis of the manufacturing sectors of these countries and it is revealed that operating environment of the manufacturing industry of Nigeria is very different and non supportive as compared with India, Malaysia and China.

In Nigeria the government has not implemented much of the investor friendly policies and the manufacturing companies have to pay lot for the tariff and import duties. Moreover the financial resources, energy resources and the infrastructure of Nigeria are also less supportive for the manufacturing companies in Nigeria. On the other hand in India, China and Malaysia, the government has formulated such policies that show the willingness of the government towards the improvement in the performance of the manufacturing industry. There are less import and tariff duties enacted on the manufacturers and the energy flow is also smooth for these firms.

The infrastructure is also adequate due to which there is overall a favorable environment in India, China and Malaysia for the manufacturers and the manufacturing companies of Nigeria disparately lacks this stability and favorable environment.

The seventh research question was about the strategies and policies that can help the under developed countries in coping up with the technology advancements occurring in the manufacturing industry. This research question was based on a gap found in the literature that many of the research studies focus on the issue of technology impact on the manufacturing sector but none of them identified that how the developing especially least developing countries can work out to cope up with these technology advancements and their impacts.

Thus the statistical survey findings are used for searching the answer of this research question and by taking Nigeria as an example, the strategies and policies are identified that can help the countries in surviving in the rapidly changing and highly competitive market place. It is revealed from the research study that the developing counties have to be remained open towards the adoptability of the latest technology that should also be appropriate for the manufacturing process and activities of that country.

The developing countries should strive to keep them update with the ongoing changes in the technology world so that they can make immediate changes required in their strategies and planning. For this they have to focus more and more on the research and development work so that they can be aware of the technology revolution occurring in their surrounding. Moreover the developing countries should also look towards the trade liberalization measures so that FDI flow could be increased and the manufacturing companies can also get financial opportunities to invest in different fields like training of the employees and technology adaptation.

Moreover the government s of the developing countries should also focus on developing the infrastructure of their country on strong basis and they should also assure the smooth flow of the energy resources to the manufacturing industry. Along with that the development of the basic industries is also very crucial for the developing nations because through the development of their own basic industries they can save money that they have to spend on the import of the raw material and spare parts to be used in the manufacturing process. All of these measures can help the developing countries to cope up with the technology advancements and in this way the research study also presented the answer of this research question.

The eighth and the last research question of the study was about the strategies and planning can improve the performance and productivity of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. This question was asked from the participants of the survey. Although the secondary research also identified many steps that can help the country in improving the manufacturing sector performance but the view of the professionals operating in the sector possesses great importance as they are in good position to understand as well as explain the problems and their solutions related with the industry.

This research question is intended to fulfill the research objective of coming up with the suggestions and recommendations for the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and there are many recommendations and suggestions given by the participants of the survey and the social scientists for the improvement of the manufacturing sector performance in Nigeria. It is found that Nigeria can work out to liberalize its trade regime by implementing the policies and strategies that can encourage the investors and in this way foreign investment can some in the country and like China, India and Malaysia, Nigeria will also enjoy the benefits of the foreign investment in terms of expenditures in the research and development work, skill development and technology adaptation.

Moreover Nigeria should also focus on restructuring its manufacturing strategy and process by following the manufacturing process and patterns of the developing countries so that it can also be able to manufacture the products with same standard quality and by spending same amount of money on the manufacturing. In this way there are many policies and strategies highlighted by the results of the research study that can help Nigeria in improving the performance of the manufacturing sector and to come at the level and standard of other developing nations like India, China and Malaysia.

Along with that there are many other strategies and policies that can help Nigeria and these are all discussed in details in the next chapter under the heading of suggestions and recommendations for the Nigerian manufacturing sector. Thus the research study also provided successfully the answer of this research question.

There were eight research questions that were based on the objective of the research study and were also derived from the gaps found in the literature. These questions are answers through the analysis and interpretation of the secondary and primary research works and finally it is concluded that all of the eight answers of the research questions are well presented and explained in details in this section and finally the research study came up with in depth answers of these questions that are well supported by the finings of the secondary and primary data.

Summary

The chapter contains the outcome of the entire research work and all the issues related with the research study are discussed in the chapter to come to the attainment of the research objectives. The chapter presented the interpretations and analysis of the secondary and primary research results and also presented the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with that of India, China and Malaysia.

Moreover the main issue of the research study i.e. the examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in terms of product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process and environmental uncertainty is also discussed in this chapter that is one of the main objectives of the research study. The answers of the research questions are also found and presented in this chapter and in the light of all the discussions made in the chapter, it became clear that the research study has successfully met all of its objectives because all the issues identified in the beginning of the research are discussed, all the research questions are answers and all the gaps found in the literature are also filled with the help of the secondary and primary research and their analysis and interpretations.

The interpretation of the survey results in done according to the topics and sections of the survey questionnaire so that each and every aspect of the Nigerian manufacturing sector investigated from the participants of the survey become clear and then in the light of the interpretation of the survey results and the secondary analysis of data, the answers of the research questions are searched and explained in details in this chapter.

Moreover an important objective of the research study i.e. to compare the Nigerian manufacturing sector performance with that of India, china and Malaysia is also attained in this chapter and thus it could be summarized that the chapter contains the fruits of the research study because it provide the information, analysis and interpretation about the issues and topics that are required for the research study.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Introduction

This chapter is aimed at concluding and summarizing all the activities and work that are done for the research study and what ever is achieved as a result of the research work. In this regard the chapter will present the detailed summary of the entire research study with respect to both the primary and the secondary research and will also put forward some workable recommendations and suggestions that are meant for the Nigerian government the companies operating in the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the objective of bringing some positive changes and improvement in the position and performance of the sector.

These recommendations and suggestions are also presented because it is also one of the key objectives of the research to formulate some suggestions that can work for the improvement of the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and the research study outcomes can attempt to contribute towards the improvement in the situation. Moreover the chapter also describes the laminations and problems that were faced during the conduction of the research study and also highlight some of the areas where there is need of further research work.

Research Summary

The research study is based on the key objective of examining the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last twenty five years and in this regard there are five performance measures selected; product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process and environmental uncertainty so that the evaluation and examination could be done of the basis of these factors. Moreover the research study also compares the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the manufacturing sector of some developing countries like India, China and Malaysia so that Nigeria can also strive to follow the development and growth pattern of these countries by following and adopting the strategies and planning of these countries that are applicable in the conditions prevailing in Nigeria.

Furthermore the research study also work for the identification of the major problems and limitations that are surrounding the manufacturing sector so that some workable suggestions and recommendations for the Nigerian manufacturing sector could also be formulated and there could be some improvement in the current situation. The main motive behind conducting the entire research work is not just contributing to the literature but also to make a positive move towards the improvement of the situation of the Nigerian manufacturing sector through the attainment of the key objectives of the research. Thus the research study is based on the rationale of making some improvement in the situation.

In order to achieve the above mentioned objectives of the research, there is a mixed methodological approach employed and data and information for the research work is collected through different primary and secondary resources. First of all it is decided that the main purpose of the research is to explain and explore the issues related with the topic of the research so the research study is going to be an “exploratory” as well as an “explanatory” research study that will strive to explain the past and present of the Nigerian manufacturing sector along with the identification of the main problems and limitations faced by the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

Moreover the research will also explore different strategies and paths that can lead the country towards the position where the manufacturing sector can be so strong to support the economic growth of the country. In addition to this the process of the research is also decided while designing the main research design and it is found that the mixed methodological approach will be an appropriate and significant method of conducting the research study.

So there are both qualitative and the quantitative research methodologies employed in the research and the data and information is collected through both of these types of methods. In this regard the “secondary analysis of data” is selected as the qualitative research methods and different secondary sources like books, journals, magazines, research reports and informative web portals are accessed to collect the related literature conducted around the topic. Along with that “statistical survey” is conducted among 200 companies operating in the Nigerian manufacturing sector as the quantitative research method and with the help of a structured questionnaire the opinions of the professional regarding different aspects of the issue are collected and analyzed to attain the answers of the research questions and to achieve the key objectives of the research study.

At the same time it is also decided that the expected outcome of the research would be applied in nature because the results of the research study will be in form of some workable suggestions for the Nigerian manufacturing sector and the strategies will be identified of the developing countries that are applicable to the Nigerian manufacturing sector as well.

There three major matters are decided before the starting of the research work and then the survey sampling was also done along with setting the criterion for the selection of the survey respondents. It is decide to contact the manufacturing firms involved in the manufacturing of the consumer goods in Nigeria because the research work will surround on the manufacturing of the consumer products. The list of 200 firms draw from the Nigeria Yellow pages based on the criterion that there are more then 50 employees in the firm and the CEO, head of the operations departments or the Manager of the firms are available to respond to the survey questionnaire.

The country was divided in to three zones and according to the number of the manufacturing companies located in each zone, the questionnaires were sent to the selected companies. There are most of the manufacturing firms located in Logos so more firms from this area participated in the survey. The questionnaire for the survey is constructed using the Likert scale where the respondent were given five options (Very high, high, medium, low and very low) to rate the given statement.

As the main objective of the research is to analyze and compare the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector on the basis of selected five performance measures, so that questionnaire of the survey was also constructed keeping in view this requirement and there are different sections in the questionnaire; each of them focused on a single feature of the manufacturing industry. Moreover a section is also included for conducting the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the developing countries and in the end one section with open and close ended is included to have an overall understanding of the positions and [performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in the view of the professionals operating in the field.

The survey is conducted with the objective to collect the practical evidences from the business world about the performance and position of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. Finally the questionnaires were sent to the selected companies and after the decided time of 3 month there are total 120 responses collected from the survey questionnaire. The results for each of the questions are calculated separately and then for each section to have an overview of the entire situation.

The findings of the secondary and primary research are then summed up to have a clear view of the fact that what has become clear as the result of the research works done for the study. It appeared that many of the issues and topics of the dissertation have become very clear in the light of the secondary analysis of data and the rest of the issues are explored with the help of the survey results. For example the secondary analysis of data provided detailed explanation and understanding of that fact that how the manufacturing industry is emerging in a new industry due to the advent of technology that has brought many revolutionary changes in the field.

Moreover the importance and contribution of the five performance measures selected for the study is also explained in the review of the literature. Along with that the secondary research also presented an overview of the part and present performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and also identified the major problems and limitations that are hindering the growth and development of the sector.

The performances of the manufacturing sectors of India, Malaysia and China are also presented with the objective of collecting information for conducting the comparative analysis of these sectors. As a result of the secondary research, there are some gaps are found in the literature and on the basis of these gaps some of the research questions are also formulated so that these identified gaps can be filled out as a result of this research study.

The results of the statistical survey provided detailed understanding of the fact that how the manufacturing industry professionals view the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with regard to the product design, innovation, manufacturing strategy, manufacturing process and environmental uncertainty. It also become clear that what are the main problems and limitations of the sector in the eyes of the people operating in the field and what are the methods and policies that they think can help in overcoming these problems and limitations. Thus the issues that remain unfolded in the secondary research were explored in the statistical survey results and their analysis and all the matters become clear as a result of the analysis of the secondary and primary research findings.

The analysis and interpretation of the secondary and primary research allows to search the answer of the research questions formulated in the light of the main objectives of the research and the comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the developing countries’ manufacturing sector is also conducted with the help of data and information collected from secondary and primary research.

It is revealed from the research that the examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in terms of five performance measures is done along with the comparative analysis successfully with the help of data and information gathered through survey results and secondary sources. It sis revealed that the oil based economy of Nigeria hinders the development of the basic industries and the manufacturing sector in the country due to which there is great need of diversification of the economy towards the non oil sectors. It is also found that Nigerian manufacturing sector is contributing very low in the total GDP of the country; especially in comparison with the developing countries this contribution is very low.

Due to this fact the economy of Nigeria is not getting the support from the manufacturing industry and most of the population is compelled to live below the poverty line in Nigeria. The research study also came up with the identification of the major problems and limitations that are in front of the manufacturing sector of Nigeria.

There are numbers of factors indentified like non diversification of economy, inadequate supply of energy resources to the manufacturing industry, lack of easy availability of raw material, high cost of production, lack of research and development work, low adoptability of latest technology, low skills and qualification level of the work force, low wages and incentives for the workers in the manufacturing sector, corruption, unfavorable market conditions, non attractive business scene for the foreign investors and high tariff and import duties for certain products, raw material and spare parts.

At the same time it is also found that Nigeria is a potential market for millions of the consumers and it can proceed significantly if there is improvement in the overall situation of the manufacturing industry. The role and polices of the government play vital role in determining the performance of the manufacturing sector and the manufacturing companies are also required to revolutionize their patterns of working to align with the latest technology.

It is revealed from the research study that the product design in the Nigerian manufacturing sector can not be rated to a high level especially when compared with the developing countries, it is found that Nigeria is manufacturing products with very low level product designs and there is also lack of innovation in the manufacturing of the consumer goods because there is little emphasis over the adoptability of the latest technology.

The major reasons behind lack of technology adoptability is the difficulty in securing finance from different resource due to which there is little research and development work done in Nigeria in the field of manufacturing and the workers are also not highly skilled to adopt the modern technology and techniques of production. As compared with the performances of Indian, Chinese and Malaysian manufacturing sector the uncertainty in the Nigerian business environment appeared to be an important and most influential factor that has led towards the creation of huge difference in the performance of these sectors.

Moreover the trade liberalization polices and favorable investment conditions and opportunities in the developing countries are allowing them to foster the growth of their manufacturing sector but in Nigeria the foreign investors find little opportunities and encouragement due to which the level of FDI coming in the Nigerian manufacturing sector is very low. In addition to this the local finance institutions also do not provide sufficient finance to the manufacturing firms due to which the sector is unable to progress well.

It is also revealed from the analysis of the research findings that there are little contradictions in the findings of the secondary and the primary research and the opinions of the social scientists and the professionals working in the field are similar up to a higher extent. This fact make assures that the evidences collected from the business world can be placed well with the secondary research findings to have overview of the situation.

Thus in the light of the above research findings and the identification of the major problems, there are some suggestions and recommendations formulated for the manufacturing sector of Nigeria that can work for making some positive changes in the situation. These recommendations and suggestions are presented in the following section of the chapter.

Recommendations for the Nigerian Manufacturing Sector Business Organizations

The research study aims to put forward some suggestions and recommendations for the Nigerian manufacturing sector that are expected to make the situation of the sector better and supportive for the economic growth of the country. These suggestions and recommendations are basically drawn from three sources; the opinions of the survey participants that are all the high level officials working in the manufacturing industry of Nigeria, the comparative analysis of Nigerian manufacturing sector with developing countries as this comparison allows to have look at certain strategies that lead towards better performance of these manufacturing sector and the research studies done by the social scientists.

While formulating the recommendations and suggestions for the Nigerian manufacturing sector it is observed that there are two main players of the entire situation; the government and the manufacturing firms. If there is intention to bring improvement in the overall conditions of the Nigerian manufacturing sector then it is very necessary that most of these players must make revolutionary changes in their policies, activities and strategies because the cooperation and positive attitude of both of these players can improve the situation and alone the government or the manufacturing companies can not do anything for the sector. Thus the recommendations and suggestions are also meant for the government and the companies operating in the Nigerian manufacturing sector and these are as followed:

Suggestions for the Nigerian Government

The research study has show that the role of the Nigerian government has played very important and unfortunately non supportive role for the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. There are many factors that are identified by the social scientists and the survey participants that act as barrier to the growth of the Nigerian manufacturing sector and the government of Nigeria has the authority and power to remove these barriers to assure the growth and development of the manufacturing industry in the country. In this regard there are some very important issues upon which the government of Nigeria has to focus and formulate strategies to make revolutionary changes in the following perspectives

Diversification of Economy: An important and fundamental suggestion that is given by many of the social scientists as well is to diversify the economy of Nigeria towards the non oil sector. Nigeria is among the major producer as well as the export of crude oil but despite this fact the economy of the country lie at very low level due to the mismanagement of resources and corruption etc. The fluctuations in the oil prices in the global market further works for destabilizing the economy but despite all these facts the government of country ignored the non oil sectors and as a result the country is listed among the poorest nations of the world.

Now there are some signs that show the realization of the government for diversification the economy and it is very necessary that the government must pay attention towards the non oil sector so that other industries can grow as well, in this regard the government should make investments in non oil sectors to support their development. Thus it is suggested that the diversification of the economy towards the non oil sector would be the most significant and positive steps towards the development and improvement in the growth level of manufacturing industry in Nigeria.

The comparison of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the developing countries also show that in these countries the governments use to give attention towards different industries so that all of the sectors can grow and support the economy so Nigeria should also follow this strategy and work for the diversification of the economy towards the non oil sectors. It will not only improve the situation of the manufacturing industry but there will be betterment in the overall economic conditions of the country as well.

Trade Liberalization: The trade regime of Nigeria at present is not regarded as a favorable trade regime for the investors. The country has not implemented the trade liberalization measures in true sense and till present there is ban on the import of certain items and the duties and tariffs rates are also very high. Due to these problems the foreign investors are not encouraged to come in Nigeria and invest in different industries. Thus the government has to work out to make this situation better.

There must be an open policy adopted by the government of Nigeria like China that allows an easy access to the foreign investors to the domestic markets and industries of the country due to which more FDI came in the country and different sectors started flourishing in China. Nigeria government must work for the encouragement of the foreign investors by showing them different investment opportunities in the country and by facilitating and encouraging them through different incentives and flexibilities in the business operations. Thus it is concluded that the government of Nigeria must work for the liberalization of the economy only then the manufacturing sector can grow in the country like other developing nations.

Development of Basic Industries: An important barrier to the manufacturing industry growth is identified in the secondary and primary research as the non availability of the raw material and spare parts at local level due to which the manufacturing companies have to import these items and they have to pay high import duties. Ultimately the cost of product rises and manufacturing companies failed to remain cost effective.

The development of the basic industries in Nigeria will allow the manufacturers to get the raw material and spare parts from inside the country and lot of their money will be saved that they can spend on some positive use like research and development and skills development of the workers etc. In this regard also the cases of China, India and Malaysia are example for Nigeria that these countries have access to the raw material and spare parts through their domestic industries that’s why they manufacture products with high standards and at low cost that allows them to export the products in other countries as well along with meeting the demands of their own consumers. Thus the Nigerian government has to follow the strategy of the developing countries and should concentrate towards the development and promotion of the basic industries in the country.

Improvement of Infrastructure: The infrastructure plays an important role in determining the successful operations of the manufacturing industry because the telecommunication and transportation network is essential for the manufacturing industry related activities. The research studies and the survey participants have expressed the difficulty that the Nigerian manufacturing sector is also facing problems due to the fact that the infrastructure of the country is not developed enough to support the manufacturing activities. In this regard the government has the authority to take the decisions regarding the development of the infrastructure of the country and in order to improve the conditions of the manufacturing sector it is very necessary that the government should spend adequate money on the development of the infrastructure.

Adequate Supply availability to the manufacturing sector: the research studies and the survey participants have also expressed the difficulty that the manufacturing companies in Nigeria often face problems in getting adequate supply of the energy resources due to which the activities and operations of the manufacturing industry are badly affected. The proper flow of energy resources to the manufacturing industry should also be assured by the government. Some of the experts also believe that the oil companies also have to play role in the situation so the government should ask the oil companies to participate in the work of arranging proper energy supply to the manufacturing industry.

The energy sources supply is a must for the manufacturing firm and in the absence or improper supply of these resources the productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing firms is badly affected and in case of Nigeria also there is same situation. Thus the government is required to take major and solid steps to assure the proper supply of the energy resources to the manufacturing companies so that they can work with full efficiency.

Finance Providers: the Nigerian manufacturing sector also strongly feels the need of finance providers. At present the banks and other financial institution provide loans to the manufacturing firms at very high rates and difficult conditions due to which the manufacturing firms get little finance from the banks and institutions. The local investors at the same time are also less interested in giving their money to the manufacturing sector because they see little scope of getting high returns on their investment from this sector.

In this regard the government has to make some arrangements and should establish special banks or financial institution that can grant loans to the manufacturing companies on easy terms and conditions and the manufacturers can then carry on with different activities in efficient manner after getting sufficient finance from the banks or institution specially meant for the manufacturing industry.

The government also has to assure through a check and balance system that there will be no corruption in the matters of giving finance to the manufacturing firms and all the funds and loans given by regional and international financial institutions will also be hand over to the manufacturing industry will complete honesty and fairness so that the sector can take the benefits from the aids and can progress in positive direction.

Investors Friendly Environment: The investment in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria is very low due to which there is lack of research and development work and at the same time the companies are not able to cope with the changes occurring in the technology world. This is one of the major causes of low level performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector. The investors are not encouraged to invest in Nigeria due to many factors like law and order situation, complications of the business procedures and lack of technical adoptability in the manufacturing sector.

The government can play a significant role in this regard and can encourage the foreign investors to invest in the manufacturing sector of the country by simplifying the business procedures and providing several incentives to them. The flow of foreign direct investment can bring many positive changes in the manufacturing sector of the country so the government of Nigeria has to take some solid steps to attract the foreign investors. In this regard the functioning of the government agencies and departments is also very important. The organizations like NIPC etc should also work more effectively for attracting foreign investment in the country by assisting and facilitating the foreign investors.

Thus the government has to work for making such departments and agencies more efficient by lowering down the level of bureaucratic control over these agencies so that they can work fairly and efficiently for attracting foreign investments in the country. The examples of developing countries like China, India and Malaysia also show that in these countries the foreign investors are provided an investor friendly environment due to which the level of FDI increases in these countries and the manufacturing sector also get support from this investment to become better and productive.

Certainty in the Business Environment: The comparative analysis of the Nigerian manufacturing sector with the sectors of India, Malaysia and China has clearly indicated that the certainty in the business environment of Nigeria is the strongest factor that has contributed to the high leveled difference in the performance of these sectors. The social scientists have also observed that the socio political situation in Nigeria is very uncertain due to which the business activities are also badly affected.

In this regard the government has to make sure through its reforms and strategies that there will be stability in the business environment that can allow the businessmen to take the decisions regarding their business with full confidence. The stability of business environment in China, India and Malaysia is a powerful motive for the business people to become efficient and productive and the manufacturing industry of these countries progress well after getting the support of the stable environment. Just like these countries, Nigeria also needs stable business environment where the manufacturing companies can freely work for enhancing the productivity and efficiency of their business.

Recommendations for the Manufacturing Companies

Along with the government, the manufacturing companies of Nigeria can also play very important role in determining the high level performance of the manufacturing sector. That’s why it is also very important that the operators of these companies must look towards the issues that are creating problem in the sector and work for the resolution of these issues with all their capabilities. Thus there are some recommendations for the manufacturing companies’ operators also so that they can also realize that they can also make the difference in the situation by paying attention towards certain important issues. The following issues require the attention of the manufacturing companies’ owners:

Research and Development Work: the manufacturing sector in Nigeria essentially requires research and development work because the current manufacturing process and strategies adopted by the manufacturing companies are not at international level due to which Nigeria has failed to be competitive at international level. In this regard it is very necessary that the manufacturing sector must conduct adequate research and development work so that they can be aware of the new technologies and techniques of manufacturing that can raise the quality and standard of their products and at the same time allow them to reduce the cost of production of their manufactured goods.

However at present the manufacturing companies are not focusing much on the research and development work due to which the level of innovation within the product design and manufacturing process adopted by these companies in also very low. In this regard it is very important and recommended to the manufacturing companies of Nigeria that they must make arrangements for the research and development work so that their current manufacturing process could be updated according to the requirements of the latest technologies and at the same time they can also learn several new ways of lowering down the cost of manufacturing the products.

The manufacturing companies can go for collaboration with the companies of other countries as the technology enable them to access the people in different parts of the world, so they must arrange for common research programs and workshops with some of the manufacturing companies of the developing nations so that they can took the benefits from the research and development work done by these companies.

They can also secure help from the government resources and in case of non cooperative attitude of the government agencies, they can work through the joint forums and business organizations to share their research works and to make arrangements for conducting further research work in the field of manufacturing. In the end the manufacturing companies will be benefited in terms of innovation and technology adaptation in the sector that will add to the revenue and popularity of their products.

Technology Adoptability: the manufacturing sectors all over the world are going through phases of revolutionary changes as they strive to keep them align with the changes occurring in their surroundings. This alignment helps to be competitive as well as cost effective at domestic, regional and international level however in the case of Nigeria it is observed that the manufacturing firms in the country are not paying attention towards the technology adoptability and they are manufacturing products with their traditional process and techniques. As a result the cost and time of production is still high in the sector and the manufactured products are generally not of international level.

In order to remove this major flaw from the manufacturing process of the Nigerian manufacturers, the main responsibility lies upon the shoulders of the manufacturing companies’ owners, managers, CEOs and other authorities that they must implement the appropriate technological changes to restructure their manufacturing process. In this regard they have to review the manufacturing processes adopted by the consumer goods manufacturers of the developing countries so that they can follow the same working patterns after making necessary changes according to their own capabilities and then come up with an up to date designs for the product that will be given the physical form after going through advanced manufacturing process.

The negligence of the modern and advance technology is not affordable for the manufacturing sectors in the present day and if Nigerian manufacturing sector operators want to assure their survival in the highly competitive and technology driven market place of today then they have to make arrangements for the adaptation of technology within their manufacturing activities and operations.

Skill development and Training of the Workers: The research study has revealed that in Nigerian manufacturing sector there is little emphasis given to the skills development and training of the work force. This is also an important reason due to which the trend of innovation and technology adoptability is very low in the sector. In this regard the owners and the decision making personnel working in the Nigerian manufacturing sector must make some arrangements for the training and skills development of their workers. In this regard the manufacturing companies should arrange different work shops and training programs to give training to their employees within the country as well as abroad.

When the workers go to other countries for training, they pick several new things and technology and then after coming back to home they can apply these changes in the manufacturing sector of their own and in this way change can be brought in the sector with the help of training programs and workshops. Moreover the manufacturing sectors can also hire the services of the professionals working in the manufacturing sectors of the developed countries to come and demonstrate the workforce of Nigeria about the working patterns of the sector where they work. This way can also bring some innovation and new ideas in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria.

Pay Scales and Incentives for the Work force: The present pay scales and incentives given to the work force of Nigeria is not significant enough to motivate the workers so the Nigerian manufacturing companies must revise the pay scales of the work force and should also give some incentives and facilities to the workers so that they can be motivated to work well for the improvement in the performance of the sector. At the same time goods salaries and incentives will compel the workers to perform well and to adopt new techniques and methods of manufacturing in their companies. Thus the increment in the pay scales of the workers and the incentives can also work for the betterment of the situation and the operators of the Nigerian manufacturing sector should also concentrate over this issue.

Restructuring the Manufacturing process and Strategy

It is revealed from the results of the primary and secondary research that the manufacturing strategy and manufacturing process followed by the manufacturing sector is not of international level and there is essential requirement of updating the system and strategy. In this regard the supervisors and authorities of the manufacturing industry are required to adopt and follow the manufacturing system and manufacturing process that is according to the requirement of the modern system and for this they are required to do research and development work, technology adoptability as well as they have to focus on the training and skills development of their workers.

Focusing on Quality and Cost Reduction Measures

The quality and standard of the manufactured products is the most important attribute that assures the success and popularity of the products. At the same time the price of the product should also be kept at minimum possible level to attract more consumers and countries towards the product. In the manufacturing sector of Nigeria the cost of production is very high in the manufacturing sector because of raw material and spare part import. The manufacturing companies should look towards other ways that can help them in reducing the cost of manufacturing the products and for this they can help from the research and development work.

Following the social scientists Recommendations and Suggestions: It is an important point noticed in the secondary analysis of data that some of the social scientists have noticed that the manufacturing companies of Nigeria did not give attention towards the research studies that are conducted with the attention of brining improvement in the situation of the sector. Thus there is a huge gap exists between the work of the social scientists and the authorities and professionals working in the manufacturing sector. The responsible people and authorities of the sector should work to minimize this gap and they have to take the notice of the research work done related with the sector.

The social scientists identify many workable suggestions and strategies that can help the manufacturing sector to attain and maintain high level of performance and the manufacturing companies’ owners should review and follow these research study outcomes so that they can make improvement in the situation with the help of these research studies.

Limitation of Research

The key objectives of the research study are all achieves successfully through the employment of a mixed methodology research approach however there are some limitations and problems also faced during conducting the research study. First of all there are little authentic data available related with the manufacturing sector growth and development in Nigeria, due to which the research study has to rely upon the research works done by different social scientists and these research studies mostly describe the facts rather providing much the figures and statistical data.

As a result there are mostly theoretical information provided in the dissertation about the manufacturing industry of Nigeria and little statistical data about the industry is found from any authentic source. However apart from the statistical data there was sufficient information found related with the performance of the Nigerian manufacturing sector over the last decades so the examination and analysis of the performance was done successfully.

In addition to this there were major problems faced in collecting the responses from the CEOs and other personnel of the manufacturing firms of Nigeria. There was an agreed time of three month for the collection of the questionnaires but even during that time all the questionnaire were not returned and 127 out of 200 responses were finally calculated for the survey.

The questionnaire of the survey was too long that many of the personnel show their unwillingness to fill them due to shortage of time and their engagements in some important matters but the questionnaire for the survey could not be cut down in to lesser questions because there was intention to get detailed opinions of the respondents regarding different issues related with the topic of the dissertation and for the attainment of this objective there were different sections made in the questionnaire and there were 7-8questions in each of the seven section that made the questionnaire very long and some of the respondents feel it much time taking to fill up these questionnaires.

However the questionnaire could not be made short as per the requirement of the research study and only the completely filled questionnaires received by the respondents are included in the research for the calculation of the survey results. Thus these are the two major limitation that were faced while conducting the research work as it was found that there is lack of statistical data related with the manufacturing sector and some of the personnel working in the industry also responded unfavorably on the issues of time shortage and long questionnaire constructed for the survey.

Areas of Further Research

The research study has conducted the examination of the Nigerian manufacturing sector in details with the help of five performance measures; historical perspective and the comparative analysis however there are some very important areas that need adequate research work so that the manufacturing sector of Nigeria will be further benefited from the work. In this regard it is very important that along with keeping in mind all the limitations and problems of the Nigerian manufacturing sector, the social scientists should look towards the methods and techniques that can help the Nigerian manufacturing companies in reducing their cost of manufacturing the products and while having the same financial resources they can also go for the advanced techniques and methods of manufacturing.

In order to follow the paths of the developing nation and to adopt technology, maintain high quality standard and conduct research and development work, it is very necessary that there must be sufficient financial resources that the sector lacks. Thus the social scientists have to search for the methods that can help the manufacturing sector with same and limited financial resources. Moreover they also have to work for creating realization in the government authorities to take some steps for the improvement of the situation and this could be done by accessing the high personnel and authorities and negotiating with them about the problems and the solutions of the problems encountered by the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

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