Outsourcing total plant maintenance in Singapore petrochemical industry:a critical perspective

Doctorate other than PhD

Kong, Chan Nam. 2005. Outsourcing total plant maintenance in Singapore petrochemical industry:a critical perspective. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Business Administration. University of Southern Queensland.

Outsourcing total plant maintenance in Singapore petrochemical industry:a critical perspective

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorKong, Chan Nam
SupervisorAl-Hakim, Latif
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Business Administration
Number of Pages257

There are many books suggesting the many benefits of outsourcing. A survey carried out in 2002 on twenty-four companies in the Singapore petrochemical industry
showed that only about 10% of the companies outsourced total plant maintenance.
Therefore, the research title was 'Outsourcing plant maintenance in Singapore petrochemical industry: A critical perspective'. There were three research questions
that the research was examining. The first research question was the critical factors that were used in deciding the outsourcing of plant maintenance. The second research
question was the factors that influenced the outsourcing critical factors. The third research question was how the research could help outsourcers to win outsourcing contracts.
A combination of qualitative (case study) and quantitative (survey) approaches was selected in this research to meet two important objectives. The first objective was to
provide a 'critical perspective' in the research by obtaining the feedback from different levels of management in the petrochemical companies and outsourcing
organizations. The second objective was to improve the validity and rigor in the research by triangulating the data analysis of the qualitative and quantitative research
In the qualitative approach eight cases were selected to represent newer and older companies and different types of maintenance outsourcing. In the quantitative
approach forty respondents from the petrochemical companies and sixteen respondents from the outsourcer companies were selected because of the relatively large size of the petrochemical companies over outsourcing companies. The pattern matching technique (Yin 1994) was the primary data analysis used to match the interviewees' feedback on the seven outsourcing factors identified in the literature review. The hypotheses derived from the modified Zeithaml's gap model were tested on companies that outsource total plant maintenance and partial plant maintenance.
The SPSS statistical software programme was used in the computation of the statistical results.

The two critical outsourcing factors in deciding outsourcing total plant maintenance were outsourcing risks and service quality. The outsourcing risks factor was
influenced by the company outsourcing culture and the service quality factor was influenced by the contractor worker experience in maintenance. The significance of
this finding is the outsourcing risks may be lowered if the petrochemical and outsourcer companies have high commitment towards outsourcing. The service
quality may be improved if the outsourcers hire better experienced and skilled workers. An outsourcing selection matrix was also developed to help both the
petrochemical companies and outsourcers. The significance of this matrix is the petrochemical companies can use this matrix to decide outsourcing total plant
maintenance. The outsourcers can also use this matrix to examine their strengths and weaknesses and give them a better chance of winning outsourcing contracts.
This research also contributed to the existing research knowledge in the areas of service quality, outsourcing benefits and management commitment. One of the
knowledge contributions was there is a relationship between service quality expectation and outsourcing benefits. The expectation may be lowered if the outsourcing benefits are high. The research implications for the Singapore government policies on encouraging more companies to outsource plant maintenance were also discussed.
In conclusion, the research had examined and answered the three research questions.
In addition, it also contributed to the existing research knowledge and suggested how the government policies could be changed to encourage outsourcing plant maintenance.

Keywordsoutsourcing, plant maintenance, service, petrochemical industry, critical, Singapore
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350715. Quality management
350711. Organisational planning and management
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