Basic Needs and Appropriate Technology in the Malaysian Bicycle Industry

  • Fong Chan Onn
Part of the ILO Studies book series


This study on the bicycle, the simplest technique of personal transport other than walking, and therefore a basic need in many developing countries, is based on two sets of data. The first concerns consumers’ perception of the bicycle as a product (i.e. its basic and non-basic characteristics) collected in a survey of consumers. The second set of data concerns the production techniques applied by bicycle manufacturers. These data were obtained in interviews with various firms. To collect the first set of data it was necessary to conduct a mini-household survey of about 200 households stratified along the urban-rural strata in the ratio 40:60. The information gathered from each household included data on average household expenditure and the ownership of household assets, and on consumer perceptions of the brand attributes of bicycles and their purchasing behaviour vis-à-vis bicycles.


Body Frame Economy Dimension Consumer Perception Consumer Rating Investment Productivity 
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  1. 4.
    This figure was derived from D. Lim, Economic Growth and Development in West Malaysia 1947–1970 (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1973) p. 285.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    See, for example, P. E. Green and D. S. Tull, Research for Marketing Decisions (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1975).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Malaysia, Census of Population and Housing 1970, (Kuala Lumpur: Statistics Department, 1974).Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    These attributes were arrived at after thorough research on consumer attributes of bicycle and similar products (e.g. motor-cycle and motor-car) and are considered to be fairly comprehensive. See also P. Green, S. Maheshwani and V. Rao, ‘Dimensional Interpretation and Configuration Invariance in Multi-Dimensional Scaling: An Empirical Study’, Multivariate Behavioural Research, vol. 4 (1969) pp. 159–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 11.
    For a self-employed household, its income would include an estimation of its own home-grown food consumed, changes in its inventory holdings, costs of production, etc. These implications make estimation of household income extremely difficult. See also W. van Ginneken, Rural and Urban Income Inequalities (Geneva: ILO, 1976).Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    See F. Stewart, Technology and Underdevelopment, (London: Macmillan, 1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© International Labour Organisation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fong Chan Onn

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