Expertise: Family Business, Values, Trust, Communication
Dr. Leilanie’s passion for family business research sparked in 2009 when she was first introduced to the “Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices” or better known as the STEP project, a global research on family businesses representing more than 45 countries worldwide. Dr. Leilanie was the Project Leader and Key Researcher for the national (Malaysia) team from 2009 to 2017. She then took on a larger role in 2011 when she was appointed the STEP Asia Pacific Leadership Council (Chair), and between 2013 to 2015, she was appointed as the STEP Global Board member, headquartered in Babson College, MA, USA. In her ten years exposure in family business research, she explored the areas of values, trust, communication and venture creation in family business, evidently through journal and article publication, case studies, book chapters, including a book entitled, “Women and Family Entrepreneurship in Malaysia: A Formidable Economic Force”. The book described women as an important role in the economic growth of a country and the challenges faced in growing a family business.
Among her published works, Dr. Leilanie finds writing teaching cases in the field of family business and entrepreneurship most satisfying. She explained, “what is lacking in our classrooms and workshops are local cases. Participants and students appreciate and learn better through local cases rather than western cases from textbooks. How best to impart knowledge and bring Asian values and culture if not from our own local cases. More so, cases in family business require in-depth knowledge and understanding of not just the business, but also family relationships, family values, its unspoken rules, family expectations and aspiration, etc.”. Dr. Leilanie has written six teaching cases, and currently has raw data of more than five family business cases, which is currently work-in-progress towards publishing journal papers and teaching cases. An avid qualitative researcher, she relies heavily on networking, maintaining good relationship and forging trust with entrepreneurs and family businesses to conduct interviews.
Leilanie joined academia in 2006 and since, as an educator and trainer she actively gets involved with students’ (including entrepreneurs) ideas and progress on their businessopportunities. Since 2011, she had coached and trained more than 900 participants through INSKEN (Institut Keusahawanan Negara), the CIMB Entrepreneur Development Program, and Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YiM). She completed her PhD. in Management from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK), Malaysia in 2014. Her thesis focused on theory building, which led to developing the “Theoretical Framework: Decision MakingProcess in New Venture for Family Business”. The research involved a deep investigation into three large family businesses and compared with a non-family business in several cases of decision-making process on substantial investments for venture creation.
Prior to joining the academia, she spent ten years in the corporate sector. She started her career as a Project Administrator at Malaysia Airlines, and later joined DRB-HICOM where she project managed two projects worth MYR200 million, a nationwide open source and IT project implementation for the Government of Malaysia. She was also a Board Member of DRB-HICOM Information Technologies Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of DRB-HICOM.
Besides growing up within a Family Business upbringing, Dr.Leilanie also found inspirations from other prominent scholars. She was mentored by Pramodita Sharma, Daniel Clark Sander’s Chair in Entrepreneurship & Family Business at the Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont and Professor at Kellogg School of Management. Pramodita is amongst the most frequently cited scholars in familybusiness, alongside her research on succession processes, governance, innovation, next generation commitment, entrepreneurial leadership and sustainability in familyenterprises. Dr. Leilanie believes that if one wants to be acknowledged in their area of expertise, one must be focused in their area of specialisation. Her advice, “find a mentor to guide you, grab the opportunity to work alongside renowned scholars in your specific field”. Herewith, Dr. Leilanie will continue her passion for family business research and she aspires to encourage scholars to explore family business research and propel Taylor’s University as the point of reference for family business research and professional development.