Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal Vol. 16 (2) September 2016 p. 9-18

The Push and Pull Factors in Business: A Study on Independent Oil Palm Smallholders in Selected States in Malaysia

Azhar Ahmad*; Ahmad Raflis Che Omar*; Lokhman Hakim Osman*; Norazlan Alias*; Mara Ridhuan Che Abdul Rahman*; Suraiya Ishak** and Mohd Abdullah Jusoh‡
Received:    Accepted:    Available Online:


The oil palm industry faces market volatility and economic oppression. This has seriously affected the income of oil palm smallholders. One way to increase their income is to get them involved in business. However, the involvement of oil palm smallholders in business is not influenced by economic factors alone, but also by push and pull factors. Therefore, a study was conducted on 178 independent smallholders who are currently doing business in Johor, Selangor, Perak and Sarawak, Malaysia. Analyses of the data were done by using the Method Structural Equation Model (SEM) with the SmartPLS software. The study found that overall the respondents engaged in the business because of several push and pull factors. The respondents expressed that ‘risk/challenges management’ was the most important push factor in business. This was followed by ‘leadership skills’, ‘business opportunity’, ‘family encouragement’, ‘knowledge and skills’ and ‘income level’. An important pull factor for the respondents was the ‘opportunity to attend training’, followed by ‘infrastructure facilities’ and ‘finance’.

Keywords: independent oil palm smallholders, business involvement, push and pull factors in business, entrepreneurship

About Post Author


* Faculty of Economics and Management,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,
43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

E-mail: azah@ukm.edu.my

** Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,
43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

‡ Faculty of Management and Economics,
Aras 1, Blok 10, Kampus Sultan Azlan Shah,
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris,
35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak, Malaysia