This research is going to use quantitative survey in the Malaysian automotive industry. The main reason why this research chose the Malaysian automotive industry it is because the performance of the national car and the supplied parts by local suppliers still receive criticism, complaints and various suggested approaches to improve their product quality, operation management, and customer satisfaction (Habidin, 2012). Population of this research comprised on automotive industry in Malaysia. Questionnaires will distribute to respondents from the listing of automotive industry obtained from Malaysian Automotive Component Parts Association (MACPMA), Proton Vendors Association (PVA) and Kelab Vendor PERODUA.

To determine the causal relationship between the different constructs of the suggested model of the research, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique was adopted. Ullman (2001) has been described that SEM as a combination of exploratory factor analysis and multiple regression. A review of current trends in SEM methodology research according to Wothke (2010) are (i) statistical models and methodologies for missing data; (ii) combinations of latent trait and latent class approaches; (iii) Bayesian Models to deal with small sample size; (iv) non-linear measurement and structural models; and (v) extensions for non-random sampling, such as multi-level models. Thus, SEM technique is one of the most techniques that one can use to reduce the number of observed variables into a smaller number of latent variables by examining the co-variation among the observed variables Schreiber et al. (2010). Due to the increased emphasis on SEM technique that perform the require statistical analysis of the data from the survey, this paper employed the SEM technique to investigate the relationship between SLI and SP as shown in Figure 1. Meanwhile, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17 was used to analyze the preliminary data and provide descriptive analyses about thesis sample such as means, standard deviations and frequencies. Also, SEM using AMOS 6.0 will be use to test the measurement model.

For this paper proposed, a conceptual model has been used to present the relationship between SLI and SP as presented in Figure 1. This proposed model has adopted the conceptual proposed by Zubir (2012) cited in Millar and Russell (2011) and Fairfield et al. (2011). However, some amendments especially on SLI implementation and SP constructs have been made.

Fih1The Relationship between Sustaining-3
Figure 1. A Proposed Conceptual Model for SME Framework
*Note: SLI = Sustaining Lean Improvements, SP = Sustainable Performance, SCR = Social Corporate Responsibility