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History and managerial culture in Singapore: “Pragmatism”, “openness” and “paternalism”


This paper examines the historical evolution of culture and management in Singapore, the existence of “cultural fluidity” in the society and the “openness” of Singapore to foreign management in relation to the changes in the environment resulting from modernization and development. Management in Singapore has always been multinational in origin. It has also been influenced considerably by the Chinese family system. It is in a state of flux; new and foreign practices are continually assimilated and adapted. Inspite of the wide variations in management practices, Singapore management remained characteristically “pragmatic” and “open” as well as “paternalistic”.

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Dr. Chong Li Choy is Senior Lecturer in the School of Management, National University of Singapore.

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Choy, C.L. History and managerial culture in Singapore: “Pragmatism”, “openness” and “paternalism”. Asia Pacific J Manage 4, 133–143 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01732383

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  • Management Practice
  • Historical Evolution
  • Family System
  • Cultural Fluidity
  • Chinese Family