Study of Organizational Culture in Singapore

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede, Culture Pages: 6 (1654 words) Published: February 23, 2012
The reason behind choosing Singapore as my country of interest mainly was that I did my Co-Op there in Fall of 2011. Personally I loved the country as a work place. Also I noticed during my stay there the amount of awareness they had about green technologies and environmental issues. Singapore is like the best of both worlds. Culturally and climate wise similar to Asia and rules, regulations and policies of those like any western country. Singapore has a mixed racial population. There are Chinese (mainly), Malay, British expats, Indians staying there as Permanent Residents for so many years harmoniously together. Review

Culture may be viewed as a group's "collective being" which is both static and dynamic in nature, and may be studied by looking at the dimensions of the "collective being" at a point in time as well as over time (RALSTON et al). Low’s (2009; 2002) studies cites the twelve Singaporean values and these values are then cited and used to examine the key value(s) that prevail among these Singapore companies. According to his thesis there are eight types of corporate culture existing in Singapore. They are shown in Table 1: The 8 Singapore Corporate Cultural Types * Profit or the Mee-pok Man/ Street Noodle Seller Culture values:

i. Profits
ii. Thriftiness (frugal and prudence) and this also brings about its * Co-operative Culture values:
i. Social objectives and the needs of the community.
ii. Subscribe to Corporate social responsibility
* Modernizing/ the Bum-boat Owner Culture values:

i. Going modern and professionalism, using technology to reap the ii. benefits of automation and technology.
iii. consultants to update its corporate image.
* Sole proprietor/ Towkay and Family Culture values:
i. “Boss-centered”
ii. Creating “all-in-the-family”, a personal and caring atmosphere, iii. building a high sense of belonging and togetherness. * Stability or the Orchid Shirt and National Dress Culture values: i. Political stability

ii. Strong government’s help and support with a high sense of unity. * Role model or School Teacher Culture values:
i. Being compelled to set an example
ii. Being a role model.

* Going-global or the Singapore Symphony Orchestra: SSO Culture values:

i. Going global with diversified interests.
ii. Technology.
iii. Rely in outsourcing/ foreign talents
* Bureaucratic or Kathakalli Culture values:
i. Getting the tasks done; and in a way, being procedure-driven. ii. Emphasizing on rationality
(Source Low KCP (2011) ‘Typologies of the Singapore Corporate Culture’,) Ralston et al compared the four values of Hofstede’s model to the Chinese values, consists of four dimensions: Confucian dynamism, human-heartedness, integration, and moral discipline. Comparisons were made across the four studies on the three Hofstede dimensions that correlate with CVS dimensions (i.e., Power Distance with Integration, Individualism with Moral Discipline, Masculinity with Human-heartedness)[1]. About 75 percent of the Singaporeans are of Chinese descent and so the Chinese work culture and values predominantly exist in the place[9]. However: Confucian dynamism is a different concept that exists in eastern culture, which consists of “saving face” phenomena.

Tung and Quaddus studied the Australian and Singaporean corporate culture based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Their studies answers our question of applying Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions to Singapore culture.

* Power Distance: Hofstede’s study has shown that the Singapore society is characterized by high power distance (PDI). Which indicates there are clear authority structures and social status is defined by your position in the society and workplace [9]. Expressing your opinion in front of your senior or boss is considered as not acceptable. Respecting elders and seniors comes from Confucianism that still exists in the...

References: 1. A. RALSTON, DAVID. "DIFFERENCES IN MANAGERIAL VALUES: A STUDY OF U.S., HONG KONG AND PRC MANAGERS."Journal Of International Business Studies”. 24. (1993):
7. Michael Minkov , Geert Hofstede “Cross Cultural Management”. An International Journal Vol. 18 No. 1, (2011). 10-20
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