TAILIEUCHUNG - Business values, management and conflict handling: issues in contemporary Singapore

This article reports the results of work being undertaken in Singapore with some 300 managers and future managers in the public and private sector. As well as conflict handling the research has investigated the concepts of power, needs, assertiveness, personal and leadership styles and influencing styles in order to paint a picture of the Singaporean manager of the future in the context of a society at the crossroads of development from an industrial to post- industrial one. | Ma gX Business values management Development and conflict handling issues 14 4 4- in contemporary Singapore 56_ Stephen McKenna and Julia Richardson Stansfield School of Business Singapore Journal of Management Development Vol. 14 No. 4 1995 pp. 56-70. MCB University Press 0262-1711 Introduction This article reports the results of work being undertaken in Singapore with some 300 managers and future managers in the public and private sector. As well as conflict handling the research has investigated the concepts of power needs assertiveness personal and leadership styles and influencing styles in order to paint a picture of the Singaporean manager of the future in the context of a society at the crossroads of development from an industrial to postindustrial one. Singaporean society and economy The picture of Singapore often seen by the outside world is of a structured and well-ordered society theoretically and politically democratic and economically extremely successful with anticipated economic growth in 1994 of 6 to 8 per cent. In many respects however Singapore is a society of considerable contradiction. A recent book highlights these contradictions in persuasive detail 1 . Regardless of the political context of Dr Chee s book a crucial theme within it is the need for Singapore to develop socially in order to maintain its important position economically in Asia-Pacific. As well as this need to become a more sophisticated and cultured society there is the need to develop the psyche of the individuals who comprise it. For example Chee points to the need for contentious debate rather than forced consensus . He argues that in Singapore contention is frowned on and cites politics where he argues debate is absent as the government seeks to maintain control over the country as it has done since independence. Singaporeans have been and to some extent still are dependent on the State for their basic safety and social needs. The government has committed itself to providing

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