Water Supply And Pollution In Singapore

Water is the most essential needs for living things, some countries like Mexico and Egypt are able to obtain clean water easily, however it is a life or death issue in many countries in the world. One of the counties that used to have a water problem is Singapore. Singapore is an island and urban city state which had problems with water in its early days. It is because Singapore does not have natural lakes and there is only little land to collect rainwater. However, in the last 4 decades Singapore has proven itself to be a country that successfully deals with water. This essay will discuss about the water related problems in Singapore, how the PUB (Public Utilities Board) as the Singapore’s national water agency overcome those problems, and some leadership factors that contribute to the success of PUB in solving the problems.
Problems and solutions
Water pollution has never been a new phenomenon and it has always been part of the ecological system. It can be caused by erosion, siltation of the streams, flood, dead animal, also the increase of human activities, etc. This phenomenon happened in many parts of the world, it happens especially in the developing country and industrial countries. Singapore had also dealt with this problem, water pollution in Singapore was caused by four major factors. First, commercial and industrial location, back in 1960s majority of manufacture was located on south and south west part of the country. These manufactures did not dump their industrial waste into the place that were provided therefore, after a few years Government made a new policies and regulation then asked the manufactures to comply with the requirement. (Hung, C. 1976)

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Second, hawker and market, a survey in 1969 proved that there were 18000 hawkers island wide. Most of them were using water for their business and contributing a substantial pollution to the rivers. It was estimated that about four million gallons of water waste were discharge to the streams each day. Hence, to overcome this problem those hawkers were resided to the hawker centers where the waste could be drained in the septic tank. (Hung, C. 1976)
Next, farm waste, it was also big issues due to water pollution in 1960s since there were large number of farmers rearing pigs and poultry. Primary Production Department estimated that there were 600,000 pigs in Singapore these pigs produced 3 million gallons of excrement per day. Many farmers at that period discharged their farm waste to the river thus, it caused the river to be polluted. In order to control this problem, the small scale of farm would have to be encouraged and farmers were pushed to reuse the water in the farm since water in such farm is for the cleansing of the pig excrements. (Hung, C. 1976)
Last but not least, the kitchen waste had also been a problem to the society in 1970s because the water waste was discharge to the open drain also the garbage was dumped into the rivers. Even though those are household’s waste, these wastes also contributing pollution to the river. To reduce this problem, the government tightened up the regulation such as, disallow the resident for washing their clothes on the concrete apron behind the house, discharges from wash hand basins which usually go into the open drains are prohibited. (Hung, C. 1976)
Furthermore, the water engineers in Singapore always monitor the level of the river pollution. They will detect and trace the cause if there is an increase in the level of pollution. In 1979, Singapore was able to monitor 42% of the whole country. (Liu, O. 1979).
Water supply has also been a big issue for Singapore, since it is a small country that only has limited water resource Singapore has to carefully plan and encourage the citizen to use the water wisely otherwise, this country could experience a water shortage. Back in 1990, Singapore was experienced an unusual period of dry weather which was caused the reservoir stocks to dropped to 68 percent from 95 percent (Public Utilities Board Annual Report 1990, 31 December 1990, pp 12). In order to prevent history to repeat itself, in recent days Singapore has four major water sources which are called National Taps. National Taps consist of water from Johor, water catchment from reservoir, desalinated water and recycled water called NEWater. Almost half of Singapore’s water demand was fulfilled by the imported water (water from Johor) the water agreement between these two countries was begun in 1927. These countries made another agreement in 1961, 1962 and 1990, the 1961 agreement will expire on 2011 while the other two will expire on 2061.
Singapore has some water catchment areas those are located in Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, and so on. Water catchment is about collecting water especially rain water and processing the water so that it can be consumed by the society, when this water from water catchment are being used the used water is collected then treated again to produce
NEWater. NEWater is the Singapore’s brand for their recycled water and it also another Singapore’s water resources. In the present, NEWater is mostly used by industry due to its cheap price and cleanliness moreover, it able to cover 30 percents of the industry’s water needs.
Another water supply comes from desalination process whereby sea water is collected and treated so that the salt is extracted and the water becomes drinkable water. However, this type of water is not famous among the people compared to the other three sources it is because this type of water is more expensive due to its technology to transform sea water become into drinking water.
The challenges that PUB has to deal with are not only how to cope the demand of the society but also how to reduce the demand. As there is an increase in the number of population in Singapore, the demand for water has also increased. In 1950s when the population of Singapore was about 1 million, the daily consumption of water was only 142,000 daily per capita the consumption of water increase by more than 100 percent in 1960 when the population had increased to 1.6 million by 1970s when the population reached 2.4 million, the demand for water had gone up to 262 liters per person per day. However, this is not the only factors that make the demand for water increase. Industrial development and better standard of living are the other factors which make the demand for water raise. In 1950 there were only about 580 industrial organizations with 10 or more workers. In 1970s, the number of industrial company went up to more than 2,900 companies. This made the water consumption increased from 50,000 cubic meters to 170,000. Water is still relatively cheap compared the other commodities and with the increase in living standard, people tend to be more liberal with the use of water. (Liu, O. 1979). Today, the population has increased to about 4.6million while water demand has grown 1.3 million cubic meters per capita.
To anticipate this problem, PUB tries to seize the use of water through pricing, campaign, promoting and encouraging ownership. Pricing of water is an efficient and effective mechanism in encouraging customers to use water wisely. The water is priced to recover the full cost of its production and to make people realize that the natural supply of this precious resource is decreasing. . The water tariffs and water conservation tax were restructured over a 4-year period, starting in 1997 and it is valid for domestic and non-domestic consumers (except for domestic consumers using more than 40 cubic meters per month. Before 1 July 1997, the first 20 cubic meters of domestic consumption for each household was charged at S$0.56 per cubic meters. The next 20-40 cubic meters were charged at S$0.80 per cubic meters. Non domestic consumption of more than 40 cubic meters per month was charged S$1.17 per cubic meters. From year 2000 onward, domestic consumption of up to 40 cubic meters per month and nondomestic uses were charged at a consistent rate of S$1.17 per cubic meters. For domestic consumption of
more than 40 cubic meters per month, the tariff became S$1.40 per cubic meters, which is higher than non-domestic consumption. The earlier cheaper block rate for the first 20 cubic meters of domestic consumption was eliminated. Furthermore, PUB also tries to lower the water usage by conducting a campaign for example, in 24 June 1995 PUB launched a campaign called Save Water Campaign at Bedok waterworks. This campaign was held to make the Singaporean realize that water conservation is vital to their future and also to encourage the community to use the water more prudently and effectively. During the campaign month, seminars on water conservation were given to students and workers, PUB had also invited the students, workers, and community groups to visit the water plants. Moreover, water rationing was also exercised during this campaign. The purpose of this training was to let the Singaporean experienced the difficulties and inconvenience of water shortage. Additionally, PUB also made many advertisements through mass media to make people aware about the campaign. Advertising materials such as, posters stickers, leaflets were distributed island wide. The campaign slogan and logo was also printed in the PUB bill envelopes on that month
155 litres of water daily per Singaporean
Hung, C. (1976). Water pollution and its control in Singapore. P.100-112

Comparison of Police Corruption in China and Singapore


Police is very important to every country in the world. They are responsible for law enforcement, maintaining public safety and protecting lives and property. Therefore, police is so important that they should be professional, perfectly just and impartial. However, police corruption is a big crime problem for some countries. Police corruption affect the authority of the government which seriously decrease public confidence towards the government. The methods used to fight against police corruption may vary in different countries. Yet, countries with similar background and aim in solving police corruption maybe possible to share similar policies in tackling the problem of police corruption. In the following comparative case study, a number of literature towards China and Singapore will be reviewed and compared. Methods and policy recommendations will also be made to see how China can be benefited or learn from Singapore in the view of tackling police corruption

Review of the Literature

The reason why police corruption happens around the world is that cost of the punishment is low, which means that the offenders think they can escape from the punishment easily (Bowles & Garoupa, 1997). It reflected that the deterrence effect towards corruptive practices is low, therefore people are not afraid of the consequences and unrestrainedly commit corruption. Bowles and Garoupa (1997) also stated that the police in some well-developed countries are receiving fixed salaries. However, in some countries police are only offered relatively low salaries and they are not satisfied with the salaries. Hence, in order to increase their income, they receive bribe. It shows that poverty leads to police’s dissatisfaction towards their quality of life, which leads to crime. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United Nations Convention against corruption is agreed by most of the parties in the United Nations. There are five important dimensions in the convention, which are methods of prevention, law enforcement, cooperation between countries, recovery of the assets and information exchange between countries (United Nations Convention against Corruption, 2003). There are different kind of police corruption, which have been identified as authority corruption, extortion, internal payoffs and shakedowns (Newburn, 1999). The police has been emphasized that they may be the easiest group to corrupt. According to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (2003), police not only is an agency for law enforcement, but also have the right to use legitimate force to investigate criminal act and deprive individual liberty. As the police has an important role in one country, they should be monitored strictly. Apart from the cooperation and information exchange between countries, some countries also have their own department to crack down police corruption. For example, there is Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau in Singapore (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, 2019) and Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption in Hong Kong (Hong Kong ICAC, 2019). These bureau are not under any government departments and have independent operations.

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China has a population of 140 million people which ranked number one in the world. The population is constantly increasing despite the fact that there are serval policies to control birth (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2018). According to the National Population Census of the People’s Republic of China, the majority of the population is identified as Han (Chinese) (92%) with the remaining ethnic groups including the black and Jewish (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2011). From the above, it shows that China is not a multi-racial country since China is dominated by few races. China has a huge police force among the world, with the research done by Sawe (2017), China has 1,600,000 police officers. However, even with a huge amount of police force, there is no apporpriate agency to monitor them. Moreover, according to the findings done by Hualing (2005), the yearly salaries of the secretary in China is RMB $200,000, which is  USD $28,908. It reflected that the police in China are underpaid and hard to meet their living standard. Therefore, police tend to receive bribe to increase their revenue to improve their living conditions, hence raise satisfaction towards life. China is a country that practice socialism. Socialism refers to the country that shares economy combined with collective political thought, implementing collective production that there is no class system in that country. Under this system, land and capital assets are jointly owned by the people (Cunningham, 1987). Under collective political thought, the democratic level in China is low. The government is not selected by the citizen and well-monitored. The transparency of the government and the police is low (Zengke, 2000). Also, the research done by Hualing (2005) stated that China is a country that utilizes police force to maintain her political stability. There is an indivisible and deeply-rooted relationship between the police and the government. The problem of police corruption is hard to be solved unless the relationship can be broken off or there is a mature monitoring system that operates independently.

According to Department of Statistics Singapore, Singapore in 2018 has a population of 6,049,000 people, which has increased 0.7% from 2017 (Singapore Population, 2018). Also, from the Singapore Demographics Profile in 2018, the majority of the population identifies as Chinese (74.3%) with the remaining ethnic groups including Malayan (13.4%) and Indian (9.1%) (Singapore Demographics Profile 2018, 2018). From the above, it reflected that Singapore is also a society that is mainly formed by Chinese. In Singapore, there is around 38,587 policemen (Singapore Police Force, 2018). According to Quah (2006), Singapore succeed in alleviating the phenomenon of police corruption by increasing the salaries and improving police working conditions. According to the findings done by Hualing (2005), the yearly salaries of the secretary in Singapore is USD $1,700,000. It reveals that the government is uses high salaries to reinforce honesty. Although Singapore has claimed to be a democratic country, she is always being challenged by her democratic level. Singapore is a illiberal democratic country, she is not a democratic country since she is not resolving the differences in the country peacefully (George, 2007). Moreover, there are over 20 political parties in Singapore. However, the Singapore Government Party – People’s Action Party keeps suppressing the political parties which disagree with them. Therefore, the opposition are being isolated and marginalised (Mutalib,2000). It shows Singapore is using force to threaten the opposition. From these, Singapore’s democracy level is apparently questionable. The government allows limited opposing opinions. Therefore, she is actually an authoritarian country. Quah (2001) stated that problem of police corruption is serious in Singapore before 1960, however, the Singapore Government gain experiences from Hong Kong and develop an independent bureau – Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, the government gives more power to the bureau and fight against police corruption. Therefore, Singapore is now a successful example that other countries with serious police corruption can learn from (Quah, 2006).

China and Singapore share some similarities, including their society structure which mainly consist Chinese and share similar thoughts like Confucianism (Fukuyama, 1995). Fukuyama (1995) stated that classic Chinese Confucianism is deeply-rooted in Chinese and their society. In view of this, they may share similar cultures and thoughts. Also, as China is a country ran under socialism whereas Singapore is ran under illiberal democratism. Both of them have a low democratic level and require absolute obedience from their citizen. Yet, differences exist between situation in China and Singapore. China’s population is around 230 times Singapore’s population and the salaries of the officials in Singapore is around 60 times higher than that in China. Therefore, China has a relatively low salaries when compare with Singapore (Hualing, 2005). Police in China then have higher probability to corrupt due to the lacking of money to save their living. Moreover, Singapore has developed an independent bureau in minimizing number of police corruption while China do not have such a institution.

Methodological Critique

This study aims to examine to what extent the methods used to fight against police corruption is useful in China using comparative methodology. It uses statistics from the government official institutions, like National Bureau of Statistics of China, Singapore Demographics Profile and Singapore Population. These are official data came from the government, and allows me to have a better understanding on the situation of a country. Moreover, although China and Singapore share similar thoughts and political means, they still bear different criminal justice systems. Therefore, more details should be considered when doing comparison.

After reading various literature and readings, there are some gaps found in the literature. Firstly, articles lack information about the experiences and the processes of receiving bribes in police of China. A huge portion of the literature just mentioned the reason behind police corruption and the types of corruption. There are no details of how police receive bribe. Secondly, there is in lack of readings that show statistics on number of police in China who have engaged in bribery before. If these gaps can be improved, the study will be more comprehensive and convincing.

Policy Recommendations

Firstly, there is an independent bureau may be established to help promoting just and integrity. For example, in Singapore, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau is set up to combat police corruption. Since the bureau is not under any department of the government and operated independently, the investigation and the adjudication can ensure independence and will not be affected by other variables (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, 2019). However, there is no such an independent bureau in China, the anti-corruption campaigns are useless since the investigation and the arrestees are selective and impartial (Quah, 2016). It reflected that the anti-corruption campaigns exist in name only, they are not effective at all. There is a lack of fair ruling in China towards the problem of police corruption. Therefore, it is suggested by Holmes (2015) that China should learn from Singapore. It is so important for China to establish an independent anti-corruption department to effectively minimize the number of police corruption and bring a positive phenomenon to the society. Also, it is always hard to distinguish between bribe and gift-giving. Developing an anti-corruption institution can allow the country to develop a better definition to the public and to warn their behaviour. Therefore, if China government can develop such an agency and do a fair adjudication, there should be a positive effect on the reduction of police corruption.

Secondly, as stated from above, the officials in China are receiving relative low salaries (Hualing, 2005). The insufficient salaries of police leads to a serious problem that they cannot support their basic expenses (Quah, 2016). Therefore, the police starts to receive bribe to maintain their quality of life and balance their expenses. However, one of the significant approach in Singapore to decrease the number of police corruption is to increase the official’s salaries (Holmes, 2015). If the salaries that they received are reasonable and can meet their basic needs, the police will not take risks to receive bribe. Some economic researchers discovered that under the situation of police corruption, the corruption rate decreased when the salaries increased (Scoggins & O’brien, 2016). It reflected that increasing salaries is a key and important factor in tackling police corruption in China. Therefore, after increasing the salaries of the police in China, it can reduce their discontent and unhappiness. The corruption rate will then be lowered.

Although China and Singapore are of different criminal justice system. They have similar culture and democratic level. Also, as stated from Peng (2012), China is now starting her revolution and police corruption crackdown program, it can be assumed that China have enough human resources and capital to practise the above recommendations. Moreover, with the literature supported, it is believed that the policy used to fighting against police corruption in Singapore is useful for China.


Police corruption is a deeply rooted problem in the world, and more methods should be provided in minimizing the problem. However, as there are limitations by different criminal justice system, not every method is useful in solving each problem. Therefore, future direction in comparative research can be how can researchers minimize the bias in their research on two totally different countries and find an appropriate method in tackling the problem. The method will be more accurate and successfully aid the problem. Police corruption need to be minimized, as it is not just affecting the authority of the police officials, but also infringing the society. Singapore has developed some effective policies that China can learn from. In China and Singapore, they are in different criminal justice system, have differences on people salaries and population. Singapore has an independent anti-corruption bureau while China has not. However, they share similar cultures and democratic level. From a number of literature reviews, the fighting against police corruption policy in Singapore can effectively bring positive result to China.  


Bowles, R., & Garoupa, N. (1997). Casual police corruption and the economics of crime. International Review Of Law And Economics, 17(1), 75-87. doi: 10.1016/s0144-8188(96)00056-7

Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.cpib.gov.sg/

Cunningham, F. (1987). Democratic theory and socialism. Cambridge University Press.

Fukuyama, F. (1995). Confucianism and Democracy. Journal of Democracy, 6(2), 20-33.

George, C. (2007). Consolidating authoritarian rule: Calibrated coercion in Singapore. The Pacific Review, 20(2), 127-145.

Holmes, L. (2015). Combating Corruption in China: The Role of the State and Other Agencies in Comparative Perspective. Economic and Political Studies, 3(1), 42-70.

Hong Kong ICAC – Hong Kong ICAC. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.icac.org.hk/en/home/index.html

Hualing, F. (2005). Zhou Yongkang and the Recent Police Reform in China. The Australian & New Zealand Journal Of Criminology, 38(2), 241-253. doi: 10.1375/acri.38.2.241

Liu, J. (2006). Modernization and crime patterns in China. Journal of Criminal Justice, 34(2), 119-130.

Mutalib, H. (2000). Illiberal democracy and the future of opposition in Singapore. Third World Quarterly, 21(2), 313-342. doi: 10.1080/01436590050004373

National Bureau of Statistics of China. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/ndsj/2018/indexeh.htm

National Bureau of Statistics of China. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/ndsj/2018/indexeh.htm

Newburn, T. (1999). Understanding and preventing police corruption. London: Home Office, Policing and Reducing Crime Unit, Research, Development and Statistics Directorate.

Peng, W. (2012). The rise of the Red Mafia in China: a case study of organised crime and corruption in Chongqing. Trends In Organized Crime, 16(1), 49-73. doi: 10.1007/s12117-012-9179-8

Quah, J. (2001). Combating Corruption in Singapore: What Can Be Learned? Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 9(1), 29-35.

Quah, J. (2006). Preventing Police Corruption in Singapore: The Role of Recruitment, Training and Socialisation. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 28(1), 59-75.

Quah, J. (2016). Singapore’s Success in Combating Corruption: Four Lessons for China. American Journal of Chinese Studies, 23(2), 187-209.

Sawe, B. (2017). List of Countries By Number of Police Officers. Retrieved from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/list-of-countries-by-number-of-police-officers.html

Scoggins, S., & O’brien, K. (2016). China’s Unhappy Police. Asian Survey, 56(2), 225-242.

Singapore Demographics Profile 2018. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.indexmundi.com/singapore/demographics_profile.html

Singapore Police Force. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.police.gov.sg/news-and-publications/statistics

Singapore Population. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.singstat.gov.sg/modules/infographics/population

United Nations Convention against Corruption. (2003). Retrieved from https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/corruption/uncac.html

Zengke, H. (2000). Corruption and anti-corruption in reform China. Communist And Post-Communist Studies, 33(2), 243-270. doi: 10.1016/s0967-067x(00)00006-4


Globalisation Effect on Singapore

Globalization can be described as an ongoing process where resources, believes, ideas and technology from different cultures are integrated to each other and promote new ways of thinking and practices among the society. As a continuing progression, globalization aroused from the influences of other cultures, which has been adapted with the local cultural conditions and modified to fit in the context of social behaviour. The external influences will directly override some local particularities, and the culture itself will be altered, or maybe damaged, or even enhanced, according to the perspective of society life. Therefore, the expression of culture itself will be interpreted and analysed in different way which encouraged the people to think, act, and learn the new disciplines in every aspect of life.

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These processes, hence, have an outcome of a cultural diversity, in which introducing the local values in global culture. In other words, it offered a global and local linkage of social changes that happened in the nation. Looking through the contemporary social life, globalization has become a major issue all over the world. Many countries have developed new approaches in most of the living aspects, and transformed people’s lifestyle in order to follow the major flow that happened globally. In today’s modern days, globalization can act as a tool to open the opportunities of influence by other countries, and expand the cross-cultural interaction that may build up the cohesion among the nation.
Globalization, however, implies to westernization in present days. The nature of western countries seems to appear as a science based tradition and the world is highly developed towards that tradition, as a sense of control. These global forces appear to superficially standardized and homogenized cultures, and equivalent to westernization. Majority of cultures are converging to the western standards, local identities have been replaced with global culture, and western values have become significant trends in this modern world.
Looking at Singapore, a cosmopolitan city, where variety of cultures merges together, is one of a good example of a country that embraces globalization. Besides accepting the westernization, Singapore has been spanning borders through other cultures, such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Caucasian. These four interwoven cultures has created a genuine blending of traditions, believes, and ideas. A fusion of cultures in which Singapore brought in, has created a multi-disciplinary notions and practices, rooted in many cultural traditions. This synthesis has altered and transforms the peoples’ way of life according to the local context.
On the other hand, not only western value that the world, including Singapore, has been developing on, but also majority of the countries have welcoming influences from Asian culture. Japan has brought a significant shift in the world’s globalization. Beside westernization, it has been become a popular culture among the world. Japanese culture has generated a different approach in global trends. Its tradition does not rest on science based technology and for them technology is a choice, not a necessity. Japan has greatly developed their long standing traditions towards something that instinctive rather than rationalistic way of thinking, like what the western do. Japan has its own original characteristic, which has a capacity to adapt and integrate new forms and function. Hence, there is no doubt that Japanese influence has an impact on the worlds’ culture, such as, in space, design, architecture, style, and even food culture.
There is no large city in the world in which a Japanese restaurant cannot be found. Far from being a passing fad, Japanese cuisine is an establishment item in restaurants all over the world. The popularity of Japanese food is in part due to its reputation as a healthy alternative and also the curiosity and willingness to constantly introducing new tastes in their daily meals.
Japanese way of dining, since the olden days, has put emphasized on food arrangement as a piece of art. For the Japanese, food must be enjoyed visually and pleasing to the eyes. They have developed the aesthetic sense to design exquisite harmony between colours, texture and shape throughout the food arrangement. This visual pleasure is an essential prelude and accompaniment to the savoury pleasure that follow.
The influence of Japanese cuisine has been successfully creating a new atmosphere in Singapore food culture. It is proven that Singapore people accepted the taste and ambience of Japanese food by looking to the increasing number of sushi chain restaurant, such as Sushi Tei, Sakae Sushi; numerous traditional and contemporary Japanese restaurant, and also Japanese themed food court such as Ishimura and Manpuku.
The diversity of food which has been influenced by Japanese cuisine, has become an inspiration for the designers to introduce innovative and exciting solutions to design dining spaces, through the essential aspect of Japanese dining and design in new ways that suit today’s restaurant-goers.
Recognizing the context of social behaviour in Singapore, innovation is the key elements for Singaporean. In terms of food culture, people like an excitement and it is a challenge for them to try something fresh and different, both in food and also ambience of dining space. Experience is another strong point, another extra ordinary atmosphere can attract people to get in and try a new restaurant.
Besides the tendency to look for new things, the image of Singapore as a fast paced country gave an impact to the society. The time-oriented and multi-tasking people have built a busy working environment and hectic lifestyle in this metropolis city. Consequently, they are likely don’t have time to have the luxury of enjoying social fellowship during the weekdays. This could be why it seems that forms of entertainment in Singapore tend to be designed to fit people’s activity on weekends. The big leisure activity that Singapore offers is shopping. There are numerous numbers of malls and shopping centres have been build or even renovated to drag people in the shopping as an attraction. Other than shopping; casinos, theme parks, nature reserves, are the other forms of leisure that Singapore provided.
Despite the fact that all those type of facilities can serve as a very relaxing and stress relieving activity, people need to spend their time on weekend to do these activities.

Westernization in Present Day: Globalisation in Singapore

Globalization can be described as an ongoing process where resources, believes, ideas and technology from different cultures are integrated to each other and promote new ways of thinking and practices among the society. As a continuing progression, globalization aroused from the influences of other cultures, which has been adapted with the local cultural conditions and modified to fit in the context of social behaviour. The external influences will directly override some local particularities, and the culture itself will be altered, or maybe damaged, or even enhanced, according to the perspective of society life. Therefore, the expression of culture itself will be interpreted and analysed in different way which encouraged the people to think, act, and learn the new disciplines in every aspect of life.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
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These processes, hence, have an outcome of a cultural diversity, in which introducing the local values in global culture. In other words, it offered a global and local linkage of social changes that happened in the nation. Looking through the contemporary social life, globalization has become a major issue all over the world. Many countries have developed new approaches in most of the living aspects, and transformed people’s lifestyle in order to follow the major flow that happened globally. In today’s modern days, globalization can act as a tool to open the opportunities of influence by other countries, and expand the cross-cultural interaction that may build up the cohesion among the nation.
Globalization, however, implies to westernization in present days. The nature of western countries seems to appear as a science based tradition and the world is highly developed towards that tradition, as a sense of control. These global forces appear to superficially standardized and homogenized cultures, and equivalent to westernization. Majority of cultures are converging to the western standards, local identities have been replaced with global culture, and western values have become significant trends in this modern world. 
Looking at Singapore, a cosmopolitan city, where variety of cultures merges together, is one of a good example of a country that embraces globalization. Besides accepting the westernization, Singapore has been spanning borders through other cultures, such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Caucasian. These four interwoven cultures has created a genuine blending of traditions, believes, and ideas. A fusion of cultures in which Singapore brought in, has created a multi-disciplinary notions and practices, rooted in many cultural traditions. This synthesis has altered and transforms the peoples’ way of life according to the local context.
On the other hand, not only western value that the world, including Singapore, has been developing on, but also majority of the countries have welcoming influences from Asian culture. Japan has brought a significant shift in the world’s globalization. Beside westernization, it has been become a popular culture among the world. Japanese culture has generated a different approach in global trends. Its tradition does not rest on science based technology and for them technology is a choice, not a necessity. Japan has greatly developed their long standing traditions towards something that instinctive rather than rationalistic way of thinking, like what the western do. Japan has its own original characteristic, which has a capacity to adapt and integrate new forms and function. Hence, there is no doubt that Japanese influence has an impact on the worlds’ culture, such as, in space, design, architecture, style, and even food culture.
There is no large city in the world in which a Japanese restaurant cannot be found. Far from being a passing fad, Japanese cuisine is an establishment item in restaurants all over the world. The popularity of Japanese food is in part due to its reputation as a healthy alternative and also the curiosity and willingness to constantly introducing new tastes in their daily meals.
Japanese way of dining, since the olden days, has put emphasized on food arrangement as a piece of art. For the Japanese, food must be enjoyed visually and pleasing to the eyes. They have developed the aesthetic sense to design exquisite harmony between colours, texture and shape throughout the food arrangement. This visual pleasure is an essential prelude and accompaniment to the savoury pleasure that follow.
The influence of Japanese cuisine has been successfully creating a new atmosphere in Singapore food culture. It is proven that Singapore people accepted the taste and ambience of Japanese food by looking to the increasing number of sushi chain restaurant, such as Sushi Tei, Sakae Sushi; numerous traditional and contemporary Japanese restaurant, and also Japanese themed food court such as Ishimura and Manpuku.
The diversity of food which has been influenced by Japanese cuisine, has become an inspiration for the designers to introduce innovative and exciting solutions to design dining spaces, through the essential aspect of Japanese dining and design in new ways that suit today’s restaurant-goers.
Recognizing the context of social behaviour in Singapore, innovation is the key elements for Singaporean. In terms of food culture, people like an excitement and it is a challenge for them to try something fresh and different, both in food and also ambience of dining space. Experience is another strong point, another extra ordinary atmosphere can attract people to get in and try a new restaurant.
Besides the tendency to look for new things, the image of Singapore as a fast paced country gave an impact to the society. The time-oriented and multi-tasking people have built a busy working environment and hectic lifestyle in this metropolis city. Consequently, they are likely don’t have time to have the luxury of enjoying social fellowship during the weekdays. This could be why it seems that forms of entertainment in Singapore tend to be designed to fit people’s activity on weekends. The big leisure activity that Singapore offers is shopping. There are numerous numbers of malls and shopping centres have been build or even renovated to drag people in the shopping as an attraction. Other than shopping; casinos, theme parks, nature reserves, are the other forms of leisure that Singapore provided.
Despite the fact that all those type of facilities can serve as a very relaxing and stress relieving activity, people need to spend their time on weekend to do these activities.

Singapore Airlines: Business, Marketing and Operations

This paper study is based on Singapore Airlines (SIA), in this case study the project has discuss about the SIA’s Business, Marketing and operational strategy, what are the changes is the SIA’s facing in future, how this airline company has changed its strategy and how this airline from a small country-state with a population of about three million people, on an island no larger than the Isle of Man, earn a reputation for being ‘the most constant money-making airline in the world, in spite of the various world-wide recessions.
The paper study also discuss about, how the Singapore Airline retained employees and the customers.
QUESTION 1: Evaluate SIA’s Business, Marketing and Operational Strategies and assess their effectiveness in relation to the competition?
Over the last decade Singapore Airline has grown from a local airline into one of the world’s leading passenger and cargo carriers. In an attempt to survive, many of the organization which is working in the same business tried to observe and investigate the approaches or strategy which are using by Singapore Airlines (SIA, 2007). Finally it became clear and understandable that SIA are more competitive because of its business and operations strategy.
The long term growth of a business design to provide and maintain shareholder value is called the business strategy.
So, this part of the paper contains the business, market and operation strategy of Singapore Airlines.
As we all know the SIA’s has developed a status for being an industry innovator as well as doing things in a different way than its competitors who are in the same industry line, for example, As the study says SIA was the first airline to introduce free drinks, a choice of meals and free headsets back in the 1970s. Not only this, the Singapore airlines are the first who start a two year programme to install ‘Kris World’, that is a new in-flight entertainment scheme, for passengers in all three classes of its Megatop B747s. KrisWorld provides around 22 channels of video entertainment, around twelve digital audio channels, around ten Nintendo video games (Nintendo was best known for console industry and famous for home video game), and always alert the destination information and provides a telephone at each seat. By using this innovative ideas and creativity techniques the SIA’s has done wonder in this airline business and earn a reputation for being the most consistent money-making airline in the world.
Not only this, SIA’s has done many changes in the history of airline and they provide numerous innovative ideas and doing things differently than its competitors.
SIA’s is the one who spend lot of millions in order to install KrisWorld movies; by doing this they had given an amazing entertainment to their customers while traveling and this lead to make them a different from their competitors and by adding this KrisWorld they are the first one to do so and this types of strategy help them a lot in becoming a number one in these business.
SIA is the first in the market for discoverer and performer of the mostly innovative live teletext news service (KrisNews) and also for an interactive in-flight shopping service for its aircrafts. These creative and innovative developments by SIA, eventually won numerous awards for the best air lines.
SIA was the first airline which bought a collection of finest chefs from all over the world to serve best in-flight cooking for its passengers as well as it was the first airline which tried to accomplish the wants of individual passengers by launch the special meal service with lighter and better options plus the unique in-flight meal service which is specially introduced for young flyers and enabled them to choose their desired meals up to 24 hours before the flight departure. Besides that, SIA started to update its menus monthly and even weekly to create an impression among its frequent travelers and also to keep track of flyers tastes. These were the main line of attack for SIA to compete among its competitors in the market and also to shore up its business strategy1.
The main success of SIA’s is Singapore’s Changi airport, Changi is situated in eastern end of the Singapore. Changi airport is one of the world busiest airport
QUESTION 2: Using change management models evaluate how the company has changed; in strategic terms.
QUESTION 3: What challenges is SIA facing in the future. What should SIAs business and operations strategies be for the future and why? Provide justification for your recommendations.
As we know that SIA’s is the one of the leading airport in the world but due to the large number of competitors in the world. SIA’s have to maintain their top ranking in the future by maintaining their operations and business strategy and by developing more innovative ideas.
The challenges which a SIA facing in future is mainly due to their competitors, as we all know in airline business the profit is very less and its mainly because of growing airline industry, passengers have many choices to select the low fare flight, so they must provide the better facility in a lower price that may affect their capital turnover.
Recession is also the one of the factor for affecting then in future. Like in recession, there is a reduction in number of fliers.
In future there is my advance airplanes/crew because of the competition and so the availability of the best crew is very important.
There are more challenges that airline industry is facing like escalating costs and stiff competitions.
As this part of the paper contains that which type of business as well as operations strategies should SIA’s makes for their future and which makes them different from there competitor’s.
Before going to this we must know about the operations strategy, operations strategy is the total guide of decision made the management which leads to the long-term growth for any type of operations, it is the long term process. Basically operations strategy is the method or tools that help us producing goods and services to the consumer’s. Operations basically deal with the producing or delivering of goods.
This paper study discuss the competitive strategies of Porter, In 1980’s Porter has argued that there is two types of competitive advantages which can be shared with either a broad or narrow competitive scope to create four well known business strategies: 2
Cost leadership,
Focused low-cost, and
Focused differentiation
The Porter’s four competitive strategies are shown in table below:-
Competitive Advantage
Lower Cost Differentiation
Cost leadership
 broad target
Low cost focused
 narrow target
Cost leadership technique or strategy is normally used by the companies for generally generating the profit even though the low price of the product or the services offered.
In this strategy company mainly focused on the decreasing of price and retaining their old customer and generating the new one, so by applying this rule to the airline business SIA’s have to take some initiative for lowing there prices in spite of that providing the full facility to their passengers. By doing this the SIA is always be a head from its competitor in present as well in future because doing this the high, medium and even low class passenger get attractive towards it and SIA’s will make even more profit than earlier.
Differentiation strategy, in this strategy a company’s offers a service that consumer’s perceived it as a different and ready to pay a high amount or cost for that.
So, SAI have to innovate some new facilities like new entertainment programs while travelling and some advance technology features with some extra cost, and it must be different as well as a new thing for passengers so that they are ready to pay a high amount for it. Or do offering the old facilities but offered it in that manner that passengers are ready to pay a high amount. This type of innovation or creativity make them different from there competitor and good for future also.
Focus Differentiation strategy focus on a narrow sector and within that sector, they are attempting to achieve either a price advantage or differentiation. The principle is that the sector which is focusing must be better served by entirely focusing on it.
So, SIA’s must use this strategy for be a top in their business by focusing in a small – small sector and offered better services to the passengers and then they will definitely be a head in the airline business.

Marketing Analysis Of Singapore Airlines

The airline industry is one of the fast growing industries in the world irrespective of its criticism. The genesis of aviation in 1909 was by the Wright brothers who flew their first successful flight in Kitty Hawk. Due to the risk involved, numbers of people did not consider travelling by air not until the 1900’s. Another breakthrough was that of Charles Lindbergh who flew and completed a journey across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. The United States postal service as well contributed to the aviation/airline growth. Kelly Airmail Act allowed transport mails from one destination to another in 1925.

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There was a major issue with increase in air collision which brought about an Act by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1958. Another discouraging issue was the increase in the price of fuel in the 1970’s. During the early 1980’s there another deregulation was introduced which brought about mergers of large carriers and growth of smaller ones. In the early 1990’s, people’s confidence returned and there was an increase in the number of passengers due to price cut and cities served by airline were increased. 
Singapore Airline
Singapore airline along with its subsidiaries is basically engaged in passenger and cargo air transportation, engineering services, airport terminal services; they are also involved in training their staffs, tour wholesaling and other activities. Singapore airline operates in the Eastern part of Asia with about 30,088 staffs as on March 31, 2008 according to market research. The revenue recorded by the company was $15,975.5 million during the financial year ended march 2008 which yield an increase of 10.2% compared to 2007. The operating profit of the company was $2,124.5 million in 20008 with a decrease of 3.8% compared to 2007. http://www.marketresearch.com/product/display
In some organization just like Singapore airline, the vision and objectives and the master plan in order to achieve all achievable is referred to as ‘innovative strategic plan’. Innovative strategic planning is a management process which simply can be identified as taking inputs and transforming it as output. The input can be defined as information which is understood by the organization, its environment and its management. The transformation of the information is referred to as the innovative strategic planning and lastly, the output is the defined innovation.
According to the mission statement of Singapore airline, it addresses the organization’s basic goal i.e. the kind of business they are into. The purpose of the organization was clearly defined and stated which comprises of the potential activities the company is engaged in.
The mission statement of Singapore airline is to provide air transportation services of the highest quality and to maximise returns for the benefit of its shareholders and employers. Pillay, J. (1989)
Nature of innovation of Singapore airline
Clarity and commitment: the quality services to customers are clearly stated and it is company’s fundamental objective and aspiration which has made them provide a world-class customer service due to their commitment.
Continuous training: in order to meet up with customer needs and challenges, Singapore airline set up training centres for their staffs thereby offering a wide range of educational programs.
Career development: there is every opportunity to learn and grow in the company, senior managers are allowed to develop as well
Internal communication: Singapore airline employed people from different cultural background to work together in achieving the goal and objectives of the company. In order to maintain good and healthy communication. Singapore airline published departmental newsletters and magazines whereby creating regular dialog between management and staffs.
Consistent external communications: when there is a new development in the company and needs to be advertised, the Singapore airline girls are always featured which is the brand identity of the company
Connection with customers: several medium is being employed to communicate and carry customers along such as in-flight surveys, reply to compliments and complaints received, sending messages to flyers of offers and privileges which includes additional baggage allowance, priority seating and more.
Benchmarking: keeping an open eye for improvement and new ways or strategic means of satisfying customers by following the steps of banks, hotels and retail outlets’ growth.
Improvement, investment innovation: Singapore airline came about a different way of doing things by introducing free drinks and headsets, fax machines on board, individual video screens and telephones in every seat, leading edge gaming and in-flight entertainment.
Rewards and recognition: Excellent staffs are being rewarded for their performance and selfless acts of service.
Professionalism, pride and profits: Singapore airline has been able to achieve a remarkable result due to staff commitment to the airline and to customers. The airline’s reputation is being protected by the staffs as well. Chan, D. (2000)& Wirtz, J., & Johnston, R. (2003)
From www.google.com/singaporeairlineimages
Comfort ability
Through the means of email and telephone interview, I was able to collect the following first hand data directly from the public affairs department in Singapore from the 5th to the 9th of September 2009.
Question 1:
Since its establishment, Singapore Airlines has earned a reputation as an innovative market leader, combining quality products with excellent service. In brevity, please explain the history of Singapore airline since its early days from 1947 till date?
A Brief History
The Early Days
Singapore Airlines’ history can be traced back to 1st May 1947, when a Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) Airspeed Consul took off from Singapore Kallang Airport on the first of three scheduled flights a week to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang.
Over the next five years, larger capacity DC-3 aircraft were introduced. This meant faster and more comfortable flights, and the extension of services further afield to destinations in Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma (now Myanmar), North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.
Inflight refreshments improved from the original thermos flask of iced water to sandwiches, biscuits and cold cuts plus a choice of hot and cold drinks, and alcoholic beverages served by a lone hostess. Known as “female pursers”, these hostesses are the forerunners of today’s Singapore Girl.
The 1950s & 1960s
More new aircraft were added to the fleet in the 1950s and 1960s, the period leading up to the jet age. Among these were the DC-4 Skymaster, Vickers Viscount, Lockheed Super Constellation, Bristol Britannia, Comet IV and Fokker F27.
On 16 September 1963, the Federation of Malaysia was born and the Airline became known as Malaysian Airways Limited. In May 1966, it became Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA).
In 1968, for the first time, annual revenue hit S$100 million. The sarong kebaya uniform for air hostesses, designed by French couturier Pierre Balmain, was introduced and three B707s were added to the fleet.
The Airline’s Boeing age began in 1969 with the purchase of five B737-100s.
The 1970s
The 1970s got underway with a bang: on 2nd June 1971, MSA’s first transcontinental flight took off for London.
In 1972, MSA split up to become two new entities – Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airline System (MAS).
The rest of the decade was devoted to growth and consolidation of the newly-established Singapore Airlines. The fleet was expanded to include B747s, B727s and DC10s. To provide more efficient ground services at Paya Lebar Airport, a subsidiary company, Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) was set up. A B747 hangar and airfreight terminal was opened in 1977.
The 1980s
The move to the new Singapore Changi Airport from Paya Lebar on 1st July 1981 was a big event. Two years later, Airline House, Singapore Airlines’ corporate headquarters in the Changi Airfreight Centre, was officially opened.
The first Singapore Airlines A300 Superbus went into service in February 1981 and the first B747-300 in May 1983. The first B757 and the first A310-200 arrived in November 1984. In 1989, Singapore Airlines became the first airline to operate a B747-400 on a commercial flight across the Pacific.
Tradewinds, a Singapore Airlines subsidiary, became Singapore’s second airline in February 1989. It has since been renamed SilkAir and has an established network of 29 destinations in the region.
The 1990s
Singapore Airlines commenced operations from the new Terminal 2 at Singapore Changi Airport on 22 November 1990, with the arrival of SQ23 from Amsterdam.
In September 1998, Singapore Airlines set new standards in air travel by unveiling a new suite of product and services worth S$500 million across all three classes of travel, offering customers enhanced standards of service on the ground and new levels of comfort, cuisine and entertainment in the air.
In 1999, Singapore Airlines launched KrisFlyer, its first proprietary frequent flyer programme, which allows First, Business and Economy Class customers to earn mileage credits.
The 2000s
In February 2004, Singapore Airlines inaugurated its first Airbus 340-500 by setting a record for operating the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight from Singapore to Los Angeles. The Airline bettered the record barely half a year later, in July 2004, when it launched the non-stop Singapore to New York (Newark) flight.
Singapore Airlines currently operates 77 Boeing 777s, consisting of 12 B777-300s, 19 B777-300ERs , 31 B777-200s and 15 B777-200ERs.
In October 2006, Singapore Airlines launched a comprehensive suite of new generation cabin products comprising the world’s widest First and Business Class full-flat seat products, a new Economy Class seat, and the next generation of KrisWorld inflight entertainment system.
On 15 October 2007, Singapore Airlines took delivery of the world’s first A380 at the Airbus Headquarters in Toulouse.
Singapore Airlines was the first airline to operate out of Changi Airport Terminal 3 in January 2008. The Airline currently operates out of both the new terminal and Terminal 2.
In May 2008, Singapore Airlines created history again by being the first carrier to operate an all-Business Class service between Asia and the USA with its launch of all-Business class non-stop flights from Singapore to New York (Newark). Three months later, in August 2008, the Airline introduced this all-Business Class non-stop service to Los Angeles.
On 21 January 2009, Singapore Airlines received the first of 19 new A330-300 aircraft in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is configured in a two class layout, with 30 new Business Class seats, and 255 Economy Class seats. The planes currently serve the regional and medium-haul routes between Singapore and cities in Australia (Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) and Japan (Nagoya). The Airline will commence daily A330-300 services to Osaka in early 2010. Public Affairs Department Singapore Airlines Ltd (2009)
Question 2:
What are your innovative strategies in terms of your products and services?
Product and Service Excellence
Excellence in customer service has been integral to Singapore Airlines’ success. Superb in-flight service is the cornerstone of its reputation for customer service and hospitality.
Singapore Airlines has also developed a reputation as an industry trendsetter. The list of industry-leading innovations by Singapore Airlines includes:
First to offer free headsets, a choice of meals and free drinks in Economy Class, in the 1970s
First to fly non-stop from London to Singapore in 1984, and the first to fly non-stop from Singapore to London in 1989
First to fly non-stop across the Pacific between Hong Kong and San Francisco in 1989
First to introduce satellite-based in-flight telephones in 1991
First to introduce KrisWorld, a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and communications system across all three classes in 1995
First to involve a comprehensive panel of world-renowned chefs, the International Culinary Panel, in developing inflight meals in 1998
First to bring high quality theatre-style “surround sound” to inflight movie viewing in all three classes with Dolby Technologies in 1999
First to offer audio and video on demand (AVOD) capabilities on KrisWorld in all classes in October 2001
First to operate the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight between Singapore and Los Angeles in February 2004 on the A340-500, and then surpassing the record (in terms of distance) later that year with the non-stop service to New York (Newark) in June 2004
First to introduce the Berlitz® World Traveler interactive language learning programme on all A340-500 aircraft in July 2004
First in the world to launch the next generation KrisWorld inflight entertainment system on Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s eX2â„¢ platform in October 2006
First to fly the A380 from Singapore to Sydney on 25 October 2007. Public Affairs Department Singapore Airlines Ltd (2009).
Question 3:
Globally, what impact has the company made so far in respect to innovative ideas?
Global Network
The Singapore Airlines route network extends across 98 destinations in 40 countries, including those served by Singapore Airlines Cargo and the regional airline subsidiary, SilkAir.
On 1st April 2000, Singapore Airlines joined the Star Alliance network as part of its globalization strategy and continual commitment to offer its customers improved services and benefits, including “seamless” air travel worldwide.
Modern Fleet
Singapore Airlines’ fleet today comprises A380-800s, A340-500s, A330-300s, B747-400s, B777-300s, B777-300ERs, B777-200s and B777-200ERs. It is the result of a series of large orders made in the 1990s, as part of an ambitious fleet renewal and expansion strategy. The orders included a US$10.3 billion order for 22 B747-400s and 30 A340-300s in 1994, a US$12.7 billion order for 77 B777s in 1995 and a US$2.2 billion order for 10 A340-500s in 1998.
Singapore Airlines reinforced its commitment to fleet upgrading and expansion by placing a series of orders for a range of new generation aircraft in recent years, including:
25 Airbus A380-800 (10 in fleet, 9 on firm order and 6 on option)
40 Airbus A350 XWB-900 (20 firm and 20 on option)
40 Boeing 787-9 (20 firm and 20 on purchase rights)
19 Boeing 777-300 Extended Range (all in fleet)
Singapore Airlines became the first in the world to take delivery and fly the super-jumbo A380-800 aircraft in October 2007.
Singapore Airlines has one of the youngest fleets of any major airline, with an average age of 6 years and one month as at 1 September 2009.
Singapore Airlines Cargo, a wholly-owned subsidiary, operates a fleet of 12 B747-400 Freighters.
SilkAir, also a wholly-owned subsidiary, operates a fleet of 16 aircraft, including ten Airbus A320-200s and six Airbus A319-100s. Public Affairs Department Singapore Airlines Ltd (2009).
Question 4:
Without leaving out the financial aspect of it, what were your innovative ideas in terms of management of funds?
Financial Strength
Prudent management has helped Singapore Airlines maintain a healthy financial position and return a profit in every year of its operation.
For the financial year ended 31 March 2009, the Singapore Airlines Group recorded an operating profit of S$1,062 million. Public Affairs Department Singapore Airlines Ltd (2009)
Question 5:
How many subsidiaries does the company have and how has it helped with the growth of the company?
The Singapore Airlines Group has over 20 subsidiaries, covering a range of airline-related services from cargo to engine overhaul.
The philosophy of investing in overseas joint ventures is the driving force behind Singapore Airlines’ development into a global group of aviation-related companies.
The Singapore Airlines Group will continue to invest in related businesses, rather than seek to diversify outside of the aviation industry. Public Affairs Department Singapore Airlines Ltd (2009)
How many staffs do you have at present?
Human Resource
The Singapore Airlines Group’s staff strength as at 31 August 2009 was 29, 965 of which 14,054 were employed by the Airline.
Public Affairs Department Singapore Airlines Ltd (2009)
Question 7:
In what other areas have you made impact?
Corporate Citizenship
Singapore Airlines recognizes the importance of building strong relationships, not only with its customers and business partners, but also with the many communities it serves.
Through corporate donations, sponsorships and other forms of support, Singapore Airlines provides backing to a wide range of community groups including charities, educational institutions, and arts and sports events.
Issued by Public Affairs Department Singapore Airlines Ltd to John Odewole.5th-9th September 2009)
Information systems
The main kinds of information systems that brings about innovation are as follows;
Executive support system
Management information system
Decision support system
Knowledge management system
Transaction processing system
Office automation system
Operational level system
An operational level system is managed by the operational managers to support them by keeping the track of elementary activities and transactions of the organisation by the use of transaction processing system. The flow of transaction is tracked at this level such as sales, receipts, cash, deposits, payroll, credit decision and flow of materials. Major function of this level includes sales management, scheduling, budgeting and personnel records.
Training and development is one of the tools responsible to the success of SIA, therefore new ideas are needed to enhance this.
Operational level involves sales and marketing, manufacturing, finance which is the backbone of the company, accounting and human resources. All these should be carried out accurately and effectively for proper running of the company. For the company to function well, a basic routine of transaction necessary must be carried out. At this level, the goals of the company, task, and recourses are predefined and structured intelligently. Beardwell, I., Holden, L. & Claydon, T
Knowledge level system
The knowledge level is to help the organisation in discovering, organising, and to integrate new and existing knowledge in to the business. Controlling the flow of paper work should be employed in this level as well. A classical planning system in terms of models of problem solving should be carried out properly and accurately. A high level of information system design is needed at this level.
In the knowledge level, a biometric system can be employed in order to monitor the staff’s attendance and for security purpose. This system would reduce the level of insecurity and intruders or unauthorised access into the company.
The use of SAP (system Anwendungen und produkte) can be employed in Singapore airline to manage the system at the operational level. SAP is system software used to manage the system database. Its efficiency and accuracy make it outstanding among other system software.
Management level system
The purpose of management level is to monitor and control, decision making, and administrative activities by middle managers. The management level is the decision support system unit where management information system should be used to carry out sales management, inventory control, annual budgeting and relocation analysis.
(By Lachlan Mackinnin and Phil Trinder)
The management should be able to analyse regional sales, schedule production in such a way that time and cost of production will be will be managed by telling the production facility what to make with which staff, and on which equipment. This is done by using production scheduling tools. An inventory control system can be used, which is integrated package of software and hardware used in controlling the company’s stock.
The management level of SIA should be able to analyse cost quantitatively in order to decide whether to follow a course of action or not. In terms of pricing or profitability, the management should be able to conduct a proper profitability analysis in order to provide invaluable evidence concerning the earning potential of the company.
Innovative system
This level is being managed by senior managers to tackle and address strategic issues and long term trends. Senior managers do not only tackle issues within the organisation, they look into the external environment as well. The senior manager’s major concern is how to match the capability of the organisation with challenges, changes and opportunities externally.
Executive support system is used at the strategic level by senior managers to carry out sales trend forecasting, operating plan, budget forecasting and manpower planning.
Inter-relationship between IS types (by Lachlan Mackinnin and Phil Trinder)
Using information systems to facilitate customer relations of Singapore airline
Information systems can be used to facilitate customer relations through the following means or medium:
Functional support role
To record and store customer market data, customer profiles, customer purchase history, marketing research data, and other useful marketing records.
Marketing records are used for advertising, marketing plans and sales activities.
Helps to record competitor’s activities data, industry data, intelligence data and strategic market records.
In implementing, controlling, monitoring plans, strategies, tactics, new products and new business models as well as new customers.
Decision support role
Decision making is determined by asking what if?? Questions such as: what if we decrease the price of flight 5% will that increase our sales? What if we increase it by 2% will it decrease or increase sales? Or rather discourage customers, what if we decrease by 2% then increase by 3%? And so on.
Strategic support role
Core competence: sustainable competitive advantage which gives the company (SIA) long term advantage in the market place.
Piloting the chain of internal values which helps to reduce costs and manage performance
Rapid speed of change in information and technology helps in competitive aspect which serves as an advantage to the company.
Performance monitoring role
Help to establish relevant and measurable objectives
Helps in monitoring results and performance
Helps to send or to alert managers at each levels of the organisation.
Benefits of a good customer relation management
A good customer relation management helps to provide an excellent customer service in such a way that customers are satisfied and retained. Examples of this is providing a rapid response to queries, fast delivery, providing solutions to customer needs/ meeting customer needs and warm customer service that cannot be found elsewhere.
Using customer information to optimise/ prioritize products/ goods and services and design as well as marketing strategy.
Knowing your customers and then focusing on them in terms of provision of services.
Building a long term relationship with the customers and conducting interaction with customer in order to know more about their needs.
Reasons for CRM
To be able to compete at a higher level with other competitors
Unequivocal of customer economic retention
With the help of technology, Singapore airline will be able to do so effectively and profitably.
By doing the above, Singapore airline will definitely acquire and retain as much customers as possible and possibly enhance profits for the company.
Ethical issues
The principle of right and wrong:
Ethical issue is concerned the choices that people make. Ethical issue can be classified under two categories such as:
The fundamental morality of behaviour: this type of issue, as well known as deontologist refers to the basic and unarguable instances of right and wrong. Therefore this medium must not be used to mislead or differentiate.
The consequences of behaviour: known as teleological, this refers to social effect of behaviour.
The ethical issues Singapore airline might be encountering are:
The innovative strategies used by corporate employees to maximise their frequent fliers benefits such as games which can be stored by frequent fliers.
Breach in individual right
Inconsistence in code of conduct of the company
Unlawful distribution or exposition of customer details
The consequences of this action on the society
Beardwell, I., Holden, L. & Claydon, T. (2004) Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach 4th edition, FT Prentice Hall, London UK.
Chan, D. (2000) The story of Singapore Airlines and the Singapore Girl, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 19.
David, M. & Smeeding T. (1985) Introduction, in David, M. & Smeeding, T. (eds) Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being, National Bureau of Economic Research, Studies in Income and Wealth, Vol. 50.
Hoover’s (2006) Singapore Airlines Limited, available from:
. 5th September 2009.
Jacques, C. (1962) Objective Measures for Pay Differentials, Harvard Business Review, January-February
Pillay, J. (1989) Singapore Airlines (A), USA, Harvard Business School Press.
Thompson, A., Gamble, A.J. & Strickland, J.E. (2005) Strategy, Winning in the Market Place 2nd International Edition, New York USA, McGraw Hill.
Walker, K.W. (1992) Human Resource Strategy, McGraw-Hill, New York USA.
Wirtz, J., & Johnston, R. (2003), Singapore Airlines: what it takes to sustain service excellence – a senior management perspective, Managing Service Quality, Vol. 13 No.1
http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jCfkJUL8oV0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=history+airline+industry&ots=5D_FKZw82l&sig=P-yUX_IouBcLN8If4GZ_ci9RMtU#v=onepage&q=history%20airline%20industry&f=false 15th September 2009
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1062338/history_of_the_airline_industry.html 15th September 2009
Public Affairs Department Singapore Airlines Ltd 5th-9th September 2009.

Trade Unions in Singapore

Critical Issues in Industrial Relations and
Human Resource Management
Singapore has a very unique partnership in the country. It has three forms, such as Government, Union, and Management. The following paragraphs below are the main historical of the Singapore from 1950 up to now.
In 1959, Singapore became a self-governing state and the People’s Action Party (PAP) was elected as the first local government. Then, it governed in the Second Industrial Revolution. Hence, it facilitates to lead Singapore in three headings, such as steps to educate and train workers, steps to promote productivity, and institutional changes to influence the attitude of labor and management. (Anantaraman, 1990)

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In the following years, Singapore has separated into two parties. The pro-communist faction formed the Singapore Association of Trade Unions (SATU), and the non-communist group set up the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). It was set up in 1961. The main objectives of NTUC are, to improve the employment conditions of workers, to promote good labor management relations, to upgrade the skills of workers, to take part in international decision making process, to organize educational, cultural and other activities, to work with union around the world. (Huat, 1995) In order to reduce uneducated problem, the Singapore government promote student to study overseas, like China and Indonesia. The Committee to Promote Enterprise Overseas recommended several measures to enhance more people to work overseas.
In 1965, Singapore became independent nation. Then, in 1968, Singapore faced a major crisis. The British government decided to withdraw its military bases from Singapore. This meant the loss of jobs for about 20,000 Singapore civilians. Therefore, the government introduced and amended The Employment Act and The Industrial Relations Act, respectively. The purposes of Industrial Relations Act are, to give more managerial power to employer. For example, power for promotion, transferring, retirement, retrenchment, dismissal, and many others. (Huat, 1995)
Moreover, the purposes of Employment Act are, providing better protection for more workers, increasing flexibility for employers, and enhancing enforcement of and compliance with employment standards. Therefore, there are existed standardization of working conditions, elimination of restrictive practices by unions, and outcome of the two Acts. The industrial relations scene became relatively peaceful and investor confidence was restored, where more than 35 percent of Singapore’s workers were employed in the twenty-year ahead, which was in 1988. (Huat, 1995)
In 1972, the Ministry of Labor announced that National Wage Council (NWC) has established and it is a tripartite body with three representatives each from labor, management, and government. The council is essentially a national guideline on wages, bonus, and benefits. There are some reasons to accept the guidelines, such as perception of the guidelines as neutral, government’s willingness to use the legislative process and amend labor laws to help implement the council’s recommendations, and The Ministry of Labor used the guidelines to sell disputes on wages through conciliation. (Anantaraman, 1990) Hence, the rationale for wage restraint was to pursue the anti-inflitionary wage policy to ensure that the wage increase as well as productivity. For example, Singaporeans as a result benefited from annual wage increases of 8% to 10% from 1972 through 1984. (Beng & Chew, 1996)
By the late 1970s, the government changed its strategic focustoskill and technology-intensive, high value-added industries and away from labor-intensive manufacturing. Trade Unions Act was amended to reflect the new role of trade unions. The main objectives are, such as following,
Collective bargaining
The union representatives are negotiated with the employers. The union seeks the better terms and conditions for the employments.
Safeguarding jobs
A union protects the jobs of its members so that they are not dismissed arbitrarily.
Cooperating with the employers
Relationship between employers and workers is necessary for the sake of both of them.
For example, they tend to resolve disputes in a mutually acceptable manner.
Political activities
Many political parties seek support from the union leaders even though their members are free to vote for any candidates. That is because the unions exerted pressure on the government for laws or reforms which will benefit the workers.
Social activities
The unions provide financial supports for their member, such as sickness, unemployment, retirement, and death. Then, the unions also use their resources to provide recreational facilities. (Huat, 1995)
The impacts of trade union act are, such as following,
Trade union movement was started after Labor Modernization Seminar. The union leaders had decided to do more than collective bargaining, like the wider perspective thought about workers who also the co-owner of society as consumers, tenants, and others.
There is lack of time and multiple responsibilities of women as workers, wives, and mothers, and also lack of confidence to vie in term of leadership position. Hence, in 1976, the NTUC form a Women’s Programme Secretariat in order to enable more women to work and there exist Social Welfare Department to take over the management of ten childcare centres. (Huat, 1995)
In 1981, The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) was formed in order to help members maintain good labor management relations and to encourage productivity for the benefit of members, employees, the economy of Singapore, and implementing NWC guidelines. (Beng & Chew, 1995) This included wide range of services, such as consultancy services, training and development, information service, and job evaluation service.
In the 1982 amendment to the Trade Union Act, the role of trade unions was defined as promoting good industrial relations between workers and employers; improving working conditions; and improving productivity for the mutual benefit of workers, employers, and the country. Moreover, this act impact on promoting the welfare of its members as well as providing well-being of workers and their families. (Tan, 2007)
In December 1986, sub-comittee’s was recommended the guidelines within the NWC for a flexible wage-system. Then, the guidelines were approved by the Government, Trade Union, and employers. For example, a Basic Wage with a modest service increment of about 2 percent a year. Annual wage can increase if workers have already obliged under the provisions of a contract of service or a collective agreement to pay an annual wage and bonus. (Hian & Teck, 1985)
In 1994, the leaders and members of trade unions are forming May Day in order to improving the quality of life of workers of Singapore because our workers must be fairly paid and be justly treated to enable them work with dignity and pride. Moreover, this May Day might be strengthened the labor movement through ongoing recruitment drives, improved productivity, upgraded the level of skills of our workers, strengthened the framework of our tripartite partnership with government and employers, so that can continue the industrial peace, social harmony, and economic growth. (Huat, 1995)
In 1995, the government reduced the tax rate for computing non-resident reliefs. Hence, many foreigners are attracted to come to Singapore, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines. Then, Singapore has developed in term of industries and others due to foreigners because about three-quarters of Singapore’s manufacturing output was produced by wholly- or partly- owned foreign firms (Mauzy & Milne, 2002) Therefore, due to the good industrial relation with foreigners, Singapore has obtained the basis of higher production with minimum cost and higher profits. (Morris, et al, 2002)
21st century
In recent years, the Trade Unions Act defines a trade union as any association or combination of workmen or employers, whether temporary or permanent. The purposes are, to promote good industrial relation between workmen and employers, to improve working conditions of both of their economic and social status, and to achieve the raising productivity and the economics of Singapore for the benefit of them. (Government of Singapore, 2012)
There are still some aspects of Singapore legal culture which remain largely unchanged. For example, the traditional Confucian respect for law and authority. The legal culture helps to account for the general law-abiding character of Singapore society and the general tolerance of a strong, paternalistic government. (Chan, 1986)
Hence, the Act that has established in the past will aslo slowly to change and even has improved every several years. For example, Trade Union Act, Employment Act, Industrial Relations Act, and People Action’s Party. Hence, the government has built low-cost housing units so that housing would be within the means of the poorer classes of the public. (Leong, 1990)
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has effort in three areas, such as creating better jobs and incomes for Singaporeans, achieving inclusive growth and retirement adequacy, and making workplace better and safer. (Government of Singapore, 2014)
In 2006, the (TAFEP) was following the recommendation of the three committees on Employability of Older Workers. It promotes employment practices that are fair and equitable to all workers.
In 2007, TAFEP opened its doors on 20 November 2007 to promote greater awareness of fair employment practices among employers and the general public.
TAFEP also receives feedback from the public on their discrimination experiences and provides advice and assistance to those who have experienced discrimination at the workplace.
In conclusion, all the Acts that the three committees have established have different purposes, yet have same big line which is maintain and protect the workers and citizen in Singapore. Hence, it would be very useful when people are sustained the Acts by doing the regulations. In addition, all the Acts are moving to be better in every period.
Anantaraman, V. (1990): Singapore Industrial Relations System, Singapore: Singapore Institute of Management.
Beng, C.S. and Chew, R. (1995): Employment-Driven Industrial Relations Regimes, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
Beng, C.S. and Chew, R. (1996): Industrial Relations in Singapore Industry, Singapore: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc..
Chan, H.H.M. (1986): ‘An Introduction to the Singapore Legal System’, Malayan Law Journal, 6: 133-34.
Government of Singapore. 2012. Trade Unions. [Online] Available at: http://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/tradeunions/Pages/default.aspx [5 June 2014].
Government of Singapore. 2014. Committee of Supply Highlights 2014. [Online]
Available at: http://www.mom.gov.sg/aboutus/Pages/cos-2014.aspx [5 June 2014].
Hian, C.C. and Teck, F.C. (1985): ‘A Casebook on Industrial Relations and Employment Practices in Singapore’, Employment, 48(12): 35-6.
Huat, T.C. (1995): Labour Management Relations in Singapore, Singapore: Prentice Hall.
Leong, A.P.B. (1990): ‘The Development of Singapore Law – Historical and Socio-legal Perspectives’. Malayan Law Journal, 5(1): 331.
Mauzy, D.K. and Milne, R.S. (2002): Singapore Politics Under the People’s Action Party, New York: Routledge.
Morris, H., Willey, B. and Sachdev, S. (2002): Managing in A Business Context-An HR Approach, Edinburgh: Pearson Education Limited.
Tan, C.H. (2007): Employment Relations in Singapore, Singapore: Prentice Hall.

Foreign Direct Investment in Singapore

Chapter 1: Introduction
Singapore was a commercial trading centre in the early 19th century and today it has since attained a remarkable transformation into one of the most globally integrated economies in the world, achieving total mechanism and service trading performing triple or more its gross national product and inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock index among the developing market.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) has an exceptional and emerging role internationally. It acquired the primary role in both theoretically and practically, which can be observed in different economic, social, cultural, political, finance, and technological dimensions of the world.
Objective of Study
The objective of this project is to study into the national strategies adopted by Singapore, so far, focusing on their nature and outcomes. A critical assessment will be made on the current challenges ahead, and appropriate strategic options identified. Singapore, to a large extend has relied on foreign MNCs to drive its own industrialization and growth. What is beyond doubt is that Singapore’s unique ability to attract and retain FDI has undoubtedly been a key ingredient of its economic success. Therefore, it is worthwhile to investigate the determinants of Singapore’s FDI inflows.
Scope of Study
In this paper, we examine the interrelations among the variables FDI, the entry modes, the benefits and costs, government policies and the liberalization of FDI. The study of the relationship addresses a few points: Mainly, how dependent is Singapore on FDI? How are the imports and exports of MNCs affecting Singapore’s FDI inflows? What are the factors being driven by the shift of FDI towards services? What is the main driving force of FDI? Is there a contribution and/or positive link between higher GDP and FDI? Does trade liberalization foster FDI in emerging countries/markets?
The overall objective of the study is to determine the efforts that Singapore makes to attract inward FDI, the successful and unsuccessful outcomes and the future developments of FDI in Singapore.
The remainder of the study is organized as follows: In Chapter 2, the trends, source, patterns and forms of FDI is being introduced. Chapter 3 explains the reasons why firms choose foreign direct investment instead of exporting, the trade barriers involved and the other forms of entry modes. In Chapter 4, the connection between Singapore and FDI is being analyzed. Chapter 5 presents the benefits and costs of FDI while Chapter 6 briefly discusses the economic growth in the different industrial sectors and how the culture of Singapore affects inwards FDI. In Chapter 7, it describes government intervention and its policies. Chapter 8 involves the discussion of the liberalization of FDI and MAI. And lastly, Chapter 9 comprehends the findings of the future developments of FDI in Singapore and Chapter 10 ends the study with conclusions.
This project is based on secondary research. Data were extracted and researched from various sources from the internet, report findings, ebooks, ejournals, newspapers, textbooks, and databases from the National Library. The actual figures of the FDI are applied to the project to act as evidence. The research is mainly focused in Singapore to highlight the attractiveness of this country and why is it a popular FDI destination.
Limitation of study
With respect to the analysis and data, there were some limitations that might affect the accuracy of the study – The limited data on the impact of liberalization on Singapore, examples of recent FDI in Singapore, statistical information about the forms and type of entry strategies that FDI or local companies adopted, made this research time consuming and challenging.
Chapter 2: Theories of FDI
Forms of FDI
In recent years, the internationalisation of firms has assumed two new features. First, firms increasingly enter foreign markets by acquiring a local producer also known as merger & acquisition. Secondly, opening a new subsidiary also known as greenfield investment.
Researches suggest that the majority of cross border investments take place in the form of mergers and acquisitions rather than greenfield investments. It is estimated that about 40- 80% of all FDI inflows were in the form of M&As simply because many firms prefer to acquire existing assets which are quicker to execute than Greenfield investments as they are an establishment of a wholly new operation. Also, the outstanding fact that the modern business world’s market evolves rapidly hence firms opt for the easier and perhaps the less risky option- to acquire desired assets than to build them from scratch. Desired assets could include brand name, customer loyalty, trademarks/patents, distribution systems, etc.

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Typically, firms adopt this approach as means of making a quick entry into a market or establishing a market presence. For instance, in 2000, cement manufacturer, CEMEX acquire Southland to enter the into U.S growing construction market. Lastly, firms believe that through M&As it enables an increase in the efficiency of an acquired unit by transferring capital, technology, management skills, etc. – like how CEMEX transferred its technological know how to Southland after the acquisition.
The shift towards Services
FDI is increasing shifting away from manufacturing and extractive industries and towards services. As service industries were largely national, are becoming transnational recently. The shift to services is being driven by: the general move in many developed countries towards service as the composition of FDI in services have changed, it is mainly concentrated on trade and financial services. In addition, the fact that many services need to be produced where they are consumed. There is also a liberalization of policies governing FDI in services. Lastly, the rise of internet based global telecommunications networks. For instance, Dell’s call answering centres are located in India.
The services sector has been the bulwark of the economy, providing stability and contributing significantly to GDP growth. Figure 2.1 shows that the services sector accounted for about two-thirds of real GDP growth in the 1990s. Further studies also showed that the global FDI stock in the services sector had more than quadrupled during the period 1990-2002. As a result of more rapid growth in this sector than in the other sectors, services accounted for about 60% of the global stock of inward FDI in 2002, compared to less than 50% a decade earlier.
Services now account for the largest share of the inward FDI stock in many countries, and Foreign-affiliate service providers play an important role in a growing number of services. Most service FDI has been domestic-market seeking, in such traditional services as finance, tourism and trading, or in industries that have only recently opened up to the private sector, such as electricity, water or telecommunications.
Employment in services has also been much less vulnerable to cyclical economic fluctuations than employment in manufacturing. During periods of economic slowdown as shown in Figure 2.2, manufacturing employment fell by an average of 5% in contrast to the employment growth of 3% in the services sector. While in 1996, employment in manufacturing grew only 2% as compared to 5% in services.
Realizing the importance, the government takes measures to ensure world-class standards of service excellence and leadership, such as introducing schemes, activities, programmes and even institutes – aimed at enhancing service levels, capabilities, mindsets and leadership. Examples include the Singapore Service Star, the Excellent Service Award (EXSA), Go The Extra Mile for Service (GEMS), Public Service for the 21st Century movement (PS21), The Institute of Service Excellence at SMU (ISES) and Certified Service Professional programme by WDA.
Gradual development over time has garnered its interdependence involving the manufacturing sector. In the long run, manufacturing and services group will replicate each other and allow firms to share the development of new knowledge-based products. However, many countries have difficulty quantifying FDI flows in services sectors. Determining trade in services is complicated given that services are not traded at a distinct entry or exit points, but rather across four modes of supply. While quantifying investment in services presents further challenges due to the complex nature of FDI definitions.
While FDI in services remains more restricted, both developed and developing countries have taken steps to open up their service industries. In fact, starting from a higher level of restrictiveness, developing countries tended to liberalize their service industries at an even more rapid pace than developed countries over the past decade. The competitive impact of FDI entry on service supply conditions depend considerably on initial conditions in a host country, especially the level of economic and service development, market structure of service and the regulatory framework.
Entry strategy and strategic alliances
Any firm contemplating foreign expansion must first struggle with the issue of which foreign market to enter, when (late or early entry) and on what scale to enter (large or small scale entry) and lastly, which entry mode to use. Basic entry decisions are ultimately based on the assessment of a nation’s long run growth and profit potential. It is noted that the attractiveness of a country as a political market for an international business depends on balancing the benefits, costs and risks. Benefits include the ability to leverage products and competencies- both technological and management know-how, realizing location economies, and experience effects. Costs include trade barriers, transportation costs, import quotas, tariffs, etc. While the risks involve are political and economic risks. All of these are associated with doing business in that country.
Other factors like the size of the market, the present wealth of consumers (purchasing power) and the likely future wealth of consumers are dependent upon economic growth rates. For example, India which is relatively poor is growing rapidly. Economies which are well developed, with relatively low inflation rates and private sector debts have an advantage over those without. Taking Singapore’s education system as an example- It is a big part of Singapore’s economic development strategy which attracted and encouraged many international educational establishments. Alternatively, weak economic growth in Indonesia is evidently a far less attractive market.
Once firms have decided to enter a foreign market, they have to choose the best mode of entry. Firms can use six different modes to enter foreign markets:

Exporting, being a temporary strategy is like a stepping stone in the international expansion process for most firms. In the past, Seagate was a well know example which concentrated its manufacturing operations in one location enables it to move down the experience curve and achieve location economies. However, Singapore has recently taken this approach to a higher level as the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) collaborates with Hangzhou Xihu (Westlake) to export Singapore’s expertise in Hospitality and Tourism.
Turnkey projects, are popular because firms can continue with normal business operations while the contractor handle the time consuming and resource intensive projects for a foreign client. Singapore shipyard is reputable for handling sophisticated turnkey projects regardless of is complex requirements and other considerations. This industry is well known in the economic development for the last 40 years and will continue to play the critical role in our economy in order to achieve the goal for Singapore to become a leading international maritime link. Another example would be Sitra Holdings (International) Limited, the international producer of integrated wood based products and turnkey services, secured several turnkey design and build contracts in November 2009. Amongst these contracts, the single largest contract is worth S$3.24 million at the Marina Bay precinct.
Licensing, enables a firm to gain access into new markets otherwise inaccessible, hence to facilitate the growth of licensing activities in Singapore with additional focus on brand licensing, character licensing and know-how licensing, the Franchising and Licensing Association (FLA) aims to encourage the adoption of licensing as a growth strategy by producing a report to raise the awareness of how licensing can translate to income stream for companies.
Franchising, in Singapore has grown tremendously and is a preferred strategy for SMEs, as it involves minimal investment and staff, thus reducing costs. Local entrepreneurs have successfully made their mark internationally through franchising like BreadTalk, Charles & Keith, and OSIM. Larger companies can also make use of the networks of their established franchise partners to grow globally.
Joint ventures enable firms to share the benefit of the work process from a local subsidiary’s knowledge of the host country such as the competitors, culture, political and business systems and access to greater resources including staff specialized in technology, finance, and so on. In November 2009, QATARQatar Petroleum International (QPI) and Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte Ltd have sealed agreements in which QPI takes stakes in two Shell Chemicals joint ventures in Singapore. The deal, to be completed in December, Shell will sell its existing shareholdings in two companies to a new joint venture called QPI and Shell Petrochemicals (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
Establishing new wholly owned subsidiaries would be best adopted by firms pursuing the global and transnational strategies, for instance, Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited invested approximately S$900 million in Fraser & Neave Limited (“F&N”) through its wholly-owned subsidiary Seletar Investments Pte Ltd1 in December 2006. The investment would represent approximately 15 per cent of the total shares outstanding of F&N on a fully-diluted basis. This investment marks Temasek’s most substantial investment in the food and beverage space in recent years.

Chapter 3: Country Focus – political economy and cultural factors of Singapore
Political and economic systems of Singapore
The Government of Singapore (GOS) is substantially consigned to maintaining an open economy and taking a leadership role strategize Singapore’s future economic development. The government do so by adopting a free enterprise, open door policy to attract foreign investors from all types of services sector involving finance, business, tourism, telecommunication and consultancy services.
As such, Singapore has exports hitting 186% of 2008 GDP. While Singapore’s stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) increased by 23.4% from $370.5 billion in 2006 to $457.0 billion in 2007. United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Japan were the top sources of FDI in Singapore. Evidently, the high FDI index reflects Singapore’s role as a manufacturing base for foreign multinationals (MNCs) and as a financial, transportation, logistics, and trading hub. Also, with high real growth rate and low inflation played a great role in shaping the Singapore economy. Singapore is one of the most enterprising and dynamic economies in the world.
In this section, we compare Singapore’s recent trade performance with its performance in past crises, namely the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis where many countries and industries were affected by the deep fall of exports during the recession and the 2001-2002 Dot-Com Bust where IT industries around the world were affected by the large scale cancellation of electronic orders due to the over-investments by IT firms.
In 2008 till present, Singapore is experiencing a slow down in the economy due to the US subprime crisis. The main issue is that the US Subprime Market is generating an extension of recessions in some economies and accelerating global recession in a way. Thus, Singapore’s total output of the country has decreased and the export of electronics goods has reduced significantly.
Differences in culture
The difference between international and domestic business is that countries are different. In this section, we will explore how differences in culture across and within countries can affect international business. The culture of a nation is the values that are shared among a group of people living together. While it is possible for a nation/state to have a uniform culture, this is not always the case. Multiple cultures can exist, and cultures can also cut across national borders. Taking Singapore as an example, where it is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society with the residential population in Singapore – 75% are ethnic Chinese, 17% ethnic Malays, 7% ethnic Indians and a small category of `Others’. Therefore foreign direct investors and managers need an understanding of the culture or cultures prevail in the countries where they do business in or intend to.
Culture, society, and the nation state
International business is different from national business because countries and societies are different. Societies differ because their cultures vary. Their cultures vary because of profound differences in social structure, religion, language, education, economic and political philosophies. 2 important implications flow from these differences:
The first is the need to develop cross- cultural literacy. There is a need not only to appreciate that cultural difference exist, but also to appreciate what such difference mean for international business. Therefore, one of the biggest dangers comforting a company is the danger of being ill-informed. Being ill-informed about the practices of another culture, any business is likely to fail. Doing business in different cultures requires adaption to embrace all aspects of an international firm’s operations in a foreign country. For instance, the way in which discussions are organized, the welfare of employees, the structure of a firm, the manner in which is the product is being promoted, the tenor of relations between the management and labour, and so on, are all sensitive to cultural differences. To overcome the danger of being ill-informed, the solution is for international business to consider employing local citizens to help them do business in a particular culture, while ensuring home-country executives work along side and understand the differences in culture and how it affects their business.
With the incorporation of large western MNCs, the Singapore work culture is a unique interaction of Asian and Western cultural exchanges. Where large western MNCs often exhibit predominantly western-style work culture, a greater influence of traditional Asian culture exists. Local firms are mainly influenced by cultural characteristics: collectivism, high power distance and high-uncertainty avoidance. Additionally, among the differences between US and Singapore’s working culture, local jargon is only one of the many. There are several other differences that are mainly caused by different circumstances and cultural values of the two nations. The bottom line is what works in one culture may not work in another.
A simple example illustrates how important cross cultural literacy can be. According to my lecturer, Mr. Rowland Sam, with his many years of experiences has shared with us how the Chinese in China who tend to be informal in nature, does not mix business and pleasure. The Chinese perceives their lunch/ tea breaks as an important factor in the lives as when it is lunch/ tea time, they would stop all work for that. Initially, Mr. Sam was taken aback as they have not finished their respective jobs or meet the deadline, but they would still go for their breaks. He then finally concluded that the breaks were the only time workers get to drink, eat and enjoy themselves after a long day’s work.
A second implication centres on the connection between culture and national competitive advantage. Fundamentally, the value systems and norms of a country influence the costs of doing business in that country which in turn influences the ability of firms to establish a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. For instance, the choice of countries in which to locate production facilities and do business; It makes little sense to base production facilities that require skilled expertise to operate, in a country where education is so poor, the pool of skilled and educated workers are unavailable, the degree of stratification of class is high and there are more than 2 linguistic groups.
But as important as culture is, it is probably less important than economic, political and legal systems in explaining differential economic growth between nations. Cultural differences are significant, but we should not overemphasize their importance in the economic sphere.
Other implications
Besides transferring of management and technological know-how, FDI also has the capabilities to bring environmental and social benefits to host country’s economies. However, there is a danger or probability that foreign owned enterprises would use FDI to “export” productions or equipments that are prohibited in their home countries due to their regulations and policies. Host countries that are keen on attracting FDI are especially prone to fall into this trap where the government would risk lowering or freezing regulatory standards. For example, MNEs moving equipments that considered to be environmentally unsuitable in their home country, to their subsidiaries in developing countries. The sort of environmental risk associated with FDI is being reflected.
Additionally, some micro-oriented problems such as the distributional changes and the need for industrial restructuring in the host economy, increases costs and inconveniences to the people. Fortunately, these problems can be salvaged when appropriate practices are pursued towards flexibility, couple with macroeconomic stability and the implementation on adequate legal and regulatory frameworks.
Not to mention that using FDI, the presence of financially strong foreign enterprises may not be sufficient to assist economic development when domestic legal, competition and environmental frameworks are weak or weakly enforced. Finally, like official development aid, FDI cannot be the foundation for solving poor countries’ development problems. With an average of 15% of capital formation in developing countries, FDI acts a complement to domestic fixed capital rather than a primary source of finance.
Likewise, while FDI may contribute significantly to human capital formation, the transfer of state-of-the-art technologies, enterprise restructuring and increased competition, it is the host country authorities that must undertake basic efforts to raise education levels, invest in infrastructure and improve the health of domestic business sectors.
The link between FDI inflows and accessibility of government information
In this section, we will find out to what extend does government information contribute to investors’ decision making and how does it influence FDI decision making. Firstly, with governments’ information, the quality of investors’ knowledge of the performance, operations and functions of companies in the target market can be further enhanced for better understanding, which enforces rules of equity and resource utilization, and promotes competition.
Secondly, by providing information, the government contributes data and perspectives on how investment projects can be best commenced and managed as foreign investors are able to obtain sufficient information from host governments in order to make informed decisions and meet obligations and commitments. Generally, it also helps build the country’s image. However, it is still possible for a country to receive lower FDI than its potential if it has a generally negative image, despite having a good resource base and strong economic fundamentals, taking Indonesia for instance. Apparently, a country’s image does affect investors’ perception and investment inflows. Hence it is a legitimate practice to use specialized and general forms of government information in order to build an affirmative image of a country. Also, reduces uncertainty about changes in policies and administrative practices in the business environment in the near future.
Finally, the accessibility of government information increases transparency of transactions, however there may be some concerns. Both the host country and investors may want to have access to information concerning each other as part of its policy-making processes and for regulatory purposes. The main objective of transparency with relation to FDI is to limit circumvention, boost the predictability and stability of the investment relationship, monitor performance and evasion of obligations by covert or indirect means.
Certain country characteristics are quote as attracting FDI, including substantial macroeconomic policy management, political freedom and stability, physical security, reliable legal frameworks, an open trading environment, competent institutions, and no or low corruption. Regulatory regimes based on transparency, predictability, and fairness is also important. But the potency of these conditions is dependent of the accessibility of information, especially government information, because foreign direct investors are affected by market failures due to their lack of adequate information due partly to geographical asymmetry of information accessibility (Portes and Rey, 2000).
Chapter 4: FDI strategy
Background to Singapore’s FDI strategy
Singapore’s assertive efforts to attain FDI for more support of its economic strategy have enabled the country to develop into a basis for multinational corporations (MNCs). Singapore’s investment promotion agency, the Economic Development Board (EDB), focuses on obtaining major investments in highly valued services and/or manufacturing activities, deepening its industrial and export structure, using selective interventions to capture cross-industry externalities and move away from labour intensive to capital-skill and technology-intensive activities, by acquiring and upgrading the modern technologies in highly internalized forms. This strategy allowed the country to concentrate in specific phases in the production process, depriving from the flow of innovation and investing lesser in its own innovative effort.
Singapore’s FDI policies were based on liberal entry and ownership conditions, easy access to expatriate skills and generous incentives for the activities that it was seeking to promote. The EDB was mainly set up to synchronize policy, offer incentives to lead foreign investors into targeted activities, acquire and construct industrial estates to attract MNCs. The public sector played an important role in launching and promoting activities selected by the government, acting as a catalyst to private investment or entering areas that were to risky for the private sector. Often it was the efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility of government response that gave Singapore the edge over competing host countries.
The importance of inward FDI to Singapore
FDI has played a crucial role through the years in accelerating the economic development in Singapore. Being a small country with no natural resources, Singapore had depended on leading international companies not only in bringing in capital funds to broaden her economic base, but also in upgrading the technology and skill content of her industries. Since FDI is one way that Singapore can tap foreign technology, therefore a substantial amount of capital is required to help generate GDP. Furthermore, exchange rate will also play a role in determining GDP. A slow appreciation of the currency will increase the confidence of those who are investing in Singapore and help to attract more investment. The Singapore dollar appreciation will also curb imported inflation.
The importance of FDI in Singapore is reflected in the country’s ratio of inward FDI stock to GDP: at 72%, the ratio is the highest in the world. That importance is also reflected in the fact that 90% of value added in Singapore’s electronics industry (remarkable growth in exports and income) is accounted for by foreign investors, and that FDI accounts for fully two-thirds of equity capital in the country’s manufacturing sector. In addition, Singapore’s productivity increased fastest in those industries in which FDI was concentrated. The rank correlation coefficients between increases in value added per worker and increases in FDI share and FDI level were .62 and .45.
Moreover, because foreign direct investors’ profits and outward remittances have tended to move in close tandem with the general performance of Singapore’s economy and the health of its balance of payments, while the economic risk taking function is also borne by those investors, time and again Singapore’s exceptional reliance on FDI has effectively cushioned its economy from the balance of payments and debt crises that have hurt many other developing economies.
Host Country policies
FDI is attracted to Singapore mainly due to Singapore’s favourable investment climate and strategic geographical location. Some other reasons include non-fiscal advantages, Singapore’s small domestic market combined with no tariffs on most imports and low corporate tax rates have made Singapore into a popular low-risk high-return FDI destination.
In general, corporate taxes, or taxes imposed on corporate income, is an important determinant of MNCs’ location decisions, just as individual income tax rates is an important determinant of where a person decides to work and live. Theoretically, other things equal, MNCs would prefer countries with lower corporate tax rates over countries with higher rates.
Furthermore, a wide range of new incentives have been added over the years to promote FDI inflows. Burdensome regulations and performance requirements for FDI can offset a generous package of tax incentives. However, in Singapore’s case, the restrictions and regulations governing both the entry and operation of foreign enterprises and personnel are minimal. Overall, foreign investors are subject to the same government regulations as local investors, and both have a lot of freedom in pursuing their profit objectives. In addition to the general absence of performance requirements, Singapore has also signed a large number of avoidance of double taxation agreements, which mutually protect countries for a specific time against war and non-commercial risks of expropriation and nationalization.
The four areas of Singapore’s government regulations in different areas relevant to foreign investors are the foreign exchange regime, equity ownership, performance requirements and human resources. First, the foreign exchange regime is highly liberal and freely allows repatriation of capital and remittance of profits, dividends, interests, royalty payments and technical licensing fees, as well as the free importation of goods and services for consumption, investment and production purposes. Second, foreign participation is permitted in most sectors of the economy except for some limitations in the monetary sector, areas of trained and skilled personnel. However, 100% foreign equity ownership is readily permitted. Third, there are no perform

Consumerism and Fashion in Singapore

Everlasting consumerism has shaped the way 21st century landscape looks like. It creates unlimited demand of products and stores in any possible space. Retail design is responsible to convert this possible space into a ‘consumerism space’. It is where people encounter strong force to see and buy products. A perfect example to show evidence exists in fashion world. There is strong indication of tense competition happens between clothing manufacture to win the market. In relation to that, the store has become one key aspect or rather a strong statement to create brand awareness among public. The question arise is how, in a relatively over-saturated market, a store can be possibly designed to convey strong message to draw the ‘crowd of consumerism’ into the space.

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1.1. Consumerism Today
The idea of consuming has changed over the past decades. Back to the early human civilization period, most of the activities were needs-driven actions. Earlier, as hunter gatherer, human hunted animals to be able to eat. Followed by agricultural period, farming and plant cultivation were done to produce their food. Consuming was a mere activity that must be done in order to survive. In Industrial and technological age, the way people consume things has changed. As more diverse product being produced and diverse ways of distribution being invented, there are pleasure factors of consuming in form of choices. People find excitement in choosing what they want to consume. This leads to modern consumerism where the concept of consuming goes beyond the needs of survival.
1.2. Shopping as Modern Consumerism
Shopping is the 21st century’s representation of human consumerism. People find delights surrounded by range of different shops and brands. To be able to choose and compares is the highlight of modern life consumerism. In forms of choosing, buying, and using, shopping has catered these needs. Shopping can be seen as in a positive way of fulfilling people’s needs and wants. But apparently, it has developed so fast, in terms of activity, space, and products. And over the past decades, it becomes major aspect in human life.
Museums, libraries, airports, hospitals, and schools are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from shopping. Their adoption of retail for survival has unleashed an enormous wave of commercial entrapment that has transformed museumgoers, researchers, travelers, patients, and students into customers (Koolhaas cited in Luna, 2005, p.26)
Shopping is arguably the most universal activity nowadays. The way designer design space has to follow this idea as well. Space has to be designed in such a way to accommodate this, to enable people to shop anywhere, anytime.
1.3. The Existence of Fashion Retail
Fashion retail perhaps is the best example to portray the modern consumerism. It shows how people eagerly choose what they wear under the spotlight of diverse fashion brands. If the case is taken to a higher level, it demonstrates obviously how people decisions are led by choice instead of needs. High class fashion brands such as LMVH, Gucci, and Prada exist to serve beyond people’s demand of clothing. They meet people’s desire for choices for range of luxury products.
1.4. Fashion of Singapore
Singapore cityscape pictures clearly the existence of international fashion brands. They, indeed, has become one strong attraction point of Singapore for both local costumers and tourists. Singapore is one of the main competition arenas for these giant fashion brands in Asia. To be able to meet customers’ demand, every brand has to come up with high-end design for its retail. Design and technologies are optimized in its use to boost the shopping experience that lead to brand awareness. All these things have to be done so that people will choose certain brand and not others. Orchard Road is a good example depicting the competition among these brands. Interior design, facade treatment, display technologies are being optimized to attract pedestrians along the road.
2. Retail Rebirth
People find pleasures in choosing what they want. Retail has two different approaches in response to the demand. Firstly, they must be able to provide a range of products for customers to choose. Secondly, the retail itself subject to competition. That means it is also considered one of so many choices in the market. In this matter, the retail has to prove to the market that it is worth chosen. The brand, the products, and the store has to work together to stand out and creates strong awareness in the marketplace. Retail has to rebirth, leaving old conservative way of promoting brands, and creating fresh interaction between products and customers.
2.1. Brand Manifestation
With a strong competition in the fashion market, a strong distinctive image of a brand is required to create public awareness. The case is not only competition among products but also continues to the environment where the products being promoted. At this stage, a store has become key tool for the brand to create its images. A flagship store is designed to represents the identity of the brand indeed. For new customers, the store become the first things that attracts them before they go further down to the products being offered or even before they see the window displays.
2.1.1. Design for the Brands
Architecture and interior design are responsible to create environment to deliver products to customers. Fashion retail, regardless of style, trends, or brand identity, should be able to create customer awareness and stimulate them to come and choose it instead of other shops. This is the fundamental function of retail design before it goes down into a deeper and more specific case-based function. On higher level, the architect or interior designer must understand the nature of fabric and how individual fashion designer, that is being represented, has their personal technique to treat it. This unique quality is the one that gives character to a brand. The character, then, must be translated into the space in order to create strong statement of the brand.
2.1.2. Emphasizing Character
In order to be distinctive in an over-crowded market, a strong character of the brand is required. This character is projected from the way the brand carry itself to the market. It consists of range of products and service being offered, and the environment of where the commercial activities take place. Retail design has to be able to create the atmosphere that bridge customers and products. The store acts as a package and shelter, literally and metaphorically, to the brand. The character will only be emphasized if there is unity between the brand, the product, and the store.
2.1.3. Characterizing Structure
A store as a physical shelter might be more than enough to envelope the commercial activity happening under it. But in fashion world, it goes further than functionality. More than just a place to display the product and providing circulation for people to walk and browse the product, the retail has to relate itself to the product and the company philosophy. In other words, the store has to establish relation, in form and purpose, with the clothes. The physical structure, that provide commercial environment, has to blend in with the clothes and create overall unity. Only by this way, the customer will see the bigger picture of the brand, and not loose pieces of the brands.
One ideal example of harmony between brand and store is shown in Calvin Klein store located in Avenue Montaigne, Paris. Its store, designed by John Pawson in 2002, made a good illustration of how the character of the clothes -especially the early Calvin Klein’s work- has been translated into the retail space.
(Klein) has said “It ‘s important not to confuse simplicity with uninteresting,” and executes his simplified, refined, sportswear-based shapes in luxurious natural fibers,… (Stegemeyer, 2004, p.130)
It is the idea of simplicity that is consistently conveyed through the brand, products, and store. Straight lines and clear space sequences brings out the clarity of the clothes, creating a clean and subtle ambiance of the store. The desired simplicity atmosphere is reinforced through neutral colour that is achieved by materials and lighting installation.
2.2. Design Distinction
A character manifestation to a space is inevitability essentials to create strong brand awareness. However, regardless of the brand that is being represented, fashion store can be distinctive by itself. It is a second step after establishing strong representation of the brand. This is about different approach from the experience side, exploring the interaction between products and customers in a conducive controlled environment. In other word, it redefines the way people shop inside a store, creating a fresh shopping experience.
2.2.1. New Fashion Stores Fundamental
With Singapore landscape that has been over-crowded with shopping malls and retail stores, the creation of retail store should be more carefully considered. When the market is driven by consumerism, the rate of retail formation will continue to rise up. However, any retail creation should consider avoiding similar addition to the existing scene that might create saturation to market. It is a strategy to evade the similarity and, at the same time, open up a chance to stand out in the marketplace. To address the issues, the store must cater certain factors in its design approach in spite of the brand it conveys.
2.2.2. Flexible Frequent Space
Retails should be able to update themselves frequently. It has to be able to adapt to new products, seasonality, and customer trends.
There is a high level of experimentation in retail design. It relates to fashion, and fashion changes constantly, is surprising and wants to create experiences (de Wild, 2009, p.14)
In advance level, apart from the temporary things, it has to change in order to create different interaction between customers and product in each encounter. In other word it needs to shift, not just in terms of layout, but in a bigger store scheme. By applying this concept, it is not only the window displays that change every time new products are launched, but the whole store represent the display that able to change entirely. The idea can be achieved by applying modular system for the furniture, placing digital multimedia interface, using less heavy fixed display furniture, and installing replaceable lighting systems.
2.2.3. Centre of Social Activities
The new concept of retail store is not merely about catering commercial activities -selling, advertising, and buying. It is to incorporate retail space and communal space to be a social meeting point.
With the global trend of privatization, I think we are most interested in the idea of shopping as a new kind of public space. How can we enrich these experiences? Can we bring new content, information, ideas and visual experiences to shopping in a thoughtful and dynamic way? (Seller, 2009, p. 23)
The idea is to facilitate people do many other inspiring activities in their shopping time. This idea can be done by open-space concept store, creation of different communal spaces inside the store, and even distribution between product display and decorative items -plants, resting furniture, etc. The ideal integration of social space and commercial space is when people are able to rest and relief without any pressure to buy while they are unconsciously take pleasure in the products and tempted to buy.
2.2.4. Cultural Relevance
Local relevancy is important to make a store appears hospitable. Establishing relation with the local culture is crucial to relate the global brand to smaller local market. Selling products is not about bombarding potential customers with the global products. Instead, it has to be relevant to the context and understand local customers. This can be manifested through adaptive re-use of local landmark as retail space, renovation of historical aged building, and design fusion between brand character and local culture. The new concept store is about being able to combine the attractiveness of the brand with local taste to create strong invitation and also sense of belonging to customers.
The design approach mentioned above can be applied into a store regardless of brands and products. The purpose is to create new way of shopping. Back to the statement earlier where people find satisfaction to be able to choose, it is how the choosing activity can be more valuable and rich in experience. When this approach merged with the brand character, it becomes a holistic package that convey strongly to the marketplace. The mission is accomplished when people find delight in choosing and be able to trustfully choose the brand.
3. Conclusion
The consumerism-driven market will make people enthusiastically choose the products they want. With an over-saturated market in Singapore, an unconventional design is required to for a fashion retail to be distinctive and thus, win the market. Firstly, the store has to manifest the brand that it represents. The store design must convey the brand and products philosophy to create holistic picture and strong brand awareness. Secondly, in terms experience, it must create refreshing and enriching way of shopping. In attempt to achieve the experience, store needs to be designed with consideration of three approaches (flexible frequent space, center of social activities, and cultural relevance). The new retail store requires constant changing in order to provide up to date shopping experience for customers. A store has to be a social assembly more than a commercial place, providing a tranquil customer-oriented atmosphere. Additionally, it is necessary for a store to have a connection with local context and create a sense of belonging in customers mind.

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[Accessed 10 January 2010].

Stegemeyer, Anne. 2004. Who ‘s Who in Fashion. New York: Fairchild Publication.


Singapore Airlines

Executive Summary: Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines was established as a separate entity in 1972, when it split up with the Malaysia-Singapore Airlines. However, if the actual history of the formation of the company is considered, then, Singapore Airlines was founded in 1947, when it was inherent to the Malayan Airlines. In those days, just three flights per week, to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang, were all that the people in Singapore were privileged to. But, there were very fast developments in the situation in a span of two decades. During this period, Singapore’s Kallang Airport gained an international exposure and started making huge additions to its fleet. Soon after the birth of the Federation of Malaysia on February, 1963, the Malayan Airlines came to be known as the Malaysian Airlines, and in 1966, it was renamed the Malaysian-Singapore Airlines. But, in 1972, fifteen years from the day it was founded, Singapore Airlines split up with Malaysian Airlines and acquired a separate identity.

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This split however, helped the airlines to take its decisions itself and the company was able to implement many innovative schemes which helped it not only to gain a greater popularity, but also to expand its business by a far greater extent than its Malaysian counterpart. The airlines that started off with just a single plane that took off just thrice in a week some six decades ago, has today managed to develop quite a large and advanced fleet today, that covers 93 destinations in 38 countries.
However, the success of any organisation depends upon a number of factors. Inspite of thorough and regular research programs, many organisations haven’t been able to succeed in their fields. There still remain some intrinsic problems that many fail to notice initially but which become prominent as time passes by. This paper is a case study to identify any such problems that might hinder the successful working of an organisation and what the possible ways to avoid them could be (The Creation of Singapore Airlines, 2009)
Chapter 1: Organisational Structure and its Basic Elements
A. Organisational Structure
Organisational Structure is an ordering among a group of people who coordinate among themselves for achieving a predetermined target. A good organisational structure plays a major role in the maintenance of discipline in a company and hence, is very important for a smooth run, because a proper and clear hierarchy not only distinguishes among the different duties that different people should perform but also makes the best use of a person’s potentials. An organisation could be structured in either a hierarchical (top-down) or a functional manner (managed by different heads in different departments), according to the size and the diversity into which a company indulges itself (Organizational Structure, n.d.).
The Singapore Airlines is one of the biggest in terms of turnover as well as coverage in the airlines industry. But, the secret behind it is a good organisation. It follows a hierarchical organisational structure being a subsidiary of the Singapore Government and a number of vice-presidents underneath responsible for a variety of operations.
The Singapore Airlines had long been exemplified as one with a very flexible organisational structure that had forever helped it to emerge out of contingencies. But, the more important part for the success behind an organisation is the relation that exists between its various elements.
B. Elements of Organisational Structure
(i) Complexity of the Organisation
The Singapore Airlines today has a strength of about 2000 pilots, 7000 operating cabin crew and 170 ground staff. In addition, to the core work of commuting people, it also is involved in a variety of activities aimed towards social welfare and environmental protection, for which the company employs a large number of executives The company also indulges in researches aimed at improvement of its services and enhancing its circle of operations. The company had historically been a pioneer in the adoption of new technologies in the aviation industry in fields of both flight and in-flight facilities. It became more evident when the company became the first to own and operate the largest aircraft in the world, A380, in 2007 between Singapore and Sydney (Dooley, K. 2002, pp1)
(ii) Centralisation of Structure
For Singapore Airlines, although the ultimate power rests in the hands of the Government of Singapore via the Ministry of Finance, the government had always been very strict about its non-involvement in the management of the company and thus has recruited a number of efficient vice-presidents who are assigned to the proper running of the organisation. Thus, theoretically although it could be said that the firm has a centralised structure, yet practically this can not be supported on a firm ground.
(iii) Formalisation of Structure
Formalisation implies the degree by which an organisation formalises its process of setting rules, regulations and restrictions on its members. The Singapore Airlines had never been an autocrat in the field but had rather focused on keeping the regulations low so that its employees are comfortable in the environment they work and feel free to propose any probable changes that might be in favour of the organisation. Keeping the rules and regulations minimal have added to the productivity of its employees and has helped it to grow so fast.
Chapter 2 – Dimensions of Organisational Structure: Mintzberg’s Theorem
Henry Mintzberg identified six different types of organisational structures suitable for different types of organisations passing through different phases, namely – Simple Structure, Machine Bureaucracy, Professional Bureaucracy, Division Organisation, Innovative Organisation and Idealistic Organisation.
At the beginning, the organisation adopts a simple structure that is not being able to afford a highly organised hierarchy in the initial stage. As the firm starts growing, it adopts a more organised structure according to the type of business. Machine Bureaucracy would be ideal for those firms that are more dependent on researches and innovations, while Professional Bureaucracy implies the presence of a large number of specialists in the organisation. Division Organisation is suitable for those that involve themselves in a number of products, for which the coordination between the various links in the middle management becomes important. Innovative Organisational Structure is that in which formal training is imparted to the employees for the efficient running of the system. Lastly, the Idealistic Organisational Structure is that in which the company fixes a set of policies that becomes the company motto and everyone is bound to adhere to it. The last five organisational configurations being discussed represent a proper hierarchical or functional structure and develop only after the company attains a certain level of growth (Organisational Configurations, 2009).
Singapore Airlines is a mature airlines firm that follows a hierarchical organisational structure. However, the company cannot be said to be following a single configuration, but rather it is inclined to both Machine Bureaucracy and Professional Bureaucracy. None of the other structures are found to exist within the organisation – neither does it indulge itself in a large variety of products so as to follow a Division Organisation, nor does it impart any formal training to its employees who are already trained at the time of recruitment (the case of Innovative Organisation) and nor is there any such strict company motto that is intrinsic for an Idealistic Structure. Rather, the company’s nature to employ already specialized people in its organisation, as is the case for all aviation firms, and its involvement in a large number of research projects meant to promote both its internal and external affairs proves that the firm follows a Machine Bureaucracy as well as a Professional Bureaucracy type of organisational structure.
Chapter 3 – Determinants of Organisational Structure: Organisational Goals
Organisational goals are those that help a company to smoothly run its operations by avoiding any chaotic environment and giving a direction and motivation to the company. Setting organisational goals help a company to know the exact targets that it needs to achieve and plan a strategy that would be most appropriate to acquire them. In other words, planning of organisational goals help a firm to act in a more effective and efficient manner. The goals that a company sets mainly are based upon two key facts – ends focus and means focus. The natures of these goals however keep on changing depending on that of the team (Setting Organisational Goals, n.d.).
The chief organisational goals of the Singapore Airlines had been the achievement of a stable and a pioneer position in its respective field of operation. The company had indeed been the first in launching a number of new programs, new techniques and devices. The most notable is the fact that the airlines became the first on October 25, 2007, to own and operate the world’s largest commercial aircraft – the A380 between Sydney, Singapore, London, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. The airlines company also researches upon the changing tastes of its consumers and keeps on changing its customer services accordingly. It has enhanced the entertainment services, food services and other in-flight services according to the changing tastes of its customers and this is the reason why a large number of people had been loyal to the company for many years. Moreover, it had been making additions to its fleet on a regular basis so as to ensure maximum coverage in its operations, both for the convenience of the people as well as helping itself to earn greater profit margins.
Chapter 4 – Organisational Effectiveness
There are four approaches that judge the organisational effectiveness, namely – goal attainment approach, systems approach, strategic constituents approach, balanced scorecard approach. The goal attainment approach identifies the goals of the organisation and paves a path to achieve them. It should be the ideal approach when goals are clearly measurable with respect to time and the organisation’s capability. The greatest advantage of this criteria is that it can be very straight-forward, provided the goals are properly specified.
The Systems Approach is that which utilises the scarce resources derived from the surrounding environment, effectively, for the accomplishment of organisational goals. This approach should be ideally used when there is a clear link between the inputs used and the output produced by the company. The main advantage of this approach is that, before deciding upon the company goals, it assesses the impact that the completion of the targets set by the firm would create on the society and the environment.
The Strategic Constituencies approach is that which stresses upon the successful completion of the demands of one or more constituencies internal to or an external of the organisation. This approach is adopted by an organisation in case the constituencies have a very strong influence in the firm’s operations. The benefit of this approach is that the firm evaluates its budget and compares it with a number of competing ones before it pins up on one or more organisational goals.
A balanced scorecard approach to assess organisational effectiveness should be adapted to judge whether the small-scale operations in a firm are aligning with its larger-scale activities. This approach is the ideal one to evaluate a firm’s long-term interests. Thus this approach helps in aligning the firm’s direction of operations accordingly after citing the goals in a proper manner. Since it is an approach emphasising on the long run, so, it must be very patient in its activities.
It is a widely known fact that any organisation that wants to sustain in the industry and create a stable and strong ground for itself, must focus on the long-term interests. Singapore Airlines is one such firm that had always aimed towards long-run gains and that is the reason why it is at present in the most stable position compared to all other aviation firms in Asia. Again this particular firm had always aimed at becoming a pioneer in its field of operations and had in most cases been able to achieve its aim. This needs a true understanding of the firm’s capabilities and the constraints that might hinder its operations, before it sets a goal for itself. Thus, it could not be said that the firm had been a loyal follower of a particular approach to measure its organisational effectiveness. Rather, the approach it had been following could be separately identified as having the characteristics of both the goal attainment approach and the balanced scorecard approach.
Chapter 5 – Structural Problems
Whatever be the organisational structure adopted by a company, in most cases, it cannot be problem-free. Especially in a hierarchical structure, the main problem is that of communication. The decisions that the bureaucrats at the top of the organisation make take a longer span of time to trickle-down to its grass root workers. Moreover, because of this lack of communication, the ambience in the organisation could be very chaotic thus disturbing the smooth functioning of a firm. However, any such problem is not expected to arise in case of Singapore Airlines since the topmost position is held by the Government of Singapore that has strictly kept itself aloof from all operational activities of the firm. Instead, it has divided the different departments and employed a number of vice-presidents as the heads of those sections. This eases out the process by a large extent.
Another probable problem that might arise in a particular organisational configuration is that of very restrictive rules and regulations that often confine the activities of its employees under the impression of being very disciplined. The employees in such firms neither get enough enthusiasm to work and nor to innovate. But, Singapore Airlines had been very vigilant of this fact and had always allowed its employees to have their own space which had helped the company not merely to grow but also to become one of the fastest growing and innovative in the industry.
At a time when the Asian aviation industry on the whole is at the verge of a collapse, the Singapore Airlines appears to be its only ray of hope. The company had always made provisions for a flexible organisational structure by adjusting its management force according to the economic situations. Since it belongs to a small country, the airlines had always made the best possible use of the globalisation factor and thus had responded to regional crises on a comparatively low scale. For example the present downfall that has almost gulped the Asian aviation industry, is mainly caused by an initial surge in the flow of wealth in the pockets of the Asian middle-class and then a sudden decline in the foreign exchange rate in terms of dollars when most of the debts were denominated in terms of dollars. Moreover, the immense rise in fuel costs is also one of the reasons. However, Singapore Airlines had strategically handled its business in a way that nothing other than a global meltdown could affect it. It had already spread its wings to a large number of countries and already had acquired a huge number of loyal customers through some unique customer services that it provides (Asia Pacific Management News, June 24, 1998, para 2 & 9-11).
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