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Strategic Pragmatism: The Culture of Singapore's Economics Development Board

Author

Listed:
  • Edgar C. Schein

    () (MIT Sloan School of Management)

Abstract

Per capita income in Singapore has gone from $500 to more than $20,000 in a little over twenty-five years. Edgar Schein, a social psychologist with a long and celebrated research interest in organizational studies, examines the cultural history of the key intstitution that spawned this economic miracle. Through interviews and full access to Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB), Schein shows how economic development was successfully promoted. He delves into the individual relationships and the overall structure that contributed to the EDB's effectiveness in propelling Singapore, one of Asia's "little dragons" into the modern era. In his foreword, Lester Thurrow locates Schein's organizational and case-specific account within a larger economic and comparative framework. Over a period of two years, Schein studied how the EDB was created, the kind of leadership it provided, the management structure it used, the human resource policies it pursued, and how it influenced other organizations within the Singapore government. Schein sat in on EDB meetings and extensively interviewed current and former members of the board, Singapore's leaders who created the board, and businesspeople who have dealt with the board. His book intertwines the perspective of the board's members and its investor clients in an analysis that uses both organization and cross-cultural theory. Although there are currently studies of comparable Japanese and Korean organizations, this is the first detailed analysis of the internal structure and functioning of the economic development body of Singapore, a key player in the Asian and world markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Edgar C. Schein, 1996. "Strategic Pragmatism: The Culture of Singapore's Economics Development Board," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262193671, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262193671
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lin, Justin Yifu & Vu, Khuong Minh, 2014. "The practice of industrial policy: Lessons for Africa: Co-ordination through an Asian lens," WIDER Working Paper Series 156, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Alexius A. Pereira, 2004. "State entrepreneurship and regional development: Singapore's industrial parks in Batam and Suzhou," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 129-144, March.
    3. W. G. Huff, 1999. "Singapore's economic development: Four lessons and some doubts," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 33-55.
    4. James PL Tan, 2016. "A Generalized Population Dynamics Model of a City and an Algorithm for Engineering Regime Shifts," Papers 1612.08338, arXiv.org.
    5. Jang-Sup Shin, 2005. "Globalization and Challenges to the Developmental State: A Comparison between South Korea and Singapore," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 379-395.
    6. repec:taf:jpolrf:v:20:y:2017:i:1:p:46-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Keun Lee & John A. Mathews, 2010. "From Washington Consensus to BeST Consensus for world development," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 24(1), pages 86-103, May.
    8. Carney, M. & Gedajlovic, E.R., 2001. "Institutional Change and Firm Adaptation," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2001-08-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    9. Bryan Ritchie, 2009. "Economic upgrading in a state-coordinated, liberal market economy," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 435-457, September.
    10. J. S. Eades, 2012. "East Asia," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, Second Edition, chapter 32 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Bryan K. Ritchie, 2010. "Systemic Vulnerability and Sustainable Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13731.
    12. Kuruvilla, Sarosh & Erickson, Christopher L. & Hwang, Alvin, 2002. "An Assessment of the Singapore Skills Development System: Does it Constitute a Viable Model for Other Developing Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1461-1476, August.
    13. repec:taf:rjapxx:v:10:y:2005:i:3:p:380-396 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. David Jones, 1997. "Asian Values and the Constitutional Order of Contemporary Singapore," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 283-300, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Singapore; economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • N95 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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