Chapter 17 Complexity and opportunity in diversity challenges in Singapore
Restricted access

Although the literature on the economic and social benefits of diversity is compelling (see Low et al, 2015), it does not appear to be a strong business imperative in Singapore and there remain significant structural and cultural impediments to realising these gains in many Singaporean workplaces. Tensions and restrictive practices continue to be observed over age, gender, religious, disability and sexual orientation diversity issues, in spite of well-intentioned efforts by policymakers. In this chapter we unravel this complexity which has its roots in history and culture and discuss the opportunity that greater diversity and inclusiveness presents for Singapore's economy. The chapter considers the barriers to improved workplace diversity in Singapore. Drawing upon insights from social-psychology, economics and employment relations, we are argued that in spite of a broad consensus on the merits of greater diversity, there remain substantial cultural, psychological and economic blockages to the achievement of diversity and inclusion. The penultimate section discusses possible solutions to clearing these barriers and blockages. Here we note both the important role to be played by the state and outline some private sector responses to achieving more effective management of diversity and inclusion. The concluding section draws together the key findings from the chapter and offers guidance to those seeking a deeper understanding of this topic in the Singapore context.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with you Elgar account