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Explaining The Economic Success Of Singapore

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Explaining The Economic Success Of Singapore

The Developmental Worker as the Missing Link

Johnny Sung

Johnny Sung, Institute for Adult Learning Singapore

2006 208 pp Hardback 978 1 84376 329 1
ebook isbn 978 1 78195 631 1

Hardback £77.00 on-line price £69.30


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‘. . . serious, useful and interesting volume. It is readable, original, creative and well researched. In analyzing Singapore’s experience the author provides a superb case study. Moreover, in providing it, by venturing beyond the narrow confines of his case study Sung also makes points that are pertinent to the efficacy of development processes generally, including in newer, lower income and/or transitional economies. . . this reviewer recommends the book enthusiastically and without reservation.’
– Robert L. Curry, Jr., Journal of Asian Business


Further information

Explaining the Economic Success of Singapore explores the transformation of Singapore in the last three decades, going beyond the conventional explanations. The book argues that there was more to the transformation than a simple ‘right place, right time’ scenario as other developing countries benefited from similar multinational corporation investment and political stability but did not achieve the same success. Johnny Sung illustrates what differentiates Singapore from these other similar countries.

This book argues that both neo-classical economic theory and early versions of the developmental state theory have contributed little to understanding the nature of worker participation in Singapore’s ‘miracle growth’ period. By developing a complementary concept – the developmental worker – the book examines the socio-political context in which workers became central to the national growth strategy and its skill formation projects. It further argues that one of the most important achievements of the developmental state is its ability to systematically embed the skill formation process through building innovative worker stake-holding while explicitly recognising the importance of social commitment for economic growth.

Providing important lessons for workforce development policies, this book will appeal to workforce development policy makers, researchers, academics of labour studies, Asian studies and political science, as well as consultants advising on workforce matters.

Full table of contents

Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Competing Theories of Economic Development in the Social Sciences – The Dichotomy of Market vs the State 3. Singapore as a Developmental State: Workforce Development and the Emergence of the ‘Developmental Worker’ 4. The Theoretical Considerations of the Developmental Worker Model 5. Singapore as a Developmental State: Nation Building, Social Engineering and Workforce Development 6. The Developmental Worker – The Interpretative Understanding Process and its Impact on the Worker–State Relationship 7. The Developmental Worker – Values and Beliefs 8. Conclusions Bibliography Index

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