Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Singapore, Culture, People, Socialism, Communism, England, Communication, America

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/02/17

Singapore is a developed country with a cosmopolitan population. It was invaded by the British in 1819. Singapore became a British colony and port. Its original inhabitants are Malays. Owing to the commercial success and economic viability, of the port, it attracted people from other cultures like the Chinese, Indians, Malaysians, Indonesians and Middle East. These people were draw by the lure of better prospect and economic success. These immigrants, who moved to Singapore, brought with them their culture. Presently, the original inhabitants, the Malays constitute only 13% of Singapore population. The majority of the people now, are Chinese (more than 70%). People of Indian origin, account for 9 % and Eurasians 3%. Though Singapore received it independence from British in 1965, their influence on the country was immense. Presently the Singaporean culture is an amalgamation of the British, East Asia and South Asian cultures. Majority of the populace are foreigners, who come to Singapore in search of jobs or to study. Globalisation has made Singapore the words trade hub, and this has again contributed to its already existing multicultural nature. Singapore has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. However English is the common language and is used for business communication, government communication and medium of communication in educational institutes. The major religion of the land is Buddhism, followed by Islam, Christians, Hindu, Sikhs, Taoist and Confucianism. (Kwintessential.co.uk, 2015).
Individualism /Collectivism: Singaporeans give more importance to group and mutual security than to individualism. Family is often the centre of the social structure. People here are very sensitive and are greatly concerned about their face value and dignity in the society. Good name, good character and self-esteem are valuable assets for most Singaporeans. (Kwintessential.co.uk, 2015)
Horizontal collectivism and Vertical collectivism: Collectivist culture is one, which gives more importance to group than to individuals. This culture is the dominant culture noticed in Singapore. There are two form of collectivism: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal collectivism emphasises equality among group members, while vertical collectivism, emphasises hierarchy in a group. In a study conducted between US and Singaporean students; the Singaporean had more vertical collectivism, while US students had more horizontal collectivism (Soh & Leong, 2002). Being a hub for global business, more and more MNCs and expatriate managers are moving into Singapore. Studies show that nations culture, organisation and managerial factors, influence the manager’s conflict and resolution style. Difference in cultural values can account for the behavioural difference in conflicts. Individualistic nations like US gives more priorities to personal goals and preferences, while collectivistic nations like China and Singapore gives priority to needs of the group. In collectivist culture people resort to indirect and passive style, like avoiding or obliging, when dealing with conflicts. This helps them to maintain relational harmony even in conflicts. In individualist culture, one employs a competing and dominant stance in conflicts. Thereby trying to establish, autonomy, competitiveness, and need of control. (Wei, Yuen& Zhu, 2001)
Power distances: Though Singapore claims to be an egalitarian society, one can observe a strong hierarchical culture in family and workplaces. The elders are treated with utmost respect and courtesy. The concept of power distance is based on the fact that all individuals in a society are not equal. It is defined by how less powerful members of institution and organisation expect and accept that power is unequally distributed. Singapore scores high on this scale. One of the key reasons for this is the religious background of the majority. Managers are submissive to their bosses and follow rules. Employees often need to be told, what to do. The attitude towards the manager is formal and control is expect the manager to control them (Geer-hofstede.com, 2015).
Short term and long term perspective: The ability to analyse matters from a long term or short term perspective can greatly influence ones decision making and strategy planning. Long term orientations are focused more on the future, while short term orientations are based on past and present situations. Factors like persistence, perseverance, relationship, flexibility and saving are given more emphasis in long term orientations. On the other hand short term orientations give more importance to factors like values, hierarchy, tradition and social obligations. Understanding whether a culture is short term oriented or long term oriented, will help to understand how it values time and the importance it gives to past, present and future. Knowing this, will helps in designing appropriate motivating incentives for the employee’s that aligns with their orientation. Long term orientation score of Singapore as per Geert Hofstede scale was 48%. (Study. Com, 2015).
Masculinity and Feminine: A culture that is largely driven by competition, achievement, and success, is called masculine culture. A low score on masculinity indicates a bend towards feminine tendencies of culturelike caring for other and better quality of life. Singaporean score was 48 on the Masculinity scale, and thus they are more sympathetic and gentle people. (Grete –hofstede.com, 2015)
Uncertainty avoidance: is a measure of the society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. Germany with a high uncertainty score is very intolerant to uncertainty and used strict rules and regulations to avoid uncertain situations. Uncertain situations causes a lot of anxieties and very society has its way of dealing with it. Singapore scores very less, on the uncertainty scale, in spite of which one is more likely to fine, for misconduct. Apart from this Singapore is cooler, calmer, stress free and less strict. (Grete –hofstede.com, 2015)
For an American moving to Singapore, the country offers a very unique cultural experience. It is a culture where, east meets the west. Singapore provides an opportunity to understand and experience different culture. The American culture, unlike that of Singaporean culture, is based on individualism, equality and horizontal collectivism. It is possible for an American, who is unaware of the cultural differences between two lands, is likely to have a cultural shock at Singapore. A person moving to Singapore from a different country or culture will come across experiences that are distinct to the place he moves to. Unlike other Asian countries, Singapore has well maintained and manicured public places and strict rules. Being polite and non-noisy will help Americans to get along with Singaporeans. The aggressive behaviour of Americans may appear as rude and disrespectful to the Singaporeans, who have a more passive and soft culture. Creating a good impression is very important for successfully acceptance into the community. Though one can come across, British influence, Singapore offers mostly an Asian ambience. While trying to make new friend, one will find that Singaporeans are open to meeting new people. If one is willing to come out of the comfort zone and interact with people, making friends will be a tough job. Family healths, background, are often less sensitive and good discussion topics for informal talk. Singaporeans, consider those who talk hastily and fast as rude and disrespectful. Silence is a very important part of communication. Pausing for at least 15 sec before answering will give an impression that one has given a good thought to the question and is considered good, for the communication with Singaporeans. Singaporeans are conservative and are less expressive. Even when they are feeling waves of emotion internally, they may appear detached externally. Singaporeans enjoy light hearted jokes that do not put down people. Non-verbal communications are very important in communication and one should observe the body language and expression, in order to understand what the person is communicating. Their communication style is often indirect and passive. Singaporeans are generally reserved people and it would be good to avoid hugging, kissing, slapping the back, loud and hearty ‘how are you?’ Women are respected and treated with kindness. The people are tolerant to all religions and ethnic backgrounds. Public display of affection is not liked by most Singaporeans. Singaporeans have more formal business etiquette than western countries, at work. Formalities like Mr, Ms, Mrs, and Dr are used while addressing each other in a professional setting. Singaporeans are cordial and laughing out loud, is not considered rude. However public display of anger is not accepted. Since majority of the Singaporeans are literate, there are fair chances that one will have the opportunity to engage in an open minded communication and small cultural faux pas might be easily overlooked. Thus there are higher probabilities that an American will feel comfortable in Singapore. (Intercultures.ca, 2009). Singapore is raved as one of the most efficient countries in the world. The country is establishing itself as global destination. The place is littered with malls and places to eat. Singapore is a expensive place to live, American brands may cost 40% more than it cost in America. Singapore is an incredibly safe and hospitable place. The violent crime rates are very low to almost absent.


Geert-hofstede.com,. (2015). Singapore - Geert Hofstede. Retrieved 1 April 2015, from http://geert-hofstede.com/singapore.html
Intercultures.ca,. (2009). Cultural Information - Singapore | Centre for Intercultural Learning. Retrieved 1 April 2015, from http://www.intercultures.ca/cil-cai/ci-ic-eng.asp?iso=sg
Kwintessential.co.uk,. (2015). Singapore - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette | global-etiquette | resources. Retrieved 1 April 2015, from http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/singapore.html.
Soh, S., & Leong, F. (2002). Validity Ofvertical and Horizontal Individualism and Collectivism in Singapore: Relationships with Values and Interests. Journal Of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33(1), 3-15. doi:10.1177/0022022102033001001
Geert-hofstede.com,. (2015). Singapore - Geert Hofstede. Retrieved 1 April 2015, from http://geert-hofstede.com/singapore.html
Study.com,. (2015). Long-Term Orientation vs. Short-Term Orientation: Hofstede's Definition, Lesson & Quiz | Study.com. Retrieved 1 April 2015, from http://study.com/academy/lesson/long-term-orientation-vs-short-term-orientation-hofstedes-definition-lesson-quiz.html
Wei, W., Yuen, E., & Zhu, J. (2001). Individualism-collectivism and Conflict Resolution Styles: A cross-cultural study of managers in Singapore. (Masters). National University of Singapore.

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WePapers. (2021, February, 17) Good Singapore Culture Essay Example. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-singapore-culture-essay-example/
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Good Singapore Culture Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-singapore-culture-essay-example/. Published Feb 17, 2021. Accessed September 25, 2022.

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