COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                                                      English Aisyah...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329     Implications of for...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                        Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329     Implications of for...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                  ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                                                            Siti Ais...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                        Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                        Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Hypotheses   1) ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                  ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329The increment of t...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                           Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329             ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329spent the large pa...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                 ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 209103293. Social FactorsS...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329       There is a ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                        Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329       Division ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Government has int...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                 ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                        Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329sufficient for th...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                 ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                           Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329results show ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                        Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 2091032952% did not think...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Regarding promotio...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                         Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329               ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                        Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Method of Delive...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329       that’s why...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                          Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329because recrui...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329       the jobs ar...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                         Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329               ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329middle and and low...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329                 ...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Timmreck, T.R. (2...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                    Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Technological Advanc...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                        Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329http://www.mom.g...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Kuah, K. (1990) C...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                       Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329/Issues%20Paper%2...
COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication                                      Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329http://www.channel...
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  1. 1. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication English Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Siti and Cultural Studies Communication Studies Women’s Studies 35 Stirling Highway Crawley WA 6009 Telephone + 61 8 6488 2101 Facsimile + 61 8 6488 1030 ESSAY & EXERCISE COVER SHEET UNIT: COMM3001 STUDENT No: 20910329 STUDENTS SURNAME: : GIVEN NAME BAGARIB SITI AISYAH BINTE SAAD TUTORS NAME: ROB COVER ASSIGNMENT No. & QUESTION No.: Research Report DUE DATE: OFFICE USE ONLY 16 Sept 2012 DATE RECEIVED: ALL STUDENTS MUST READ AND SIGN THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT BEFORE AN ESSAY WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR SUBMISSION: “I am aware of the Faculty policy relating to academic misconduct ) I certify that this work is my own, complies with (www.faculty.arts.uwa.edu.au/enrolled_students/policies/plagiarism the relevant guidelines, and uses an approved form of referencing throughout. I acknowledge that the work may be electronically scanned for detection of plagiarism. I have taken a backup copy / computer copy / photocopy of this essay prior to submission .” Signed................................ ................................ ...........Date ................................ .............................. Marker’s Comments: 1 Of 39
  2. 2. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Implications of foreign labour trends and immigration policies on employment practices and job satisfaction in Singapore Surname: Bagarib First name: Siti Aisyah Student ID: 20910329 Word-count of Research Report: 5,300 2 Of 39
  3. 3. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Executive SummaryIn order to remain economically competitive, Singapores relaxed foreign labour policy has resultedin a large number of foreign workers entering the job market. This study analyzes the effect of themassive inflow of migrant/transient workers into Singapore on Singapores labour market. Thisstudy also sought to examine Singaporeans perspectives on the foreign talent policy and jobsatisfaction. Through quantitative and qualitative research, the relationship between thegovernments policy on foreign talents and on Singaporean employees job satisfaction is studied.The former affects the wages and hiring practices and the latter affects the motivation ofemployees and productivity outputs.A public survey of 45 Singaporean respondents and an interview with 2 respondents wereconducted to establish their perceptions of today’s employment policy. The results found thatdiscourse on employment policy issues is heavily dominated by economics, and that Singaporeansprioritize their economic well-being over any demographic changes in the country. This suggeststhat government rhetoric’s focus on economic justifications for employment and immigrationpolicies has prevented a more holistic consideration of policy issues. The findings of this projectcontribute to understanding of citizens’ outlook and can be of use in formulating more effectivegovernment policy and also workplace policy.Keywords: transient workers, Foreign Talent Policy, employee job satisfaction, 3 Of 39
  4. 4. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Implications of foreign labour trends and immigration policies on employment practices and job satisfaction in Singapore Surname: Bagarib First name: Siti Aisyah Student ID: 20910329 University of Western Australia Word-count of Research Report: 5,300 4 Of 39
  5. 5. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 AcknowledgementsThis research project would not have been possible without the support of many people.The author wishes to express her gratitude to her lecturer, Prof. Rob Cover who was abundantlyhelpful, patient and offered invaluable assistance, support and guidance. Special thanks also toBhavani for tutoring sharing the literature and invaluable assistance. 5 Of 39
  6. 6. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Table of ContentsExecutive Summary..............................................................................................................................3Acknowledgements..............................................................................................................................5Introduction..........................................................................................................................................7 Hypotheses.......................................................................................................................................8 Methodology....................................................................................................................................8Labour in Singapore.............................................................................................................................9 Labour Trends..................................................................................................................................9 Fair Employment Practices in Singapore ......................................................................................10Singapores Foreign Talent Policy .....................................................................................................11 1. Economic Factors......................................................................................................................12 Types of Work Passes ..............................................................................................................12 2. Political Factors.........................................................................................................................13 3. Social Factors.............................................................................................................................14Employee Satisfaction........................................................................................................................18 Study: Reasons employers hire non-Singaporeans...................................................................18Employee Satisfaction Survey............................................................................................................19 Profile of Respondents...................................................................................................................19 Survey Duration.............................................................................................................................20 Method of Delivery........................................................................................................................20 Survey Results: Stage 1.................................................................................................................20 Survery results: Stage 2.................................................................................................................22Employee Satisfaction Interview........................................................................................................26 Profile of Respondents...................................................................................................................26 Method of Delivery........................................................................................................................27 Interview Results...........................................................................................................................27 Stealing Jobs............................................................................................................................27 Job Satisfaction........................................................................................................................28 Work-life Balance....................................................................................................................28 Relevant Skills.........................................................................................................................28 Knowledge-based Economy....................................................................................................29Conclusion..........................................................................................................................................31References..........................................................................................................................................33 6 Of 39
  7. 7. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 IntroductionConcerns over fair opportunities for Singaporeans emerged as the top issue for the first time in2011 . There is increasing dissatisfaction among Singaporeans on the employment policies inSingapore, which is largely attributed to Singapores relaxed foreign labour policies. Discussions atthe Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) also concluded that Singapores dependenceon foreign labour is currently the highest among East Asian economies (Yeo Aiqi 2011). TripartiteAlliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP), a fair employment watchdog, states in its annualreports that the number of complaints received in 2011 was more than double of that of theprevious year. Nationality was one of the top three types of complaints, stating that employersprefer foreigners over locals.This paper describes and analyzes Singapore foreign labour trends and how Singaporesimmigration policies affect local employment practices and job satisfaction of Singaporeans. Itexamines the economic, political and social shifts that the government has to consider informulating policies related to the employment structure. It then analyzes more deeply the currentemployment practices in Singapore and how these policies affect job satisfaction amongSingaporeans. It also discusses the challenges ahead for Singapore in its plight to stayeconomically competitive. Finally proposes ways in which the challenges might be overcome.The significance of this report is to improve public understanding of the role and significance ofhaving foreigners in Singapores labour pool. Secondly, it serves to increase awareness of thecurrent employment issues in Singapore. This report also contributes in improving existingliterature on employment policies in Singapore. 7 Of 39
  8. 8. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Hypotheses 1) Actual hiring practices conflicts with fair employment policies. 2) Current labour trends and employment practices are inevitable in order for Singapore to continue striving economically.MethodologyThis study was conducted in three stages: Firstly, literature reviews was done on the economic,political and social factors that may affect labour policies in Singapore; Secondly, quantitativeresearch methods involving a public survey was deployed to study Singaporean employees level ofjob satisfaction. Qualitative research involving individual interviews was also conducted to givemore insights on the topic. Two Singaporeans were interviewed. One of them is a working studentin Australia, giving his personal insights one how Singapore and Australia differ. The secondinterviewee works at an IT MNC, giving insights on hiring practices of foreigners in thatorganization. The qualitative research method enables a deeper understanding of the issue alreadystudied using the quantitative methodology (Berg 1998). 8 Of 39
  9. 9. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Labour in SingaporeLabour TrendsAn ASEAN Community is aimed to be established amongst ASEAN member countries by 2015. Asingle market offers many advantages and influences regional labour trends. The community willnarrow developmental gaps between ASEAN countries by increasing integration within the region,allowing each member country to maximize productivity, individual development potential andcompetitiveness while offering security, stability, prosperity and social progress. However successin achieving these goal would depend on how well governments, employers and workers can worktogether to collectively pursue their progress.Singapore relies on human resources as the engine of economic growth as its small country sizedoes not produce any natural resources. The demand for foreign labour arises from short-termneeds of the business cycle and the long-term needs of economic growth and restructuring. In1998, employment of foreign workers increased rapidly and accounted over 20% of the workforce(Chia 2001). The trend then seem to be towards low-skilled foreign labour. Subsequently Singaporerealized that their dependence on low-skilled foreign workers does not contribute in improving theprofile of its workforce. Singapores labour and immigration framework was then amendedtowards developing a Knowledge-based Economy (KBE) and designed to attract higher-skilled,higher-qualified foreign workers to enhance the national workforce (Ministry of Manpower 1999).Powell and Snellman (2004) defines a knowledge-based economy as “production and servicesbased on knowledge-intensive activities that contribute to an accelerated pace of technical andscientific advance, as well as rapid obsolesce”. 9 Of 39
  10. 10. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329The increment of the national labour force with foreign labour remains one out of six key elementsin Singapores future economic plans and policies as outlined in the countys Manpower 21 Report.However dependence on low-skilled workers such as those in construction, manufacturing anddomestic helpers are reduced and hired on transient basis to increase labour flexibility, wherebyintake is increased and reduced according to economic expansion or contraction.Fair Employment Practices in SingaporeThe Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP) works in partnership with thegovernment and unions to promote and facilitate the adoption of the adoption of fair, responsibleand merit-based employment practices among employers, employees and the general public.TAFEP also provides advisory services and training workshops to help organizations implement fairemployment practices. Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices asserts that whileforeigners play a valuable role in enhancing the workforce, Singaporeans must remain the core ofthe workforce. Highlighting one of the six principles of Fair Employment Practices from theirhandbook, to provide employees with equal opportunity to be considered for training anddevelopment is one of the key themes of this report.In Singapore, three legislatives regulate the management and deployment of foreign labour. Theyare the Immigration Act, Employment of Foreign Workers Act and the Penal Code. TheImmigration Act are law enforcement guidelines pertaining to immigration violations anddiscretion towards both employers and illegal migrant workers. The Employment of ForeignWorkers Act issues employment passes, work permits and regulates the foreign levy system. ThePenal Code penalizes abuse or non-payment or workers (Kaur 2006). Prison sentences and caninghave controlled migrant workers from overstaying and unauthorized entry. 10 Of 39
  11. 11. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Singapores Foreign Talent PolicyBy examining Singapores unique backdrop, government, and immigration and employmentpolicies, we will be able to better understand how its finanscape and ideoscape has been affected.The term immigrant worker in Singapore is separated into foreign workers and foreign talents.Foreign workers refer to low-skilled workers who largely work in construction, manufacturing ordomestic service sectors. Foreign talent refers to foreigners with specialized skills or good paperqualifications. The foreign talent policy came about as Singapore heads towards a knowledge-based economy. Over the years, the PAP Government have used the term foreign talent loosely,broadly, and interchangeably to formulate foreign talent policies. Often, the term foreign talentin foreign talent policies lacked definition and includes foreign workers, fresh foreign graduatesand just normal foreign workers. There seems to be certain disconnect with the foreign talentpolicies as they contradict the rationale of filling in the shortage of skills in Singapores talent pool,such as in healthcare. For example in 2007, The Ministry of Manpower announced a new initiativecalled Work Holiday Programme (WHP) to attract foreign talents to work in Singapore. Theinitiative was open for 2000 students and university graduates between the ages of 17-30 fromAustralia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and US. The WHP pass is validfor 6 months. However there were no restrictions made on the type of work allowed or minimumsalary requirements (Ministry of Manpower 2007).For the purpose of this research project, the term foreign talents refers to skilled and semi-skilledpeople who have come to Singapore in order to work or study. These are people who have not 11 Of 39
  12. 12. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329spent the large part of their lives in Singapore. The term foreign talents excludes low-income jobsectors in construction and domestic maids.1. Economic FactorsSingapore ranked second in 2012s Global Statistical Report. The report ranks 142 countries basedon the Global Competitive Index of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) (McArthurand Sachs 2002), which measures how effective the policies, institutions and factors that affecteconomic prosperity are being utilized (World Economic Forum, 2012). Singapore, because of itsand population size, has always relied on migrant workers to boost its economic growth since itsfounding in 1819. The British free-trade policy attracted migrants to carry out trade in Singaporeand its main economic pillar was entrêpot trade. Many also came to work at plantations (Trocki2001). Migration was brought into focus again in 1980s and the influx of foreign workers inSingapore continued to increase. In 2011, of the 1.46 million non-resident population (NationalPopulation and Talent Division 2012), 720000 were working foreign talent, excluding PermanentResidents and the ones in construction and domestic workers, (MOM 2011).The influx of immigrants has supplied its labour market with diverse and sufficient manpower tocompete globally and has continued to benefit Singapore economically. Singapores success inattracting Foreign Direct investment (FDI) can also be attributed to attractive investment incentivesand low tax rates (Rajan, 2004). To ensure high productivity outputs, job market and wages have tobe kept competitive. New work passes were also introduced to support the influx. Types of Work Passes Employment Pass: (1) P—pass: aimed at professional, managerial, knowledge workers 12 Of 39
  13. 13. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 (2) Q—pass: aimed at skilled workers with a minimum 5 years work experience. Not subject to levies. Allowed to bring family and apply for residency or citizenship. (3) Personalized Employment Pass: aimed at skilled independent migrant workers such as foreign students from higher learning institutions in Singapore. S—pass: aimed at foreign workers with starting pay of S$1800 per month such as degree or diploma holders in a technical field. Subject to employment quotas and levies. Disallowed from bringing family along. Work Permit: or R—pass, aimed at semi-skilled or low-skilled workers. Subject to employment quotas and levies. Disallowed from bringing family along.2. Political FactorsThe Peoples Action Party (PAP) has been the dominant ruling party in Singapore Since itsindependence. The PAP has been criticized for its authoritative governance, building on theLeninist model, which believes that politics should be handled by a small elite group. Lee KwanYew, the founding political leader of Singapore created policies based on Confucian or Asianvalues. The Confucian value system have rigorously been used in promoting moral and socialvalues and legitimizing the authoritative governance and interests of the state (Chua 1995). Aninstance of this is the government’s emphasis on placing society above self such as encouragingwomen to take on more economically productive role, increasing the retirement age and is alsoused to justify not being a welfare state to ensure the young to look after their old (Kuah 1990). 13 Of 39
  14. 14. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 209103293. Social FactorsSingapore faces a vicious cycle of an ageing population, declining birthrates, shrinking workforce. Ageing Populations The proportion of Singapore residents aged 45 years and above expanded over time. Mortality rates means people live longer. Singapore cant sustain an aging yet shrinking population. Chart 1: Age Pyramid of Resident Population Population Trends 2011 Department of Statistics Singapore Declining Birth Rates It is common for developed countries to have a total fertility rate (TFR) below the replacement level of 2.1. However, Singapore currently has a TFR severely below replacement level. Singapore is ranked last on the list of an Independent US Government Agency (Central Intelligence Agency 2012). 14 Of 39
  15. 15. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 There is a continued decline in births of almost 5% across all ethnic groups since 2009 (Singapore Department of Statistics 2011). Malays producing more babies still. However the overall decline has continued to drop from a 2.1 replacement rate in 1975 to just 1.2 in 2012 (National Population and Talent Division 2012) Table1: Total Fertility Rates (TFR) Year Total Chinese Malays Indians 2000 1.60 1.43 2.54 1.59 2005 1.26 1.10 2.03 1.29 2006 1.28 1.11 2.02 1.27 2007 1.29 1.14 1.94 1.25 2008 1.28 1.14 1.91 1.19 2009 1.22 1.08 1.82 1.14 2010 1.15 1.02 1.65 1.13 per 1,000 Population Trends 2011 Department of Statistics Singapore The decline in births is also attributed to residents postponing marriages, declining marriage rates and also not having as many children as before. There was a steady decline in registered marriages in Singapore since 2003, with divorce rates rising (Singapore Department of Statistics 2011). Most Singaporeans are choosing to get married at a later age around 30-34. The government has been trying to encourage Singaporeans to have more babies by increasing benefits. These benefits include baby bonus cash incentive of up to S$6,000, tax rebate, paid maternity leave and child-related leave (National Population and Talent 15 Of 39
  16. 16. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Division 2012). However, there are other factors that contribute to the declining birthrates such as work stress, overtime, expensive education and people are staying in school longer in order to get better qualifications for better jobs are all interlinked factors that (Ramesh, 2011). Overcrowding Singapores population has increased from 3.04 million to 5.18 million within the past decade. Its population density of 7,257 persons per/km² places it in the top three highest in the world (Department of Statistics 2012). Low Wages and Income Gap High immigration rate increases competition with the resident population for jobs, inadvertently lowering wages and increasing the income gap for Singaporeans. The income gap between its rich and poor is one of the widest in the world (Wah 2012). Mr Manu Bhaskaran, senior research fellow at the Singapore Prespectives 2012 Conference, expressed that the rising influx of foreign workers “almost certainly impacted wage growth at parts of the income distribution and thereby worsened inequality” (Wah 2012). While higher income groups saw their income grow annually the lower income groups suffered income recession. The foreign labour policy aggravated the circumstances of the dislocated lower-income wage earners. Business owners and employers benefit because they increase profit by cutting labour cost. 16 Of 39
  17. 17. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Government has introduced these measures to counter problems: Amidst increasing dissatisfaction from Singaporeans regarding effectiveness of foreign employment and immigration policies, political leaders have continued to defend the foreign talent policies as a matter of economic necessity. Nevertheless, the government has responded to public pressure and will moderate demand for foreign manpower. Singapores Ministry of Manpower has had to alter the inflow of foreigners into the workforce. The bar was raised for foreign workers wishing to attain Singapore work Visa. Measures such as increased qualifying salaries, tightened educational qualifications and Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRC) for employment pass workers, has resulted in a 30% rejection of foreign work pass applications in the first 7 months of 2012. This is an increase from the 26% total rejected applications in 2011 (Ministry of Manpower 2012). The NPTD is also seeking feedback from the public on tackling marriage, parenthood, immigration and integration issues (National Population and Talent Division 2012). 17 Of 39
  18. 18. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Employee SatisfactionEmployee satisfaction is commonly measured by anonymous employee satisfaction surveysadministered to gauge employee satisfaction. The common facets of job satisfaction aresatisfaction with salary, promotion opportunities, relations with co-workers and supervisors andthe work itself (Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1969). Employee attitudes is positively associated withorganizational ethics and financial performance (Koh and Elfred). Employees would be morecommitted to an organization that satisfiy their needs (Steers 1977).Study: Reasons employers hire non-Singaporeans A survey done by JobStreet revealed that Singaporean employers prefer to hire non- Singaporeans because of their flexibility. Of the 200 employers surveyed, 40% said their main reason for hiring foreigners was because they are less particular with regards to time, job scope and location of workplace. This is the reason business owners like Wei Chan, who is the owner of a bakery, hires the maximum quota of foreigners that Singapore Labour law allows. 20% of employers surveyed also said that they thought foreigners were more skilled in certain areas of expertise. However, the vice president of Conrad and Ottess Private Asset Management Limited, a private asset management firm, responded that if other factors such qualifications, experience and attitude are taken into consideration, preference would be in favour of Singaporeans (Choo 2012). 18 Of 39
  19. 19. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Employee Satisfaction SurveyThe employment satisfaction survey provides an preliminary examination on job satisfaction ofSingaporean employees. The purpose of the survey is to determine the existing levels and factorsaffecting job satisfaction among Singaporeans. In light of recent increased dissatisfaction andcomplains lodged by employees, it is worth taking a look into the issue to find out the underlyingcauses.In Stage 1 of the survey, respondents were asked to rate work attributes that are important tothem. They were asked to choose as many attributes as they found applicable from a list of 10 pre-listed attributes. Attributes listed in the questionnaire were mostly selected based on a 2011 WorkHappiness Indicator Report done by JobsCentral. A total of 2,384 working adults participated in the2011 Work Happiness Indicator Report, therefore results regarding the work attributes that areimportant is highly significant (JobsCentral 2011). The list of desirable work attributes used in thissurvey are advancement opportunities, appreciation of work done, bonus, challenge, interestingwork, job security, medical benefits, positive impact to society, good relations with colleagues,salary, work recognition, work-life balance.In Stage 2, a series of questions and statements was presented and respondents were asked to rateitems answered on a 5-point answer scale.Profile of Respondents45 anonymous respondents was needed for the survey. Respondents had to be Singaporeancitizens with some working experience. A minimum working experience criteria of three months is 19 Of 39
  20. 20. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329sufficient for this research as an average duration of temporary employment as well as probationperiod before a confirmed employment in Singapore is three months. Respondents were notinformed of the study hypotheses.Survey DurationThe survey was conducted from 16th August 2012 for over a period of 3 weeks.Method of DeliveryThe survey was conducted online.Survey Results: Stage 1The first few questions in the survey questionnaire was to ensure that response eligibility criteriawere met. Those sampled were 17-49 years old inclusive, as typical work age fall in this age group.Almost all of the respondents (87%) were in their twenties. At 17, a typical Singaporean wouldhave graduated secondary school with an O-level or A-level certificate. This proved to be accurateas all the survey respondents held a formal educational qualification of some type: 15% held N-level or O-level passes, 49% held diploma qualifications, and 29% held university degrees. 7% haddone their masters. Table 2: Demographic profile of survey respondents Variable Percentage Age 17-20 years 4% 21-29 years 87% 30-39 years 7% 20 Of 39
  21. 21. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 40-49 years 2% Education N-levels/ O-levels 15% Diploma 49% Degree 29% MastersThe major findings of the survey are as follows. The interview data reveal that salary plays themost important role for Singaporean employees. Having a job that is interesting came as secondmost important attribute, work recognition and bonus were rated equally in third place. Tasksignificance (Hackman and Oldham 1975), otherwise known in this survey as “positive impact tosociety”, is the degree to which the job impacts external environment or the immediateorganization was ranked important by only 15 respondents. Job challenge was ranked the leastimportant. Chart 2: Job Attributes Important to Singaporean WorkersAlthough the monetary aspect is widely believed to be a leading factor in job satisfaction, intrinsicpsychological rewards provides job satisfaction too (Timmreck, 2001). As derived from the survey, 21 Of 39
  22. 22. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329results show that employees placed about the same weightage on having a job that interests them(85%) with salary (91%). This demonstrates that job engagement is important to Singaporeans as itmakes tasks more fulfilling and enjoyable. However, of 1000 Singaporean employees surveyed inTowers Watsons 2012 Global Workforce Study, 72% we found to be less engaged in their work(Towers Watson 2012).Survery results: Stage 2Respondents were asked to rate their response to a series of questions and statements on a 5-point answer scale which is: very dissatisfied, dissatisfied, neither dissatisfied nor satisfied,satisfied and very satisfied. The first set of questions is regarding the level of satisfaction of work-related facets. Chart 3 below excludes neither dissatisfied nor satisfied responses because it doesnot contribute to the analysis. However it was important to have neither dissatisfied nor satisfiedoption in the questionnaire so as to avoid inaccurate results by compelling respondents to choosea positive or negative response to statements they have a neutral stance on.A set of 9 questions beginning with “How satisfied are you with:” was asked in regards to; (1) theirsalary; (2) job training; (3) recognition they get for their work; (4) overall job security; (5) theprofessional growth from tasks are assigned to them; (6) the working environment; (7) workingpractices; (8)employee benefits; and (9)employment hiring practices in Singapore? 22 Of 39
  23. 23. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Chart 3: Job Satisfaction SurveyIn general, responses regarding workplace satisfaction is positive (60%). Singaporeans seem to bemost satisfied with their current working environments. The only two questions that receivedhigher dissatisfied responses than satisfied ones is regarding salary and professional growth. 58%responded that they were not satisfied with the salary they receive.From this set of questions, salary is again highlighted as the factor that employees are mostdissatisfied with. This might inter-relate with the results in the first survey where respondentsanswer reflects on what they desire in future jobs. 23 Of 39
  24. 24. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 2091032952% did not think that the tasks assigned to them at work contributed to their professional growth,16% responded that they are very dissatisfied. When asked about satisfaction of hiring practises inSingapore only 51% responded positively, with 11% being very dissatisfied.In the second set of questions, respondents were asked whether they agreed that (1) Theireducation in Singapore gives leverage over foreign talents working in Singapore; (2) Theirworkplace hires foreign talents; (3) The company they work for care about its employees; (4)Employers prefer foreign talents over its indigenous worker; (5) There is ample opportunity to get ajob promotion; and (6) Foreign talents and Singapores indigenous workers are provided with equalcareer opportunities. Chart 4: Opinion Survey 24 Of 39
  25. 25. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Regarding promotion, 27 respondents did not have opinions on being promoted (60%). Educationand age range can provide an explanation to this. Almost 90% of the respondents were relativelyyoung, below 30 years old, and usually not at an age where they have decided to make the currentjob their career.Working with foreign talents are common in the workplace, however a staggering 84% believe thatthe education in Singapore does not give them any advantage over foreign employees. This is aworrying figure as Singapore prides itself for having top-notch education syllabus but thatknowledge provides no application leverage in future work-life. 25 Of 39
  26. 26. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 Employee Satisfaction InterviewQualitative research enables a deeper understanding of the issue already studied using thequantitative methodology (Berg 1998). The interview questions consisted of how respondentsview the foreign talent policy in Singapore; the efficiency of foreign talents in affectingcompetitiveness and economic growth; Singaporean work attitudes and whether there is anassociation between the job happiness and the foreign talent policy.Profile of RespondentsThree interviewees were selected for the interview stage. Respondents had to meet the samecriteria as in the survey. Respondents had to be Singaporean citizens with work experience. Onemale and female were interviewed. Both were diploma holders pursuing a university degree. Thereis a bias towards Singaporeans with higher education for this interview. This bias is useful ashigher-educated individuals are generally more aware of current affair issues and can provide abetter insight on the issue at large. Table 3: Profile of interview respondents Respondent Gender Age Education Ismail Male 25 Diploma Aggy Female 24 Diploma & Degree undergraduate 26 Of 39
  27. 27. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329Method of DeliveryInterviews were done face-to-face. Interviewees were ensured of anonymity. Each personinterviewed were asked different sets of questions based on their different backgrounds.Interview Results Ismail has been living in Melbourne, Australia for two years. He is there to further his studies and at the same time works to support himself. The interview gives insights of how it is like to be a foreign worker in Australia. The second interviewee,Aggy, has worked at a major IT MNC in Singapore for two years. She is currently working while pursuing her degree. She gives her account on the hiring practices at her workplace. Stealing JobsWhen Ismail was asked if his Australian colleagues has shown adversity towards foreign workers orif he feels that he is stealing their jobs, he replied that he has never encountered racism orxenophobia at the workplace. As for stealing jobs from Australians, he responded that theminimum wage system ensures that workers are paid fairly and not shorthanded. The minimumwage applies to both the locals and foreign workers thus Australians do not face problems withforeign talents lowering or compromising wages for the locals. “The unemployed here also receive money from welfare every month. In Singapore if you are unemployed, youre on your own. Not only do Singaporeans have to compete with foreigners on jobs, they also have to compete with them for housing. Its almost as if there is no incentive of being a citizen and a foreigner, so maybe 27 Of 39
  28. 28. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 that’s why Singaporeans are more unhappy with the presence of foreign talents.” Job SatisfactionAsked whether Ismail thought Melbourne is a better place to work as compared to Singapore? “Personally, I would say yes. The work culture here is different. My employers here constantly give out rewards for good work. You wont have to wait till mid or end- year to be appraised and I feel more appreciated than when I was working in Singapore. Wages are more attractive here than in Singapore. Work-life BalanceWhen asked about work-life balance, he mentions about the plight of middle class in Singapore,which is where most Singaporeans belong to. “At the end of the day, work is work. You have to earn a living. No matter where you choose to work and live, there are always pros and cons. In Singapore, the government is more proactive in developing policies rather than reactive to citizens feedback. Transport, healthcare and services are more efficient. It is relatively safer to walk around at night in Singapore. However, the middle-class workers, are generally overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated. In Melbourne the transport system and services are not as efficient and cost of living is high. However, salaries are better, the government is more reactive to public feedback and most importantly there is a better work-life balance.” Relevant SkillsPAPs liberal pro-foreigner policies can partly be blamed for causing decline in productivity in 2012 28 Of 39
  29. 29. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329because recruiters face challenges in finding the right manpower(Grosse 2012). The criterianeeded to apply for work visa in Singapore is too low thus does not target what the market needs.Having a more selective requirement criteria would be beneficial. Ismail revealed that unlike PRapplication in Singapore, application criteria for Permanent Residence in Australia is morestringent. It includes an English language proficiency test, having a job listed in the SkilledOccupancy List, acquiring enough years of job experience and necessary qualifications andcharacter requirements (Department of Immigration and Citizenship). Unlike in Singapore wherethere is no minimum residency period for Singapore PRs. According to a Straits Times report,Chinese national Zhang Yuanyuan, obtained her Singapore PR within 2 months of application(Straits Times 2010). Neither do applicants need to pass an English proficiency test. This posesproblems in communication and efficiency especially in service and sales sectors. English is theunifying language of business, government and education, although there are 4 four officiallanguages in Singapore, (Chia 2011). Knowledge-based EconomyThere was skepticism when asked whether the foreign talent policy helping Singapore move into asuccessful Knowledge-based economy. Aggy described her experience with the multinationalcorporation that she works at. “There was a sudden influx of foreign talents from India, Myanmar and Philippines hired by the company last year. This year, most of them have gone and there are a lot of vacant cubicles in the office. Foreign workers are dispensable, they are always the first to go. Though the dismissed foreign workers were from a different department, the company has now started to dismiss Singaporeans too. Most of 29 Of 39
  30. 30. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 the jobs are being outsourced to India. I have had to train them myself and I wouldnt say they are more skilled or capable or productive than Singaporean workers. They work longer hours and it costs less to hire them. Its very worrying that companies value Singapore labour for its low costs rather than the skills of the workers. The government has emphasized on upgrading skills and education but the workers themselves are not being valued that way. I do not blame these companies for their search for cheaper labour, but I think it is the job of the government to implement policies that help protect its citizens, not exploit them.”An analysis made by the Economic Strategies Committee in 2010 in Monetary Authority ofSingapores annual report predicts that a lower productivity growth and a lower labour forcegrowth per annum supported by much higher quality of labour, produces higher quality growth in10 years. In detail: “The expected labour productivity growth rate of between 2% and 3% p.a., combined with the projection of an average 1-2% p.a. labour force growth by the Economic Strategies Committee, produces a medium-term potential GDP growth rate of 3-5% p.a. for the Singapore economy over 2010 – 2019.” (Monetary Authority of Singapore 2010) 30 Of 39
  31. 31. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329 ConclusionThe presence of foreign labour in Singapore is important and beneficial to the economy. It plays arole in increasing size of the national workforce, increasing the output capacity and thus improvingits economic growth. However, economic benefits should be weighed against social costs that nowhas become very prominent in Singapore. High-income foreign talents benefit most from theForeign Talent Policies and higher-income Singaporean may not be affected by its disadvantages.The high saturation of middle to lower-skilled foreigners in the job market compromises wages forSingaporeans. Majority of Singaporeans are in the middle-income group. They and the lower-income Singaporeans are most affected by depressing wages.From the survey done, job salary is the most important factor chosen that affect Singaporeansattitude towards the job. However this is not the only factor that is important. Being engaged inthe work that they do is also important to them. Almost half of the respondents expressed thatthey did not think that the tasks they are assigned contributes to their professional growth. It canbe deduced that majority of diploma and young degree holders in Singapore are being underpaidor hired for jobs where they are undervalued and not utilized fully for their skills.When there is demand, there will be supply. More higher-skill requirement jobs have to be createdto truly move Singapore into a knowledge-based economy. While most locals do not have aproblem working with foreigners, there needs to be more screening in place to bring in morespecific and qualified foreign talents to augment the indigenous workforce. A minimum-wagesystem should also be implemented to ensure that employers don’t cut back on pay, and that 31 Of 39
  32. 32. COMM3001 Case Studies in Communication Siti Aisyah Bagarib 20910329middle and and lower-income workers do not drift further back resulting in an even bigger incomegap.From the hypothesis that was set out in the beginning of this study, it can be concluded that: 1. Actual hiring practices conflict with fair employment policies in terms of tendency to employ workers based on lower labour cost rather than purely by merit. However this is not actually against the law as long as employers keep hiring foreign labour within the quota set by Singapore labour laws. 2. Singapore can continue to strive economically if it chooses to cut down on low-cost labour and focus on providing high skill jobs and hiring quality workers. Economic growth would move at a slower pace for the first ten years, but the benefits are are more rewarding after that. 32 Of 39
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