Corporate Diversity Management in Multinational Companies in Singapore[[Elektronische Ressource]] : Lost in Translation? / Sarah Meinert. Philosophische Fakultät

Corporate Diversity Management in Multinational Companies in Singapore[[Elektronische Ressource]] : Lost in Translation? / Sarah Meinert. Philosophische Fakultät

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Corporate Diversity Management in MultinationalCompanies in Singapore. Lost in Translation?Inaugural-Dissertationzur Erlangung der DoktorwurdederPhilosophischen Fakult atderRheinischen-Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universit atzu Bonnvorgelegt vonSarah MeinertausNeussBonn 2011Gedruckt mit der Genehmigung der Philosophischen Fakult atder Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universit at BonnZusammensetzung der Prufungsk ommission:Prof. Dr. Christoph Antweiler(Vorsitzender)Prof. Dr. Solvay Gerke(Betreuerin und Gutachterin)Prof. Dr. Thomas Menkho (Gutachter)Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Evers(weiteres prufungsb erechtigtes Mitglied)Tag der mundlic hen Prufung: 18. Juli 2011To Nils and BenAcknowledgmentThis thesis would not have been possible without the support of many people to whomI’d like to express my gratitude.First and foremost I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Solvay Gerke who continuouslyprovided her guidance and (scienti c) support from the very start to the end and Prof.Dr. Thomas Menkho who gave me valuable advice and support not only during my stayin Singapore. My eld research in Singapore was funded by the Center of DevelopmentResearch, University of Bonn and I’m very grateful for the support without which thisthesis would not have been possible in this form. I’m very grateful to Prof. Dr. TanHwee Hoon, Dr. Patrick H. M. Loh and Dr.

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Corporate Diversity Management in Multinational
Companies in Singapore. Lost in Translation?
Inaugural-Dissertation
zur Erlangung der Doktorwurde
der
Philosophischen Fakult at
der
Rheinischen-Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universit at
zu Bonn
vorgelegt von
Sarah Meinert
aus
Neuss
Bonn 2011Gedruckt mit der Genehmigung der Philosophischen Fakult at
der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universit at Bonn
Zusammensetzung der Prufungsk ommission:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Antweiler
(Vorsitzender)
Prof. Dr. Solvay Gerke
(Betreuerin und Gutachterin)
Prof. Dr. Thomas Menkho
(Gutachter)
Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Evers
(weiteres prufungsb erechtigtes Mitglied)
Tag der mundlic hen Prufung: 18. Juli 2011To Nils and BenAcknowledgment
This thesis would not have been possible without the support of many people to whom
I’d like to express my gratitude.
First and foremost I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Solvay Gerke who continuously
provided her guidance and (scienti c) support from the very start to the end and Prof.
Dr. Thomas Menkho who gave me valuable advice and support not only during my stay
in Singapore. My eld research in Singapore was funded by the Center of Development
Research, University of Bonn and I’m very grateful for the support without which this
thesis would not have been possible in this form. I’m very grateful to Prof. Dr. Tan
Hwee Hoon, Dr. Patrick H. M. Loh and Dr. Rani Tan from the Lee Kong Chian School
ofBusinessattheSingaporeManagementUniversityfromwhomIreceivedvaluableinput,
help and advice. I would also like to show my gratitude to Prof. Dr. Hans- Dieter Evers,
Dr. Wolfram Scha ar, Dr. Oliver Pye and Prof. Dr. Tilman Schiel who have made
available their scienti c support in a number of ways.
FurthermoreI’dliketothankmyrespondentsatthecompanieswhereIconductedresearch
aswellastheinterviewedexpertswithoutwhomtheresearchwouldnothavebeenpossible
and who allowed me to gain an insight into their companies’ diversity management and
shared their knowledge with me.
Last, but de nitely not least I’d like to thank my husband Nils, my family and friends
in Germany as well as Singapore - in particular Sheda, Suri and Maziah Omar- for their
ongoing support, encouragement and inspiration as well as our son Ben without whom I
probably would not have nished the thesis as quick as I did.Contents
Deutsche Kurzfassung 1
1 Introduction 15
1.1 HowA rmativeActionbecameDiversityManagement-TheRe-theorisation
of a Management Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
1.2 The Dissemination and Institutionalisation of Diversity Management on a
Global Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
1.3 The Multiple Facets of Diversity in Singapore and its Management . . . . 31
1.4 Structure of the Thesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
2 The Institutionalisation of Diversity Management: Fundamental Con-
cepts and Processes 46
2.1 From Early to ‘New’ Institutional Theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
2.2 Central Concepts of New Institutional Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
2.2.1 Institutions: Diversity of De nitions and Concepts. . . . . . . . . . 54
2.2.2 Legitimacy and Rationality as Social Constructions and Beliefs. . . 58
2.2.3 Organisations and their Environments: From Organisational to ‘Is-
sue’ Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
2.2.4 IncorporatingProcessesofInstitutionalisationandInstitutionalChange 65
2.2.5 Di usion and Translation: The Spread of Ideas and Concepts . . . 71
iii
3 The Social Construction of Workforce Diversity and an Interpretation
of its Value and Challenges in the Singaporean Business Context 80
3.1 The Singaporean Social Reality of Corporate Workforce Diversity . . . . . 81
3.2 Di erences as Value: Constructing and Interpreting Diversity in the Sin-
gaporean Corporate Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
3.3 Di erences as a Challenge: Arising Con icts, Demands and the Need for a
Mindset Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
4 Translating and Implementing Diversity Management at Moneta Singa-
pore and Logistica Singapore 119
4.1 WorkforceDiversityasaSolutiontoMonetaSingapore’sDemographicCri-
sis: Adoption and Implementation of Diversity Management . . . . . . . . 120
4.2 Rejected Translation: Workforce Diversity at Logistica Singapore . . . . . 131
4.3 The Commodi cation of Otherness: Diversity Management at Logistica
Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
4.3.1 The Embeddedness of Diversity Management at Logistica Group . . 155
4.4 Diversity Management and its Linkages to other Initiatives at Moneta Sin-
gapore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
5 Diversity Management in the Singaporean Context between Constitu-
tive Institutions and Systematic Utilisation 164
5.1 as Determinants of Singapore’s Business Environment . . . . . 165
5.2 PossibilitiesandLimitationsoftheSystematicUtilisationofDiversityMan-
agement in the Singaporean Business Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
6 LostinTranslation? ConcludingRemarksonWorkforceDiversityMan-
agement at Moneta and Logistica in Singapore 202
Bibliography 215iii
A Methodologies Applied 230
B Questionnaire: Logistica Singapore SINRO 235
C Logistica Singapore SINCO’s HR Department 237
D Questionnaire: Logistica Singapore SINCO Marketing and Operations
Department 240
E Questionnaire: Moneta Diversity Committee 243
F Technica Singapore 246
G Questionnaire: Experts 248
H Statistical Survey 250List of Tables
1.1 EqualEmployment,A rmativeAction,ManagingDiversity: Assessingthe
Di erences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
1.2 Bene ts of Workforce Diversity and its Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
1.3 Age Composition of Singapore’s Resident Population . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
2.1 Di erences between Old and New Institutional Theory . . . . . . . . . . . 53
2.2 Scott’s Three Pillars of Institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
2.3 Di erent Dimensions of an Organisational Environment . . . . . . . . . . . 66
2.4 Stages of Institutionalisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
2.5 Comparison of the Theoretical Concepts of Di usion and Translation . . . 74
4.1 Moneta Singapore Diversity Initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
4.2 Logistica Diversity Initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
A.1 Interviews Conducted in the Course of the Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
H.1 Questionnaire for the Statistical Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250
H.1 for the Statistical Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251
ivList of Figures
1.1 Labour Force Participation Rate of Singapore’s Female Resident Population 38
2.1 Organisational Legitimacy and Survival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
3.1 Moneta Diversity De nitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
3.2 Logistica SINRO and SINCO Diversity De nitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
3.3 Logistica SINRO Diversity De nitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
3.4 Logistica SINCO Diversity De nitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
3.5 Diversity De nitions of Multinational Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
3.6 Daimler Diversity Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
3.7 Religious A liation of Employees working at Logistica SINCO’s Service
Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
4.1 Logistica’s Business Bene ts of Workforce Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
vThis thesis is based on research conducted in two large and well known Fortune Global
100 companies. Since both companies liked to remain anonymous, I replaced their real
names - in the text as well as in the bibliography - by pseudonyms: Logistica for the
multinational logistic provider and Moneta for the multinational nancial service rm.