Tripartism in Singapore: A Stewardship Journey
Drawing insights from literature review and discussions with over a dozen leaders from the government, employer groups and trade unions who are active participants in tripartite engagement, this report illustrates the synergistic roles between the state, business employers and employees in fostering an enduring culture of corporate stewardship for equitable and sustainable growth.
It seeks to unpack how a tripartite collaboration can be forged and further identify the nexus between tripartism, stewardship practices and sustainable economic development. Also accompanying the report are five case studies that cover key industries or crucial moments which capture stewardship in action through tripartite collaboration.
They were selected to reflect the evolution of the functions of tripartism or the nature of tripartite collaboration. The report summarises Singapore's success in tripartism to the following factors:
- Sustaining good faith and building resilience, deepening mutual trust over successive economic cycles such that these socio-cultural attributes become part of the common ethos over time.
- Putting in place participatory and integrative dialogue structures — both formal and informal — across key actors at the national, sectorial and organisational levels.
- Ensuring nimble re-configuration of processes and structural mechanisms based on horizon scanning, adopting systemic instead of piecemeal approaches.
- Consistently employing a reconciliatory and consultative approach towards integrating business and workers’ welfare across successive reform with the aim to achieve a win-win solution.