Tripartism in Singapore: A Stewardship Journey
This report explores how Singapore has harnessed tripartism to foster intergenerational growth. Tripartism, at its core, seeks to create a positive sum value for all stakeholders such that a win-win-win situation can be derived for all players, in particular, between government, employers and unions. The nexus between stewardship and tripartism is palpable, due to the following reasons:
- Tripartism, as originally intended, is centred on the higher purpose of building a more inclusive society that takes care of the welfare of its stakeholders, thus promoting an ownership mentality with regard to the nation’s wealth creation process.
- It is a prosocial stance that has forged a long‑term harmonious industrial relationship, mitigating tensions that threaten the fundamental pillars of a nation’s well-being.
- It nurtures a hospitable business environment, strengthening the social contracts for responsible and sustainable wealth creation, thus enhancing the resilience of nations and organisations to tackle exogenous and endogenous shocks over the long run.
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.