Research Paper Series

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Year RPS # Title Author/s
2001 2001-036 (BP) THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF SINGAPORE’S POLICY ON FOREIGN TALENTS AND HIGH SKILLS SOCIETY Linda Low

Given Singapore’s strategy to be a knowledge-based economy (KBE) and targeting for new niches like life sciences, R&D and high skills in general, we want to balance the economics of that with a political economy analysis of its policy to recruit foreign talents and nurture a high skills society.  Singapore faces ageing demographics, economic restructuring and a current economic slowdown and for all the denial it is not a welfare state, it is certainly a paternalistic one. Yet, when it comes to sustaining a resilient, vibrant economy with the requisite workforce, the government is absolutely singular to pursue its “flow-though” model in brining in foreign capital, technology and whatever it takes to keep itself as a top globaliser. In examining these policy strategies and options this paper, we ask if even the government-made city-state is not escaping the globalisation backlash. The consequences of balancing a delicate socio-political compact between foreign talents and local skills are getting more competitive and complex when both the economic tempo and difficulties of restructuring.
 
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2001 2001-035 (BP) GLOBALISATION AND POVERTY REDUCTION: CAN THE RURAL POOR BENEFIT FROM GOLBALISATION?: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE Linda Low

Globalisation propelled by information communication technology (CT) and the knowledge-based economy (KBE) has forged the integration of crossborder transactions and interdependence to a magnitude, scale, and complexity which has appeared to tip the balance for globalisation backlash. But globalisation seemed applied unevenly to favour urban industrial rather than rural agricultural sectors. Moreover, with crisis in the urban, industrial sectors including financial crisis growing with scale and speed, the backlash on rural agriculture sector is not benign. Asia should rethink its growth model in direction and focus in the light of its experiences with globalisation, ICT, KBE and Asian crisis. It would be able to differentiate between self induced policy mistakes and unforeseen difficulties imposed exogenously and have better preventive, mitigation and coping strategies. Educating the rural poor to globalisation is no less important as they should in time be savvy and able to grasp the backlash themselves without demonising globalisation as in throwing out the baby with the bath water.
 
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2001 2001-034 (MKTG) A GAME-THEORETIC PERSPECTIVE ON TRANSACTION COST AND THE DECISION TO MAKE, BUY, OR MAKE-AND BUY Khai Sheang LEE & Wei Shi LIM

This paper examines a firm’s outsourcing decision over time.  We identify specific learning and the salvageability of specific learning by suppliers as reasons for a firm to adopt a make-and-buy strategy, even when outsourcing is less costly initially.  We show that when specific learning effect is high, the firm follows a make-and-buy strategy, capitalizing on the cost savings in buying, while simultaneously acquiring specific know-how for an eventual switch to a make-only strategy.  When specific learning effect is moderate, the firm adopts a make-and­-buy strategy, followed by a buy-only strategy.  In this way, the firm minimizes the appropriation risk in outsourcing.  Finally, outsourcing completely is optimal for the firm only if specific learning effect is low. 
 
Keywords: Game Theory, Industrial Marketing, Transaction Cost Economics, Small Numbers Bargaining
 
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2001 2001-033 (MKTG) MARKETING IN SINGAPORE: MACRO TRENDS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR MARKETING MANAGEMENT – 2001 UPDATE AND EXTENSION Jochen Wirtz and Cindy M.Y. Chung

Trends in Singapore’s marketing environment are analysed from an economic, demographic and cultural, as well as a consumer behaviour and marketing mix perspective. The analysis shows the picture of a fairly wealthy society with good future prospects. The main demographic trends follow those of more developed nations, with low population growth, rapid aging and smaller household sizes. Singapore has an interesting mix of cultures with her distinct languages, religions and customs. Education levels continue to improve fast. These macro trends are reflected in consumption behaviour with increasing overall consumption, an increasing share of higher level goods such as recreational, education and health services, as well as changing consumer values and lifestyles, which show that Singaporeans have become more brand and status conscious, more discerning, quality oriented and health conscious. Trends in the marketing mix are a direct reflection of the macro environment. For example, product and service trends emphasize the up-market shift, pricing strategies go hand-in-hand with the higher quality of goods on offer, and non-monetary price reduction strategies may become increasingly attractive to follow. This trend has been somewhat interrupted by the recent economic downturn, but is expected to continue in the years ahead.  The survivors of the downturn are likely to have become more competitive, as many would have learnt to become more productive through better inventory management, process control, and procurement.
 
Three implications for marketing strategies are highlighted. First, the pursuit of general growth strategies is suggested. Second, higher volume and/or market leader strategies in a tiny market place with country specific costs will become more important. Finally, customer retention strategies will be increasingly pursued in a market with declining numbers of new customers entering. The last two implications suggest an increasingly competitive marketing environment.
 
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2001 2001-032 (CMIT) BUNDLING STRATEGINES AND ITS INCLUSION AS A THIRD PHASE IN PRODUCT-PROCESS INNOVATION CYCLE Devendra P. Singh

Today’s organizations are bundle of three essential businesses, providing Product innovation, infrastructure and customer relationship. This paper argues, then surely there must be correspondingly three related innovations, which should contribute to the product life cycle rather than only product/process innovation, as suggested in Utterback-Abernathy model. It shows that the third one, with its focus on achieving economy of scope and extending customer relationship long as possible, manifests itself as bundling phase. True, it comes after the product and process innovations have been exhausted. When bundled with other products, it can lead to high value proposition in the market place thus earning substantial returns. Bundling phase can even start a process of product development leading to ultimate customer lock-In. The lock-In bundling can be potent especially if it becomes modular or an integrator.

2001 2001-031 (BP) THE ROLE OF AFFECTIVE EXPECTATIONS IN INFLUENCING CONSUMERS’ SATISFACTION EVALUATIONS AND IN-STORE BEHAVIORS Jochen Wirtz, Anna S. Mattila, and Rachel L. P. Tan

This research explores the differential role of affective expectations on customers’ satisfaction evaluations and in-store behaviors in a service setting. Consistent with the affective expectations model, in pleasant environments the highest satisfaction ratings were observed when targeted arousal matched actual arousal levels. Conversely, in-store behaviors followed predictions based on the optimal arousal theory, whereby affiliation behaviors reached their peak in pleasant but low to moderate arousal retail environments. In unpleasant environments, increased arousal had a negative impact on both satisfaction and in-store behaviors.  In sum, our findings indicate that arousal has a differential impact on consumer evaluations and in-store behaviors.
 
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2001 2001-030 (DS) THE DYNAMICS OF REPEATED IT FAILURES: USING OPPOSING FORCES ANALYSIS Rueylin Hsiao & Richard Ormerod

In the emerging globalised knowledge society economy, a group of professionals, namely experts and consultants gain in importance.  The paper discusses the following issues: Who are these experts and consultants? Why is this group of knowledge workers strategically important and why is their importance – socially in terms of number of persons, and economically in term of output or turnover – growing?  How can we explain the increasing professionalisation of consultants?  How do they gain their expertise and which role does academic knowledge play in professional attainment?  Why are consultants often positioned as modern healers?  How do they package and apply expert knowledge?  What are the challenges experts and consultants are facing in the new economy?

2001 2001-029 (DS) A MODEL FOR WEB ADOPTION Thompson Teo & Pian Yujun

This paper introduces a model for Web adoption, and examines the characteristics of different level Web sites in terms of Web site features. The results indicate that the extend of Web site features tends to increase when the Web adoption progresses from lower level to higher level. Two broad Web site categories can be identified informational Web site and transactional Web site. Proactive business strategy and firm size are found to be positively related to Web adoption level. Implications of the results are discussed.

2001 2001-028 (DS) ADOPTION OF THE INTERNET AND WAP-ENABLED PHONES: THE CASE OF SINGAPORE Thompson S H Teo, Vivien K G Lim & Siau Heong Pok

The Internet, and more recently mobile phones, has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. This paper examines the adoption of the Internet and WAP-enabled mobile phones in Singapore. Specifically, we examine the profile of Internet users, Internet activities and issues relating to WAP-enabled mobile phones. The results provide researchers and practitioners with some insights on the adoption of the Internet and WAP-enabled mobile phones. For researchers, such insights would be useful in understanding the adoption phenomenon, while for practitioners, such insights would provide some basis for adopting certain policies to promote adoption.

2001 2001-027 (BP) ACHIEVING PRODUCTIVE INTER-DOMAIN CONCEPTUAL TRANSFER IN ORGANIZATIONAL SCIENCE Loizos Heracleous

Drawing from Ricoeur’s distinctions between spoken discourse and written text, we view scholarly texts in terms of the latter. Written texts have higher potential polysemy and ambiguity, by virtue of their more limited contextuality than spoken discourse. The inter-domain diffusion of concepts is a double-edged sword that can potentially either increase a field’s interpretive potential and conceptual arsenal, but may also increase the interplay of multiple meanings and interpretations and thus increase conceptual ambiguity. Barthes’ views on the desirability of such polysemy, and the primacy of the reader’s interpretations rather than the author’s intentions, preface the post-modernist movement with comparable aims. Such a state is not necessarily beneficial, however, if we accept a view of social science as a potentially cumulative endeavour with an actual subject matter related to, but significantly independent of, actors’ subjectivity, and the need for a common language and platform for scholarly debate. Employing a metaphorical perspective, we suggest that concepts transferred from a source domain to a target domain are imbued with systemic interconnections inherent in the source domain that implicitly carry over to the target domain. In this context, we need a set of criteria to guide inter-domain conceptual transfer in a way that enhances a field’s development and benefits its interpretive potential and conceptual arsenal, rather than multiplying potential meanings and giving primacy to each reader’s interpretations at the expense of the author’s communicative intentions. We suggest three main criteria for guiding such conceptual transfers: technical adequacy, paradigmatic adequacy, and pragmatic adequacy.
 
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