Managerial Attitudes, Ethics and Foreign Labour

yong 2005.pdf - Submitted Version (3MB)

Yong, Aster (2005) Managerial Attitudes, Ethics and Foreign Labour. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The phenomenal increase of foreign labour employment (FLE) in the last three decades has brought about numerous socio-economic problems for receiving, sending and hosting nations of foreign workers. As a consequence, these have triggered many clamours for justice and equity for foreign workers from less developed countries especially. These circumstances have provided an opportune setting for a cross-cultural investigation into prevailing FLE attitudes and ethics (teleological or deontological) among managers from three countries (Australia, Singapore and Malaysia), two race/ethnic (Caucasian and Chinese) groups and three religious (Christian, Buddhist and Malay Muslim) denominations. Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies were employed to enable cross-data reliability checks among random and quota samples. The qualitative interview random sample consisted of managers from 36 Australian-owned Melbourne-based companies. The case study sample composed of two Singaporean-born expatriates in Melbourne. The quantitative survey sample comprised 120 randomly selected and 83 quota selected respondents from Australia (105), Singapore (55) and Malaysia (43). Procuring 'suitably qualified' respondents was difficult and this probably explains the response rates of 34 and 24 percent among random samples. Even though the responses of managers were very favourable towards FLE (foreign skilled particularly), they had their reservations about FLE in other countries (company relocation especially). Job and wealth losses were their foremost concerns. The degree of support for FLE correlated with the ethical stances. Singaporeans were entirely teleological and the most favourable of the three country groups toward FLE. Conversely, Australians were totally deontological and the least favourable of the three country groups toward FLE. Consistency was achieved in responses across samples and with cross-references between attitudes and ethics, along with other considerations such as companies' employment practices, residence preferences and views on profit. Partial support was found for the two hypotheses. Generally speaking, the results highlight that among individuals from various groups, culture does bring about differences in attitudes, ethical stances and even behaviours. These have implications for commercial activity. More importantly, they indicate that managers, whether in business or in government and not just those involved with human resource management, need to be cognisant of the importance of cultural differences when they conduct negotiations or make policy changes. This is the first step to avoid conflict and to exhibit a trustworthy effective corporate leadership.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for International Corporate Governance Research
Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Keywords managerial attitudes, ethics, foreign labour
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login