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The case studies of Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and India presented in this paper support the author's contention that a country's industrialization strategy for economic development profoundly influences its industrial relations (IR) and human resources (HR) policy goals. The author finds that import substitution industrialization was associated with IR/HR policy goals of pluralism and stability, while a low-cost export-oriented industrialization strategy was associated with IR/HR policy goals of cost containment and union suppression. In countries that moved from a low-cost export-oriented strategy to a higher value added export-oriented strategy, the focus of IR/HR policy goals shifted from cost containment to work force flexibility and skills development. The four countries diverged, however, in the specific institutions and arrangements they adopted to meet national IR/HR policy goals, due to different political choices made by dominant actors and different institutional industrial relations histories.


Suggested Citation
Kuruvilla, S. (1996). Linkages between industrialization strategies and industrial relations/human resource policies: Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and India. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations site:

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright by Cornell University. Final paper published as: Kuruvilla, S. (1998). Linkages Between Industrialization Strategies and Industrial Relations/Human Resource Policies: Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and India. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 49, 635-657.