Consultation and Control: the Singaporean Business Elite between Democracy and Authoritarianism

Stephen Appold
Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent
Singapore 119260

This paper begins to map out the social structure of concurrent consultation in forming economic and political policy and control in coordinating firms.  Based on an analysis of 3287 directors and members of the top management teams of all Government-Linked Corporations (GLCs) and of the 500 largest Singaporean firms, the paper assesses the control structure by measuring the degree of interlock between firms, the degree of overlap between GLCs, private Singaporean firms, and multinational corporations, and some of the factors that lead to interlock.  The paper also measures the degree stratification among directors and tests for some of the criteria for entry into the ranks of those who are directors of multiple firms.  That top elite in turn is chosen to take part in a consultation process of participation in Statutory Boards and citizen committees.

Presented at 2002 Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association, Chicago, August.

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