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君子 Junzi leadership in Singapore: governance and human capital development

Stéphane Le Queux (James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
Adrian T.H. Kuah (James Cook University Australia, Singapore Campus, Singapore)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 31 March 2020

Issue publication date: 10 August 2021




This paper provides insights as to how a Confucian-inspired Junzi style of leadership translates into initiatives toward human capital development in Singapore. After reviewing tripartite governance in Singapore, we discuss the character of Confucian leadership: how does this value system inform the moral economy of the Singaporean corporatist model and inherently come to impact upon the conception and significance of human capital.


The case approach was employed using multiple sources of secondary data, supplemented by interviews with high-profile informants in Singapore. Multiple sources led to data triangulation in presenting a mutually consistent set of evidence. The paper also draws from a longitudinal observation of Singapore's industrial relations and human resource development (HRD) policies over the last 10 years since the Global Financial Crisis.


Organized along two thematic areas: governance and human capital development, this paper proposes and finds that governance in Singapore displays an institutionalized form of Junzi leadership that translates into policymaking toward human capital development.


This paper brings about an Asian perspective of Junzi leadership toward management and governance. The Confucian value system intrinsic to tripartite governance provides an original heuristic lens that helps shed a light on the significance of human capital development in Singapore.



Le Queux, S. and Kuah, A.T.H. (2021), "君子 Junzi leadership in Singapore: governance and human capital development", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 389-403.



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