An exploration into openness and its influence on societal welfare

Kenneth Beng Hooi Yap

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Although openness has been widely referred to as a means to improve the human condition, it remains poorly defined and underdeveloped. A review of the literature suggested that it is used broadly to infer two notions: (1) mobility and freedom of movement of economic units, and (2) unrestrained exchange of ideas, skills, and information. After an evaluation of the literature including the works on the Open Society, a conceptual definition was proposed. This formed the basis to operationalise openness in a country’s economic, political, cultural, knowledge, and marketing systems. A conceptual model, which comprised six research hypotheses, was proposed to assess the role that openness plays in societal welfare. Measures were also proposed for these variables. Secondary data for 188 countries were obtained and Partial Least Squares path modelling was used to assess both the measurement model and structural model. Results showed that the psychometric properties of these indicators were satisfactory. Results also revealed that dependency was negatively associated with openness, which in turn, was positively associated with equality. Equality and trust were both positively related; and while trust had a positive influence on the lack of civil disorder, it was negatively related to societal welfare concerning social problems. Implications of the findings were discussed along with suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010

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