By TEH SHI NING
CONVERSATION about management practice has in the past been dominated by Western companies, but this is changing as more and more Asian companies have emerged on the world stage, says Lynda Gratton of the London Business School (LBS).
This is why the top-ranked executive education programme which she is currently conducting in Singapore will encourage an Asian focus on human resource strategy.
This course, the London Business School's Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Organisations (Asia), is being held outside London for the first time, as part of a broader partnership LBS has with Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
'Good human capital practices are good anywhere in the world, so the basic framework and principles will be the same,' says Prof Gratton, who is considered to be one of the world's leading management thinkers.
Still, differences such as government legislation, the economic climate of the country and attitudes to working for corporations do shape human capital management, she says.
Among the industry speakers at the inaugural HRST Asia, which started yesterday and will run until Friday, are local entrepreneur and Olam International chief executive Sunny Verghese as well as Unilever Singapore's global vice-president of diversity, Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi.
Most of the key teaching sessions will be conducted by Prof Gratton and Gareth Jones, who has authored books on his field of expertise - organisational design and leadership.
As the global economy emerges from recession, these are interesting times for HR practitioners. Says Prof Gratton: 'The exciting issue is that historically recessions have been times when significant change can take place within companies as some of the strongly held beliefs are questioned.'
She thinks that the challenge for organisations at this juncture is 'to meet the short-term tactical issues whilst at the same time preparing for the future'.
MOM's director for people matters and project director for national HR capability, Low Peck Kem, said: 'The HRST Asia has attracted a really high calibre of participants. We hope this excellent response marks the first of many more top-notch programmes coming to Singapore.'
The 35 participants are mostly business leaders and HR practitioners from multinational companies with offices here, as well as a few from the region.
This is not the first time MOM has worked with Prof Gratton. Her Hot Spots Movement, a research programme aimed at creating and supporting innovative teams in organisations, was invited to work with companies here about two years ago - in a collaboration with MOM that is still ongoing.
This article was first published in The Business Times.