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Singapore Boardroom Still Mostly Off-limit for HR, Says Aon Hewitt and USC

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2011-03-24 16:29
SINGAPORE, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Singapore boards have been slow to seek professional HR expertise to solve executive compensation issues compared to their U.S. counterparts, according to Aon Hewitt, the global human resource consulting and outsourcing business of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON), and the University of Southern California.


The survey – Pay at the Top: A comparative Study of When HR Make a Difference – polled 78 HR professionals at 66 companies, and found that while 83 per cent of U.S. respondents in the survey said they call on their HR for help to resolve executive compensation matters, only 50 per cent of the Singapore respondents were found to do the same. The survey also found 19 per cent of Singapore boards look to HR in matters relating to board compensation, compared to 44 per cent of U.S. respondents. Further, 40 per cent of Singapore boards seek HR’s guidance when making decisions on executive succession planning, versus 65 per cent of boards in the U.S.

“The difference between the U.S. and Singapore data could be due to Singapore’s relative youth in the development of its corporate governance framework relating to human capital issues,” says Na Boon Chong, Managing Director, Executive Compensation and Performance, SEA at Aon Hewitt who was a joint author of the survey. “As these increasingly complex issues gain more attention at the board level, we would expect boards turn more to their HR and/or external advisors,” he added.

Edward E. Lawler III, Director of the Center of Effective Organization (CEO) in the Marshall School of Business at USC says: “It is worth mentioning that our study indicates HR in Singapore can get into the boardroom by gaining competence in executive compensation and business understanding.”

Professor Lawler says there is a likelihood that Singapore will catch up in due time with U.S. practice as more companies come under the pressure of more stringent legislations governing executive compensation.

Other highlights of the survey are:

HR professionals are more likely to be invited to contribute to strategic decision making based on how sophisticated their business leaders are on wider HR management issues.
HR professionals tend to have a stronger presence in the boardroom once they have demonstrated success implementing organization-wide human capital programs.
The Singapore data shows a significant statistical relationship between a board’s request for help and how much technical knowledge HR has on executive compensation.
There is, however, no such significant finding in the U.S. data correlating request for help with technical knowledge of HR.
About the survey

The joint survey was done by Aon Hewitt and the Center for Effective Organization (COE)) at the University of Southern California (USC). Singapore Institute of Directors helped Aon Hewitt conduct the survey among companies listed on the stock exchange. The survey sets out to explore how HR can contribute to strategic decision making at corporate boards. Results were compiled in 2010 and the report’s findings are released in 2011.

The survey was managed by a contributing team comprising Professor Edward E. Lawler III, Ph.D., Director of the Center of Effective Organization (CEO) in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC); Professor John, W. Boudreau, Ph.D., Professor and Research Director, USC’s Marshall School of Business and CEO; Na Boon Chong, Managing Director, Executive Compensation and Performance, SEA, Aon Hewitt; and Alan Pang, Director of Global Research Center, Aon Hewitt.

About Aon Hewitt

Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resource consulting and outsourcing solutions. The company partners with organizations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance. Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies. With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees. For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit

About CEO (Center for Effective Organizations)

Founded in 1979, the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO), at USC Marshall School of Business, has been at the forefront of research on a broad range of organizational effectiveness issues. CEO works with companies to research and develop new knowledge on organizational effectiveness issues including organizational development and learning, leadership development, corporate governance and human capital management issues. For more information on CEO, please visit

Media Contact:

Elisa Bakri
Tel: +65-9769-6491

SOURCE Aon Hewitt

Written by asiafreshnews

March 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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