RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Foreword

Powering Human Capital

As the newly appointed President of the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management (APFHRM), I view this Presidency as both a privilege and wonderful opportunity for Singapore / SHRI to make a significant contribution to the HR community. And especially so at such an exciting time with Asia rising, the booming Chinese and Indian economies, increasing trends towards outsourcing and offshoring, and many other new HR challenges.

The 11th World HR Congress and Business-Exposition Singapore 2006, is an ideal platform for us to demonstrate more visibly the true HR leadership of both APFHRM and SHRI, and in so doing to bring HR to a higher plane.

The HR profession has evolved over the years, and to bring it to the next level playing field we must go the way of ‘Human Competitiveness Management’. I believe that we should think far beyond the management of HR functions in corporations, and focus on the WHYs, WHATs and HOWs human contributions can be created and sustained to enhance corporate growth and the progress of a society and nation.

Having dwelt in the HR domain for close to 28 years and gaining experience in various industries, I believe that the deliverables of Human Competitiveness Management should comprise: MINDSET (which can be measured by an organisation’s mission, vision, strategy and corporate culture), INITIATIVES (can be measured by decisions and actions, passion and commitment exhibited, and customer/public relationship efforts), and IMPACT (measured by short- and medium-term performance, as well as long term progress).

These should be built into the KPIs of all critical human capital of an institution or corporation, and linked to its recruitment and reward system. On the other hand, educational background, know-how and competencies, working experience, training exposure and personal aspiration are but factors of human inputs. We should focus on monitoring human outputs (value created), and provide support to those human inputs that may have significant impact on the outputs, but not vice versa.

Therefore, the key players of Human Competitiveness Management must include decision makers from both the public and private sectors, all those who are concerned and or held responsible for building the “Human Competitiveness” of a business division, or administrative unit or region.

What I’m sharing belongs to the bigger picture of continuous corporate reinvention, a crucial phenomenon in today’s fast evolving and globalising business environment. This continuous reinvention can only be attained and sustained through the human capital that resides and grows with organisations and businesses. It is only through the powering of human capital that organisations and businesses succeed.

In parallel, the new awakening in the HR fraternity that the HR professional is regarded a business partner contributing to bottom-line results through greater involvement in HR business-related issues must be promulgated and championed.

Powering human capital for value creation is crucial; the basis of what I’ve been saying. That is why we’ve themed the 11th World HR Congress and Business-Exposition, Singapore 2006 thus. HR icons like Dave Ulrich, Jeffrey Joerres and Wee Chow Hou, amongst others, will share insights and ways of powering human capital during this mega-international HR event.

Curtin University has always been SHRI’s valued partner in fostering, promoting and developing HR for value creation. I am pleased with the collaboration over the Journal of Research and Practice in Human Resource Management (RPHRM) – a very rich and value-adding publication to the HR community, with every issue fulfilling the Journal’s aim to provide a specialised academic medium and important reference for the encouragement and dissemination of research and practice in HRM, particularly in South-East Asian organisations.

This volume, dedicated to the 11th World HR Congress & Business-Connect Exposition, Singapore 2006, is a gift that all HR practitioners, professionals, business leaders, academia and students should treasure and cherish. This is a gem of a book – well endowed with the wisdom, insights, practicality, breadth and depth of the articles therein.

As HR professionals, learning to keep pace and to push ahead in the dynamic business world is paramount to our progress and success. And this Journal is one of the valuable tools for that purpose, and will prove its mettle – as the HR Journal for the HR people.

Madam Ho Geok Choo
President of SHRI
President of APFHRM
May 2006