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Management practices linked to productivity levels

hrnews1Singapore is ranked sixth for management practices among 22 countries just behind USA, Japan and Germany. According to the World Management Survey (WMS) conducted by the Council’s Policy, Research and Benchmarking Working Group, the Republic’s performance is on par with other developed countries such as England and Australia, and is just behind top countries such as the US, Japan and Germany.

Singapore’s strong score can be attributed to the relatively large presence of multinational corporations (MNCs) in the manufacturing sector in Singapore.

Of the four dimensions, Singapore’s firms achieved the highest ranking in People Management, coming in fourth among all countries surveyed. The Republic’s strength was in “rewarding high performance” and “retaining talent” – aspects under the People Management dimension which entail the optimising of workforce quality and maximising of human capital.


Singapore also ranked among the top 10 among all countries studied for the other. The favourable score in Operations Management can be attributed to the wide practice of lean manufacturing in Singapore. For monitoring management, Singapore managers were found to effectively identify employees’ weaknesses and send them for skills upgrading through training. With regard to targets management, Singapore managers were generally able to communicate well-defined targets to their employees.


The study also revealed room for improvement within each dimension, especially for local SMEs. Some of these areas include instilling a talent mind-set among senior management, better tracking and communicating of key performance indicators (KPIs) and setting goals that strike a balance between financial and non-financial objectives.


Local SMEs are also encouraged to review its management practices and boost productivity levels, as the studies showed that management quality is positively correlated with firms’ performance. This is similar to other countries, and was the case even after controlling for factors such as employee size, amount of physical assets, and other attributes of the firm.


Acting Minister for Manpower, Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also a member of National Productivity and Continuing Education Council (NPCEC), said: “The findings suggest that firms in Singapore scored well in all aspects of management especially in promoting high achievers. However, more needs to be done for other indicators such as setting holistic targets.”


“Good managers will be the forerunners for game-changing ideas which form the basis for the company’s next competitive advantage,” he added. “Therefore, improving the quality of management is just as important as undertaking other productivity improvements in order to entrench a productive culture. It is against the backdrop of economic challenges that it has become more pressing, locally and globally, for SMEs to step up and review their business and management models.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Courtesy: HRM Asia