Sunday, September 19, 2004

Managing research at A*STAR 

AcidFlask expresses rage against the a*star machine.

A*STAR is a government agency set up to promote research in Singapore. Led by Philip Yeo, it bears the imprints of the civil service veteran.

The problem is that Yeo’s leadership style may not be the correct one for a research agency. The style — which emphasises charisma and personal power — is very effective for forcing change and getting things done.

The problem is that in research, getting things done is not the main problem. It is knowing what to do.

In a research environment, it is important for the leader to be able to tap the knowledge of his followers, who would be experts in their own areas. They cannot be treated as mere production workers.

AcidFlask may have gotten it right: ‘focus on your studies’, indeed.


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