SMU Thought Leadership

SMU has a strong reputation of distinguished teaching, unique model of education, and generating leading-edge research. As part of our strategic goal of developing leadership and becoming a leader in the academic world, SMU continues to grow and project our thought leadership through rigorous, high-impact, cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance. As our research effort centres on the core interdisciplinary themes relevant to Asia, we are in the ideal position to enrich the world with ideas.


The SMU Thought Leadership Series, published in The Business Times, feature research, expertise and business insights from SMU faculty and senior staff members on a wide range of subject matters.

ASEAN at 50 (Part II)

Posted on 5 Jan 2018

The Centre for Management Practice at SMU has produced a two-part article on ASEAN based on the panel discussions in the SMU-Channel NewsAsia programme ‘Perspectives’ that was recorded at the Singapore Management University from March to May 2017.

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ASEAN at 50 (Part I)

Posted on 5 Jan 2018

The Centre for Management Practice at SMU has produced a two-part article on ASEAN based on the panel discussions in the SMU-Channel NewsAsia programme ‘Perspectives’ that was recorded at the Singapore Management University from March to May 2017.

Read more 

Dr Noeleen Heyzer appointed to top UN Mediation Panel

Posted on 20 Sep 2017

The Singapore Management University (SMU) is pleased to announce that Dr Noeleen Heyzer, Social Scientist, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) and SMU’s Lee Kong Chian Distinguished Fellow, has been appointed as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation for a term of two years.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced on 13 September that the establishment of the High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation is part of the “surge in diplomacy for peace” he has consistently advocated, and gives due priority to the prevention and mediation work of the United Nations. The Board comprises 18 current and former global leaders, senior officials and renowned experts who bring together an unparalleled range of experience, skills, knowledge and contacts. It is expected to allow the United Nations to work more effectively with regional organizations, non-governmental groups and others involved in mediation around the world.

In a phone interview with The Straits Times, Dr Heyzer said she was very pleased to be put in a position where she could draw on her past experiences and try to help. She said the "world is in definite need of mediation for peace", which should ideally resolve tensions before they escalate into conflicts. "What we are seeing is our inability to handle these massive complex conflicts, which have led to the forced displacement of populations and that, in turn, has affected the politics and cohesion of societies.”

Read more in The Straits Times story.

Examining the rules of finance

SMU law professor Christopher Chen studies a wide range of regulatory issues in banks, insurers and capital markets

Posted on 17 May 2017

“It is important for lawmakers to strike a fine balance between educating financial investors to make responsible decisions and overly protecting them. The latter may result in opportunistic investor behaviour, which is not healthy for the financial market.”

- Assistant Professor Christopher Chen, Singapore Management University School of Law

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Human capital as competitive advantage

The future of human resources is more about analytics than just people, says SMU Professor Richard Smith

Posted on 19 Apr 2017

“Ultimately, HR professionals have to evolve as the profession is pushed by latest research trends to figure out how employees can generate a competitive advantage. This human capital orientation coupled with a strong analytic focus, will help prepare HR professionals for the future.”

- Richard Smith, Professor of Strategic Management (Practice), Associate Dean (General Management Programmes) and Academic Director of the Master of Human Capital Leadership, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SMU

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Singapore’s future – anchoring on the small for growth

A new economic model around small and medium-sized growth firms has to be built, says SMU’s Professor Hoon Hian Teck

Posted on 8 Feb 2017

“What must guide our thought is that the growth possibilities are very different when you’re catching up, versus when you’ve already caught up.”

- Singapore Management University’s Professor of Economics and Associate Dean (Faculty, Research) of the School of Economics Hoon Hian Teck

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Exploring China’s vibrant rural economy

SMU’s Associate Professor Forrest Zhang pioneered research into China’s agrarian capitalists

Posted on 18 Jan 2017

“Rural villages are finding niches in China’s economy. Some grow Chinese herbs. Others collect pine mushrooms highly sought after in Japan, or the rare and expensive cordyceps fungus prized in traditional Chinese medicine … There was no local market. But entrepreneurs wanted to capitalise on the suitable climate and thus brought in new products to grow and then export them to other countries. So they found the village, brought the technology and know-how, and signed a contract with the farmers.”

- Associate Professor Forrest Zhang, SMU School of Social Sciences

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Rethinking Singapore’s Urban Form

Singapore Management University economics professor thinks Singapore’s road systems are too much dominated by the cul-de-sac form. A better balance between cul-de-sac and grid forms should be considered.

Posted on 19 Oct 2016

“Singapore’s transport is already reasonably efficient, and it also notably has an extensive system of expressways. But when thinking about how to redevelop the Greater Southern Waterfront area, policymakers can consider the economic implications of a cul-de-sac versus a grid design.”

-        Associate Professor Wen-Tai Hsu, SMU School of Economics

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Opportunities of luxury retail in a digital world

Luxury brands need to better understand their customer base and take advantage of social media, says SMU marketing professor Srinivas Reddy

Posted on 21 Sep 2016

“Luxury and digital were previously an oxymoron; it is no longer so.  But the luxury brand must create a seamless experience.  If the online and offline stores are fully integrated, and if consumers trust the brand, they will be willing to buy from it, regardless of the channel.”

-        Srinivas Reddy, Professor of Marketing and Director, Centre for Marketing Excellence, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business.

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Uncovering controversial truths on CEO pay

Research by SMU accounting professor Chen Xia shows how severance pay clauses for CEOs can help companies and investors

Posted on 17 Aug 2016

“A severance pay agreement in the CEO’s employment contract actually has merits. CEOs feel they have a longer time horizon with the firm. They are likely to emphasise long term value creation instead of focusing on the coming year’s earnings.”

-        Chen Xia, Lee Kong Chian Professor of Accounting, SMU School of Accountancy

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