What Is An Ad Hoc Committee? (Definition, Explanation, and More)

Definition of Ad Hoc Committee

An Ad Hoc Committee is defined as a committee gathered to address a particular issue. It can be best considered as a task force, which is supposed to deal with a particular topic at hand.

During the normal course of business, there are several instances where the business faces unprecedented issues, which require specialized attention.

When faced with such a circumstance, the normal course of action for most businesses is to ensure that they are able to deal with such an issue in a matter of urgency so that the repercussions can be controlled in due time.

Therefore, Ad Hoc Committee is formed with the same objective, which helps organizations deal with business issues effectively and efficiently. Hence, it is not a permanent committee existing within the company. In fact, it is only created when there is a need. Once the issue is resolved, the committee is then resolved.

It must also be pointed out that Ad Hoc committees are created and formed by the Board of Directors of the company. The higher management needs to decide if there is a need to create a committee, and the members that should be included, if there is a need to do so. The decision is purely contingent on the strategic vision of the senior management and if they deem it necessary to create an Ad Hoc team for the same purpose.

Explanation of Ad Hoc Committee

As mentioned earlier, it can be seen that Ad Hoc committees are formed in very special circumstances, which require some serious considerations. They might not necessarily be limited to a particular field of expertise or an academic branch.

However, normally, the committee participants are supposed to be experienced individuals with the required skill set that can help companies make effective decisions in a quicker manner.

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The instances as to when Ad Hoc Committee is formed mainly depends from organization to organization.

For example, for some organizations getting a legal notice might not be an irregular instance. However, some organizations might consider it critical to receive a legal notice that would require them to create an Ad hoc committee to deal with the matter at hand.

Therefore, Ad Hoc committees might not be formed on a timely basis. They are only created when there is a matter that requires special attention. This might not only be a negative issue from the perspective of the organization.

In fact, Ad Hoc committees might also be created when the business wants to achieve specific sales growth or marketing targets. In this scenario, they might hire specialized resources that will help them achieve their targets in a much more streamlined manner.

Composition of Ad Hoc Committee

There is no specific or stringent requirement as to how an Ad Hoc Committee should be structured. It can comprise any members of the committee, depending on the task at hand.

Therefore, it is entirely up to the discretion of the company’s board members (or the decision-makers) to choose how many members to include the Ad Hoc committee.

In the same manner, as far as the composition of the Ad Hoc Committee is concerned, it ideally constitutes experienced members that are able to handle the situation at hand. It is important to include members that are experienced or able enough to deal with the situation.

Hence, it mostly includes experienced personnel from within the company who are well aware of the existing issue at hand and the company’s overall strategic vision.

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However, a company might also include other external personnel (individuals who are not part of the organization) in the Ad Hoc committee.

Often, companies actually prefer hiring external specialized personnel because it gives them experience and professionalism, which might not necessarily be present in the talent pool of the company. Since it is an Ad Hoc committee, the organization might choose to hire external talent for a temporary basis, and therefore, it might not take a very deep hit on the finances of the company.

Example of Ad Hoc Committee

The concept of Ad Hoc Committee is explained in the following example:

Helen Corporation is a manufacturing concern that produces organic skincare and subsequently sells them to different retail outlets. Recently, they have received a legal notice because of apparent tax evasion. This was further escalated in the media and was a pressing cause of concern for the company.

It really tarnished the repute of the company, and the Board Members decided to meet and decide the way forward. In the board meeting, they decided to create an Ad Hoc Committee based on solving this particular issue.

In the illustration above, it can be seen that their Ad Hoc committee was formed in order to ensure that the organization was able to deal with the issue in a strategic manner.

Hence, the Ad Hoc Committee that was formed comprised seasoned and specialized accountants, taxation experts, and some media specialists that would help them strategize and make the way forward to ensure that these issues are curtailed at the earliest.

In this scenario, the main objective of the Ad Hoc Committee would be to ensure that they are able to figure out an end-to-end resolution of the issue.

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The point of having all experts is to ensure that all inputs are gathered, based on which a proper resolution can be extended. If the Ad Hoc Committee had not been formed, it would have been difficult for Helen Incorporation to find a solution to this issue faster.

Implications and Advantages of creating an Ad Hoc Committee

Creating an Ad Hoc committee might not be a regular course of action for companies. They are only designed as a temporary task force directed towards dealing with a particular problem or issue. In businesses environments, ad hoc committees are formed with a specific objective in mind.

Although companies might hesitate from establishing Ad Hoc committees, yet it proves to be advantageous for organizations on the following grounds:

  • Directed and focused approach towards a particular problem: Creating an Ad Hoc committee helps organizations address issues with a focused approach. Since Ad Hoc committees comprise of specialized team members, organizations are able to get a well-directed attempt at solving the issues.
  • Escalated resolutions: Since Ad Hoc committees are temporary task forces, they are solely created with a unanimous objective. Ad Hoc members actively work at an accelerated pace in order to make sure that the issue is resolved at the earliest. If an Ad Hoc committee is not formed, the matter might not be resolved in the given timeline.
  • Expert Opinion: Since Ad Hoc Company comprises of team members that may, or may not be part of a given organization, it gives the organization an exposure towards expert advice and opinion that is highly valuable. The organization might choose specialists in the respective fields, which are likely to deliver better results as compared to normal people with lacking experience in a given area.