What is an Ad Hoc Committee?

Definition: An ad hoc committee is a group of people assembled to address a specific issue. It is a task force that deals with a particular topic.

What Does Ad Hoc Committee Mean?

These types of committees are gathered in very specific situations and they are not limited to a particular field of expertise or an academic branch. Normally, the committee’s participants are experienced individuals with sufficient skills and knowledge to address the issue professionally. By gathering a so-called “multidisciplinary team”, these committees increase the odds for a better-than-expected result to be achieved.

In business environments, ad hoc committees are normally assembled to tackle specific company issues like finances, production or marketing scenarios. External consultants, individuals with no direct work relationship with the company, are frequently summoned to attend the committee’s meetings, to provide an “outsider” perspective to the topic at hand. One key feature of these committees is that they have a due date. Since they are assembled for a specific reason, once the final expected product is produced or achieved (which could be a decision, a report or a judgment) the group should be dismantled.

Example

A company in the automobile industry is currently facing a sales problem. They have a nationwide presence but it seems that in key states, where more than 50% of the revenues are generated, the company’s sales are decreasing. After a meeting with the Board of Directors the company’s CEO decided to assemble an ad hoc committee to investigate the issue and come up with new strategies to get those states back on track.

The committee was formed by ten individuals, some of them from inside the company and others hired externally for that particular purpose. The CEO of the company chaired the meetings and handled the agenda. He also assigned the tasks to each individual according to their field of expertise. The committee’s participants consisted of four marketing experts, three economists and two sales representatives.