CONCEPT is used as an umbrella under




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activities and skills judged
essential to performthe duties of a specific position (Tas, 1988, p. 41).
Competencies specify the how to perform a job tasks, or what the person needs
to do the job successfully.

A brief
overview of the definition of managerial competencies Perhaps CH. Woodruff
defined this problem the best, when in his article: What is meant by a
competency he  claims that managerial
competence is used as an umbrella under which everything fits, what may
directly or indirectly relate to job performance. He defines it as “a set
of employee behaviors that must be used for the position that the tasks arising
from this position competently mastered.” According to him, the competent
manager must fulfill three basic conditions at the same time to fulfill their

are to:

1.  possess the knowledge, skills and abilities,
which are needed to this behavior,

2.  be motivated to this behavior and be willing
to spend the necessary energy,

3.  have the possibility use this behavior in
business environments.( Kubeš, M., Spillerová, D.&Kurnický, R., 2004).

understanding the concept of managerial competence and its the practical use,
the best contribution is from Boyatzis, R. E.( 1982). , According to him managerial
competence consists of two components, which are different from each other. One
of them is a task that is necessary to fulfill and the second are the skills
that workers must have to fulfill the role at the required level. In other
words, we distinguish between what we do and what behavior is needed to fulfill
the task in an excellent way.

Whiddett and S. Hollyford .( 2003), define managerial competencies as
“sets of behaviors that enable individuals demonstrate the effective
performance of tasks within the organization.”

 N. Rankin says that “competencies are
essentially the definition of expected performance, which should as a whole
provide a complete picture of the most valuable behavior, values and roles
required for the success of the organization.”

 ARMSTRONG,M. & STEPHENS,T.( 2008).  perceive the managerial competence as: ?
“any individual characteristic that can be measured or counted reliably
and that can demonstrate significant distinction between effective and ineffective
performance”  ?  “basic skill and have facility needed
for good work performance”  ?  “all personal traits related to the
work, knowledge, skills and values which encourage people  to doing their job well?.

Hroník(2007).  He defines a managerial
competence as a “bunch of knowledge, skills, experience and
characteristic, which support the achievement of the objective.”

 F. Krontorád and M. Tr?ka(2005), define the
concept of managerial competence as “a combination of knowledge, skills,
abilities and behaviors that an employee uses in carrying out their work and
they are critical to achieving results which are consistent with the strategic
goals of the organization.

  According to Lojda J, (2011), managerial
competence is “the ability of the person (employee) to perform the job, to
the required extent and desired quality of a particular job or activity.”
Managerial competencies also reflect the ability to flexibly react to the
changing conditions. In life, we encounter situations where workers are not
aware of their managerial competencies, however they take the view that they
have these competencies, even if they do not. The authors of this article
argues that managerial competence perceive the ability, which effectively
raises the characteristic behavior of the manager, whose results can be
achieved above average performance for the manager position. 

10 begin with, the word
“competencies”  today is a term
that has no meaning apart from the particular 
definition with whom one is speaking (Zemke, 1982). Some examples of
efforts to define the term from SMEs representing  each of the groups in the sampling plan

•  “The  knowledge, 
skills, and attributes  that  differentiate   high per- formers from average

“Competencies  are not
fundamentally  different  from  traditionally
defined  KSAOs (i.e., knowledge, skills,
abilities, and other  charac- teristics

• It is a construct that helps “define level of skill
and knowledge.”

•  “Observable,
behavioral capabilities that are important for perform- ing key
responsibilities of a role or job.”

•  “Mishmash  of knowledge, skills, and abilities and job
performance requirements.”

•  “I
can’t.” Some of the more 
frequently  cited definitions  from 
the literature include:

•  A mixture  of knowledge, 
skills, abilities, 
motivation,  beliefs,  val- ues, and interests (Fleishman, Wetrogen,
Uhlman, & Marshall-Mies, 1995).

•  A knowledge, skill,
ability, or characteristic  associated
with high performance on a job (Mirabile, 1997).

•  A combination  of motives, traits, self-concepts,
attitudes  or values, content knowledge
or cognitive behavior skills; any individual char- acteristic that can be
reliably measured  or counted  and that can be shown to differentiate  superior from average performers  (Spencer, McClelland, & Spencer, 1994).

•  A written
description of measurable work habits and personal  skills used to achieve work objectives
(Green,  1999).Again, these definitions
were extracted from a number of different sources:

A cluster of related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and
skills that enable a person (or an organization) to act effectively in a job or

Competencies refer to skills or knowledge that lead to
superior performance.

Measurable skills, abilities and personality traits that
identify successful employees against defined roles within an organisation

A competency is more than just knowledge and skills. 
It involves the ability to meet complex demands, by drawing on and mobilising
psychosocial resources (including skills and attitudes) in a particular

A measurable pattern of knowledge, skills, abilities,
behaviours, and other characteristics that an individual needs to perform work
roles or occupational functions successfully.

Competencies, therefore, may incorporate a skill, but are
MORE than the skill, they include abilities and behaviours, as well as
knowledge that is fundamental to the use of a skill.


The rise of knowledge on economy and socio-economic
transformation of the societies have led knowledge to be the fundamental means
of wealth and prosperity (Drucker, 1993; Hope and Hope 1997; Bozbura, 2007).
From the business perspective, knowledge seems to be a key factor for
organizations’ success in the long run (Mansell and When, 1998; Stewart, 2001;
Tat and Hase, 2007). Due to that, leveraging the knowledge resources
effectively and efficiently appears to be a vital issue in order to gain the
competitive advantage and to ensure the sustainable development for the
societies, as well as for the organizations (Nonaka, 1998; Davenport and
Prusak, 1998; Storey and Barnett, 2000). 
In the knowledge economies, there is a shift from task-based approaches
to competency-based approaches. Therefore, the popularity of competency
management systems has gained a special concern both from practitioners and
academicians (Clardy, 2008). Competency management can contribute to
organizations knowledge base and increase the knowledge utilization capability
of an organization. Hence, it became an important research object in the more
general area of knowledge management and is often integrated with learning
management systems (Draganidis and Mentas, 2006).  Recent studies in this field, clarified that
individual competency management is an area of research attracting efforts to
leverage personal development, knowledge generation (Abou-Zeid, 2002),
development (Bhatt, 2000), sharing (Sveiby, 2001), and utilization (Bender and
Fish, 2000), organizational learning, innovation and effectiveness (Malhotra,

 In addition to being
regarded as a focal point for planning, organizing, integrating and improving
all aspects of knowledge management and human resource development systems.
Competency management modeling is also regarded as an approach focused on
improving organizational performance. The main objective of this study is to
compose a useful individual competency model in services industries based on
the “ranking model” of employee competencies, which consists of three major
dimensions: core competencies, managerial competencies and functional
(task-related) competencies (Stephen and Uhles, 2012).  Secondly, this study aimed to analyze the
effects of aforementioned dimensions of competencies to individual and
organizational performance. Based on the provided data, 2679 questionnaires
collected from 30 different companies of services industries in Turkey. The
data analysis indicate that, there is a positive linear correlation between
aforesaid key dimensions of competencies and both individual and organizational

There is a variety of research that clarify the relationship
between competencies and employees’ job (task) performance (McClelland, 1973;
Liu, 200; Dainty, 2004; Levenson, 2006; Ryan,, 2009). For example,
findings of’s (2009) study demonstrate the suitability and
potential usefulness of their competency-based model that reflects elements of
both performance behaviors and outcomes in predicting the performance.
Similarly, there are other research (Ryan, 2009; Spencer, 2008)
highlighting the validity and utility of competencies in predicting employees’
work performance.  Furthermore, there are
studies that indicate the affects of certain competencies on individual job
performance. For example Qiao and Wang, (2009) suggest that team-building,
communication; coordination, execution and continual learning are critical
competencies for the success of middle managers in China. Likewise, there
empirical evidences indicating the relationship between competencies such as
HRM (Fleury and Fleury 2005; Liu,, 2005; Collings, 2010, Anwar,, 2012), leadership (Clark and Armit, 2010; Asree, et. al, 2010; Pereira
and Gomez, 2012).  The relationship
between individual competencies and organizational performance is also stated.
However, there are less empirical evidences found in this issue (Levenson,, 2006, Ryan, 2009; Gammie and Joyce, 2009).  On the other side, despite the increasing
tendency in using competency models, there are still some confusion and
skepticism about the relation between competencies and performance. These are
mainly because of the difficulties in assessment of competencies (Currie and
Darby, 1995) and the complex and lengthy process required for identifying the
appropriate competency performance relationship (Vakola, et. al., 2007). In
addition to that organizational performance has many dimensions, yet it is not
easy to connect individual competencies to organizational performance (Liu, et.
al., 2005; Vakola 2007).

The concept of “competency” is a confusing term and
particularly mixed up with “skill”. It is mainly because different terms have
often been used interchangeably. From the management perspective, competencies
are defined by two main streams: organizational or personal. Human Resource
Management (HRM) literature focuses on the individual competencies. McClelland
(1973) used the term as a symbol for an alternative approach to traditional
intelligence testing. According to author, competence is a characteristic trait
of a person that is related to superior performance and a demonstration of
particular talents in practice and application of knowledge required to perform
a job. Boyatzis (2008) also analyzed managerial competencies and defined
competencies as an underlying characteristic of a person that could be a
motive, trait, skill, aspect of one’s self-image, social role, or a body of
knowledge which he or she uses. These characteristics are revealed in
observable and identifiable patterns of behavior, related to job performance
and usually include knowledge, skill and abilities. In another definition,
competencies are specified as a mean of ‘being able to perform a work role to a
defined standard with reference to real working environments’. It is generally
seen as “a cluster of related knowledge, skills, and attitudes that affects a
major part of one’s job (a role or responsibility), that correlates with
performance on the job, that can be measured against wellaccepted standards,
and that can be improved via training and development” (Özçelik and Ferman,
2006). Dingle (1995), adds awareness to this definition. According to Dingle,
competence is a combination of knowledge, skill and awareness. In this
definition, knowledge refers to the understanding of fundamental principles
required to accomplish the task in hand, skill refers to the application of
this understanding and awareness refers to the proper application of skill, in
accordance with professional and corporate “good practice”. In addition, Pate (2003), distinguish individual competencies from the epistemological
standpoint as rationalist and objectivist. From rationalist perspective,
competence is a specific set of attributes used in performing a job. In
rationalist perspective there is a distinction between job and worker. Thus,
job oriented side of competence is associated with characteristics of high
performing employee such as motives traits and social skills that can be
learned through education, experience or vocational training. Task oriented
aspect of competence, on the contrary, deals with the behavior of particular
individuals and how they act in organizational environment. From the
subjectivist perspective, worker and work are considered as one entity.
Accordingly, competency is composed of a person’s experiences and personality
combined with job related factors that stem from formal and informal organization.
Hence, this approach focuses on the interaction between the individual and the
job, thereby, taking into account what the individual brings to the job and the
characteristics of the job itself.

Behavioural Competencies       
Life skills are problem solving behaviours used appropriately and responsibly
in the management of personal affairs.  They are a set of human skills
acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and
questions commonly encountered in daily human life.  Examples are:
Communication, Analytical Ability, Problem Solving, Initiative, etc.


There are nine behavioural competencies,splitinto three overarching groups: Working withOthers, Delivering
Results and Focusing on the
Future. Eachcompetency has a descriptor to give
an overview of whatitmeans.
Each of the overarching areas contains three
competencies, each split into four levels
of achievement.

Functional (or Technical) Competencies         
Functional Competencies relate to functions, processes, and roles within the
organisation and include the knowledge of, and skill in the exercise of,
practices required for successful accomplishment of a specific job or
task.  Examples are: Application Systems Development, Networking and
Communication, Database Analysis and Design, etc.

Professional Competencies               
Professional competencies are competencies that allow for success in an
organisational context.  They are the accelerators of performance or – if
lacking in sufficient strength and quality – are the reason people fail to
excel in jobs.  Examples are: Business Environment, Industry and
Professional Standards, Negotiation, People Management, etc.

TheOECDproposesthreecategories ofcompetenciesneeded tooperatesuccessfullyinthe
knowledge economy:

?         Actingautonomously:buildingandexercisingasenseofself,makingchoicesandactinginthe context ofa
largerpicture,beingoriented towardthefuture,beingaware oftheenvironment,
determiningand executingalife plan, planningandcarryingoutpersonal projects.

?         Usingtoolsinteractively:usingtoolsasinstrumentsforanactivedialogue;beingawareofnew

?  Functioninginsociallyheterogeneousgroups:beingabletointeracteffectivelywithotherpeople, includingthosefromdifferentbackgrounds;recognizingthesocial
individuals; creatingsocialcapital;beingabletorelatewelltoothers,tocooperate,andtomanageand resolveconflict.