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Digitalization & Competence Management

A study of digitalization and competence management within the telecommunications industry

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Master Thesis


Business Administration>Management




Term Paper: The definition of competence has been widely discussed and is still an ambiguous term in academia. The use of the term dates back centuries, and Draganidis and Mentzas (2006) discussed that even the early Romans used a kind of ability analysis to control their legions. In the corporate world, the use of competency-based methods to organize people was introduced in 1970, and development has accelerated since then, leading to various definitions (ibid.). According to Mulder (2001), the definition of competence by different authors can be divided into four different groups: competence as core competence, work or task-oriented competence, competence as employer competence, and overall cluster of knowledge, skills and attitudes In addition, Mulder (2001) also pointed out that all definitions change relatively based on several related dimensions, so even in the classification they are very personal. Therefore, it is very difficult to realize common definitions and find common points in the content that can be defined as capabilities. Van Overveld and Van Goudoever (as mentioned by Mulder, 2001) reached this conclusion earlier when discussing undefined capabilities and capability management. Zemke also raised this point in Shippmann (2000), pointing out that the word "ability" has no meaning except for the individual and the specific definition with which it is talking. Mulder (2001) concluded that it is important to discuss the relative importance of different dimensions before adopting the definition of organizational capabilities, indicating the importance of adjusting the definition to the correct situation and context. Based on the above discussion, it is important to adapt to the context when choosing the definition of capability. Kööhler and Söderqvist (2016) used the following definition of ability. According to them, the definition is consistent with scholars in the field: "Competence is an individual ability. It includes a combination of skills, knowledge, and behavioral abilities. It enables a person to Be able to perform in an irrelevant and meaningful way for a specific purpose in each role or situation.". Skills represent the ability to perform specific things. To use skills, one needs a certain amount of knowledge (Kööhler and Söderqvist, 2016). Knowledge represents the cognition or theoretical understanding of a subject. Behavioral competence characterizes a person's inner attributes and acts in different ways according to the context (Kööhler and Söderqvist, 2016). However, as Janjua et al (2012) said, without a classification framework that leads to proper decomposition, it is difficult to conceptualize and gain a common understanding of the concept of competence. 2.2 Competence management The management of competence in a company is usually referred to as competence management. Its purpose is to determine the key knowledge that employees or companies must possess in order to achieve established goals (Draganidis and Mentzas, 2006). From an organizational point of view, competency management involves planning, evaluating, and implementing initiatives to ensure that the capabilities of employees and the company meet organizational goals (Nordhaug, citing Hustad and Munkvold 2005). According to Davenport and Prusak (quoted from Hustad and Munkvold, 2005), management capabilities are becoming more and more important for companies that want to maintain innovation and maintain a competitive advantage. In addition, Borghoff and Pareschi (citing Hustad and Munkvold, 2005) show that the growth of globalization observed in recent years means greater competition in an increasingly active market. However, globalization also makes more use of the capabilities of the global company's workforce. This means increased collaboration opportunities and higher capacity utilization within the organization (Borghoff and Pareschi, as cited in Hustad and Munkvold, 2005). In addition, applicable to individuals, the purpose of competency management is to diagnose the current competence and proficiency of employees, and from there to improve the individual's competence (Draganidis and Mentzas, 2006). This is usually done through a skills gap analysis, which defines the gap between an employee’s ability and the ability the organization needs to perform according to its job role. Job roles are usually the core components of competency management. They describe the tasks that individuals within the organization should perform (Lawler and Ledford, 1992). Lindgren et al (2003) believe that the motivation for personal development of ability is often based on the individual's own interests, which is very important from the perspective of ability management. Hustad and Munkvold (2005) pointed out that capacity management is usually promoted through capacity management systems, usually through information technology (IT) systems. In many cases, these systems involve functions ranging from information distribution to basic capability process automation. This also provides self-service options for employees and potential new hires, such as evaluating and maintaining resumes (Hustad and Munkvold, 2005). Building and using flexible IT systems can extend the capabilities of capacity management beyond traditional information storage and retrieval (Alavi and Leidner, 2001). Several authors discussed the different principles behind competency management systems in their papers (Lindgren et al., 2004; Simon, 2010; Draganidis and Mentzas, 2006). Read Less