Inderscience Publishers

Competencies management in knowledge-based firms

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As people are called to transform data, information and past experiences into effective knowledge, the management of individual competencies will become more and more important in knowledge-based firms. This paper presents both theoretical and practical aspects concerning the management of competencies, based on a seven-year field research conducted in a large R&D firm. The main conclusions of the research are: 1) competencies are constructed by organisational members who interact through natural language; 2) it is impossible to separate the act of competencies' identification from the act of evaluation; 3) relevant competencies emerge from explanation discourses delivered by observers in the attempt to justify their judgement about the performance of an individual within given situations; 4) it is possible, by means of fuzzy logic, to design evaluation support systems (ESS) of competencies by analysing explanation discourses. These assumptions are particularly suitable for organisations operating in a turbulent context, where competencies frequently change.

Keywords: evaluation systems, individual competencies, knowledge

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