Lesson 9: Competence (human resources)

Lesson 9: Competence (human resources)

Competence (or competency) is the ability of an individual to do a job properly. A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees. The term “competence” first appeared in an article authored by R.W. White in 1959 as a concept for performance motivation. Later, in 1970, Craig C. Lundberg defined the concept in “Planning the Executive Development Program”. The term gained traction when in 1973, David McClelland, Ph.D. wrote a seminal paper entitled, “Testing for Competence Rather than for Intelligence”. It has since been popularized by one-time fellow McBer & Company (Currently the “Hay Group”) colleague Richard Boyatzis and many others, such as T.F. Gilbert (1978) who used the concept in relationship to performance improvement. Its use varies widely, which leads to considerable misunderstanding.

 

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