This paper investigates the position that management “competencies”, and particularly those associated with “high‐performance”, can be identified, objectified and “made public” in such a way that they can be used in management selection, development and performance management. It argues that attempts to do this are overly simplistic and ultimately meaningless. Using two examples from the many managers interviewed as part of a wider research programme, the paper proposes that “high‐performance” is constructed and negotiated by managers within the specific contexts in which they operate. There are, in effect, no competencies that are truly general, but only competencies that are context‐specific. The use of qualitative techniques allows us to explore the rich detail of constructed “high‐performance” and moves beyond the limited “lists” that are ubiquitously reproduced in the management literature.
McKenna, S. (2002), "Can knowledge of the characteristics of “high performers” be generalised?", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 21 No. 9, pp. 680-701. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621710210441676Download as .RIS
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