Competencies in the 21st century

Richard E. Boyatzis (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 4 January 2008



The purpose of this paper is to show that development of competencies needed to be effective managers and leaders requires program design and teaching methods focused on learning. This is the introductory essay to this special issue of JMD.


Competencies are defined and an overview is provided for the eight papers that will follow with original research on competencies, their link to performance in various occupations, and their development.


Emotional, social and cognitive intelligence competencies predict effectiveness in professional, management and leadership roles in many sectors of society. In addition, these competencies can be developed in adults.

Research limitations/implications

As an introductory essay, this lays the foundation for the papers in this issue.

Practical implications

Competencies needed to be effective can be developed.


Despite widespread application, there are few published studies of the empirical link between competencies and performance. There are even fewer published studies showing that they can be developed. This special issue will add to both literatures.



Boyatzis, R.E. (2008), "Competencies in the 21st century", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 5-12.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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