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Introduction – the competency movement: its origins and impact on the public sector

Sylvia Horton (University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 July 2000



This introduction seeks to locate the origins of the competency management in American and British management concerns with declining international competitiveness and the need for more efficient and effective managers. It examines the distinctive American and British approaches and identifies and defines the ideas, concepts and techniques associated with competency in each country. The transfer of these ideas and practices into the public sector accompanied the spread of new public management, which has increased throughout the 1990s. The movement is now an international one prompted by both the OECD and the management consultancy industry. The process of adoption and implementation has tended to be pragmatic and ad hoc but evidence suggests it is now becoming an important vehicle for organisational cultural change. This introduction provides the backdrop for the remaining five articles in this special issue of the journal, which illustrate both developments in theory and practice of competency‐based management within public services.



Horton, S. (2000), "Introduction – the competency movement: its origins and impact on the public sector", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 306-318.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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