To read this content please select one of the options below:

Specification of core competence and associated components: A proposed model and a case illustration

Urban Ljungquist (Växjö University, Växjö, Sweden)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 18 January 2008




To outline a core competence model by exploring links between core competence and the associated concepts of competencies, capabilities, and resources, and by proposing refinements to the characteristics of these concepts.


A case study based primarily on personal interviews.


The findings suggest that competencies, capabilities, and resources are all linked to core‐competencies; the first two continuously, and the third intermittently; motivate refinement of the competence concept, by adding adaptation competence as governing customer loyalty, and transfer competence as managing transcendental integration; and motivate refinement of the capability concept, by adding capacity as a quality characteristic, and communication as a characteristic that can actively initiate organizational change.

Research limitations/implications

The paper outlines a core competence model and propose refinements of the characteristics and links of the concepts, contributing to both core competence theory and resource‐based theory.

Practical implications

This work informs managers of the details of the core competence concept, of particular interest to managers with a customer‐focused standpoint. An empirical core competence exemplifies the importance of knowing the characteristics of competencies, since they encapsulate the power of organizational development. Managers also need to pay attention to the influences of capabilities, since they not only support organizational processes (if up‐to‐date), but also initiate change.


The development and specification of the core competence concept.



Ljungquist, U. (2008), "Specification of core competence and associated components: A proposed model and a case illustration", European Business Review, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 73-90.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles