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Competences: measuring the unmeasurable

David Robotham (Doctoral Researcher and Visiting Lecturer in HRM, Wolverhampton Business School, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
Richard Jubb (Doctoral Researcher, both at Wolverhampton Business School, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Management Development Review

ISSN: 0962-2519

Article publication date: 1 September 1996



Explains that the concept of competences is being used widely in the sphere of management development as a means for measuring the performance of individuals. This growth in use has taken place without establishing exactly what organizations are referring to when using the term “competence”. There has also been an assumption that competence can be measured. It is suggested that, given the wide range of activities which the term “management” can be said to encompass, it may be inappropriate to define management in terms of a limited range of activities. The competence approach also implies that the type of lists of skills developed is a correct list which can be applied in different industries. Given that there is no such thing as a generic manager, but rather individuals who are effective in different sectors, the competence approach would appear to be fundamentally flawed.



Robotham, D. and Jubb, R. (1996), "Competences: measuring the unmeasurable", Management Development Review, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 25-29.




Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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