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The development of a competency model and its implementation in a power utility cooperative: an action research study

LeAnn Brown (Department of Management, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA)
Babu George (Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA)
Candace Mehaffey-Kultgen (Department of Management, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 12 February 2018

Issue publication date: 20 February 2018

1191

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to trace the development of a competency model in a medium-scale power utility company located in the Midwest USA.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is developed based on insights drawn from the literature, company documents, and primary interviews with the key company stakeholders. The research process was carried out according to the guidelines of action research methodology.

Findings

Competencies required for employees were identified and operationally defined. Existing competencies were inventoried and superimposed on the required competencies. Gaps in competency presence and proficiency levels were noticed. The competencies required for effective performance were distributed across different levels in the hierarchy, according to the competency needs of each hierarchical level.

Practical implications

Attempts to tie these competencies to employee selection, succession planning, performance appraisal, training need assessment, leadership development, etc., are currently ongoing. The case company has also initiated a competency-driven leadership development process. Possible adaptations of this model for similarly placed companies in other sectors are discussed.

Originality/value

This is an original case study based on primary data, conducted as action research.

Keywords

Citation

Brown, L., George, B. and Mehaffey-Kultgen, C. (2018), "The development of a competency model and its implementation in a power utility cooperative: an action research study", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 50 No. 3, pp. 123-135. https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-11-2017-0087

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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