Augmenting Research Competencies for Management Graduates

Augmenting Research Competencies for Management Graduates

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3485-3.ch003
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Research and research competencies are usually discussed in context. Research is recognised as an important facet of development both social and economic. In fact, the progress of mankind rests heavily on the velocity of research. But the term ‘research' and competencies to do research are mostly seen in context to science and arts discipline graduates more often and at the most fancifully in social sciences, but much lesser seen in context to management discipline. Hence, this aims to bring out the need to enhance research competencies with focus on management graduates. After all, if organizations have to become sustainable and be governed in a more ethical manner, there is need to shift the thinking from management education is only to create managers but to also thinkers and researchers who will be able to illuminate newer and better ways of organizational growth and thereby the societal development.
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“Competency” is “an acquired personal skill that is demonstrated in [one’s] ability to provide a consistently adequate or high level of performance in a specific job function.”1 However, competency mapping models and theories of human aptitude, intelligence quotient, emotional quotient and in general everything that relates to human behaviour regarding work, logic and emotions dates back to early 16th century. It was during that time, Chanakya, well-known royal adviser and prime minister from Vedic India, penned a famous book known as the Arthashastra, which is probably the first book on competency mapping (Kangle, 1969). Chanakya was a scholar, teacher and guardian of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya at Takshashila (Mabbett, 1964). Arthashastra (Sanskrit: अर्थशास्त्र: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy, written in Sanskrit (Boesche, 2002; Siva Kumar and Rao, 1996). According to Boyatzis (1982, competency refers to a capacity that exists in a person that leads to behavior that meets the job demands within parameters of organizational environment, and that, in turn brings about desired results. Thus, a competency is an underlying characteristic of an individual that is related to effective performance in a job or situation. For common understanding the terms are defined below:

  • Competency: A person–related concept that refers to the dimension of behavior lying behind competent performer.

  • Competence: A set of knowledge, skills and attitudes required to perform a job effectively and efficiently.

Thus, a competency is something that describes how a job might be done excellently and only describes what has to be done, not how. Core competency is something which cannot be copied and it is the pillar upon which individual rest. However, competence or competencies refer to skills, knowledge both explicit and tacit and the capabilities that is inclusive of human and behaviour dimension required for proficiency and excellent performance.

According to Raven & Stephenson (2001), individuals must demonstrate general competence in the following four areas:

  • Meaning Competence: Understanding the culture of the organization and acting in accordance

  • Relation Competence: Creating and maintaining connections with stakeholders of the tasks or organization

  • Learning Competence: Identifying solutions to tasks and reflecting on experiences so that what is learned improves the next task completed

  • Change Competence: Acting in new ways when the task or situation calls for it

Ashworth and Saxton (1990) explain that framing competencies as an outcome can ignore the mental and personal processes that are utilized in developing and exhibiting skills and utilizing knowledge. Some idiosyncratic competencies that can assist a person in being successful in their job or contributing to the competitiveness of an organization may be overlooked if the competency model solely is used to strategically select only staff that fit this model and do not rely on developmental resources to facilitate acquisition of competencies where a gap exists (Lado & Wilson, 1994; Lado, Boyd, & Wright, 1992).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Decision-Making: A rational and logical process of choosing the best alternative or course of action among the available options.

Management Education: The act or process of imparting or acquiring knowledge to develop the members of the executive or administration of an organization or business, managers or employers collectively, or train in the techniques, practice, or science of managing, controlling or dealing, in the skillful or resourceful use of materials, time, etc.

Competence: Refers to the capacity of individuals/ employees to act in a wide variety of situations. It’s their education, skills, experience, energy and their attitudes that will make or break the relationships with the customers and the products or services that are provided.

Creative: Ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. It includes originality, progressiveness, or imagination.

Process: A systematic series of actions directed to some end, it is a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner. A natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result, a natural progressively continuing operation or development marked by a series of gradual changes that succeed one another in a relatively fixed way and lead toward a particular result or end. A process is thus a series of progressive and interdependent steps by which an end is attained.

Motivation: The act or an instance of motivating, arousing desire to do, creating interest or drive by incentive or inducement. It is also a psychological that arouses, sustains and regulates human behaviour.

Research: Diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications, etc.

Learning: Knowledge acquired by systematic study in any field, scholarly application or the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill.

Challenges: Something that by its nature or character serves as a call to make special effort, a demand to explain, justify, or difficulty in a undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.

Academics: The scholarly activities of a school or university, of or relating to a college, academy, school or higher education institution, especially one for higher education.

Knowledge: The fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association, acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique, the range of one’s information or understanding, the circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning or the fact or condition of having information or of being learned. Knowledge is acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition, familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning including acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, research or report.

Individual Competence: Refers to the capacity of individuals/employees to act in a wide variety of situations. It’s their education, skills, experience, energy and their attitudes that will make or break the relationships with the customers and the products or services that are provided.

Globalization: Worldwide integration and development, the process enabling financial and investment markets to operate internationally, largely as a result of deregulation and improved communications.

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