Competency Framework for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Competency Framework for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Mustafa Kemal Topcu (ST Strategy and Technology Development LLC, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9810-7.ch002
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Today's business environment is described with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. In order for organizations to survive in the fourth industrial revolution characterized by continuously changing resulted from digital transformation and technological development, it is critical to identify a vision, to attract qualified human resources, to motivate them, to allocate resources to complete the mission, and to speed activities up to achieve the desired end state. It is of great significance to analyze the organization and create a competency framework to harbor all relevant steps to move the organization further. Therefore, this study aims at drawing attention to competency framework for the Industry 4.0 environment. There is no doubt that a standard competency framework for the fourth revolution may not be proposed. However, as a starting point, a generalized competency framework is proposed as a sample for further conceptual and empirical studies.
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Competency as a concept was first introduced by White (1959) in the United States of America to describe attributes leading to high performance and motivation of employees. According to the researcher, competency is interaction of an individual with the work environment. By supporting the researcher with empirical studies, McClelland (1973, 1998) developed competency measurement model still in use. Inadequacy of psychometric scales to measure individual performance and that of using job descriptions to manage performance result in employing competency models (PAHRODF, 2017). Nonetheless, as Barrett and Depinet (1991) state, there is not enough evidence that McClelland’s model produces useful results. On the other hand, the model became more common by 1990s after the efforts of Boyatzis (Rothwell & Lindholm, 1999; Cardy & Selvarajan, 2006). To this end, competencies are considered untrivial factor for sustainable competitive advantage of the organizations (Campbell & Sommers Luchs, 1997; Nadler & Tushman, 1999). Thus, we may describe competence as a concept introducing a holistic approach to use workforce, knowledge, and technology effectively and interactively. Likewise, job-based learning urges organizations to analyse, plan, and conduct human capital of the organizations with a better understanding of competencies. In short, competency may be defined as everything to achieve better results in efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. So, competency is the total of the factors that distinguish the best from the rest at a given work environment (Monk, 2001, p. 47). However, there are some studies identifying competency as a skill or an ability (for instance; Boyatzis & Sala, 2004). To this end, we may contend that competency comprises behaviours, attitudes, and knowledge providing reliable high performance. And we may widely describe competency as a guiding tool including knowledge, abilities, personal attributes, and behaviours contributing to achieving strategic goals of the company (Gangani et al., 2006; Dessler, 2007; Petersen et al., 2011).

Accordingly, competency based human resources management is fed by individual differences, industrial psychology, leadership researches, and job analyses. Besides, contemporary work environment is much more different than the past and is ever changing faster than expected. The fourth industrial revolution is organization of life cycle of a product from customer requirements through recycling following delivery to the end user (Prifti et al., 2017). The aim of the fourth industrial revolution is efficient, flexible, and customized production by means of digitally decentralized controls, self-organized supply chains, and fully automated factories by real-time and sensor technologies (Kagermann et al., 2013; Gebhardt et al., 2015). Therefore, the workforce is anticipated to comprehend the processes, connection along the networks, digitalization, and data collection and utilisation (Ras et al., 2017). By digital transformation and technological development, business environment is continuously changing leading to changes in competencies business world would like to employ. As Longo and his colleagues (2017) state, employees are required to be more flexible and to display adaptive capabilities in this dynamic working environment. The tasks they work on are getting less routine and ask for continuous knowledge and skills development (Ras et al., 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Managerial Competencies: Managerial positions and manager candidates awaited to have managerial competencies covering organization specific processes for organizational success.

Functional Competencies: Competencies required for excellence regarding working style.

VUCA: Acronym stands for volatility, uncertainty, complex, and ambiguity.

Competence: Knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as personal attributes and motivational factors for higher performance workers.

Competency: A guiding tool including knowledge, abilities, distinguished personal attributes, and behaviours for higher performance contributing to achieving strategic goals of the company.

Core Competencies: Competencies asked from all people in the organization irrespective of their statute and position, ranging blue-collar workers to top management.

Competency Framework: A belief that one's own culture is superior to other cultures.

Competency-Based Human Resources Management: The belief that family is central to well-being and that family members and family issues take precedence over other aspects of life.

21st Century Skills: UN declares 21 st century skills as: creativity and innovation; critical thinking, problem solving, decision making; learning to learn; communication; collaboration (teamwork); information literacy; ICT literacy; citizenship (local and global); life and career; and personal and social responsibility including cultural awareness and competence.

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