Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 59–75 | Cite as

Identifying and Integrating Individual Level and Organizational Level Core Competencies

  • Ryan K. Lahti


The current use of the term core competencies in business and industry results in confusion since the term is utilized in a variety of different manners. Through a review of business and psychology literature combined with the benchmarking of companies and consulting firms, this article defines two levels of core competencies. These two levels are organizational level core competencies and individual level core competencies. Additionally, this article addresses approaches for identifying, integrating and validating these two levels of core competencies and is intended to serve as a foundation for future research and discussion in relation to core competencies.


Social Psychology Social Issue Organizational Level Level Core Core Competency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education (Joint Committee). (1966). Standards for educational and psychological tests and manuals. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  2. Carrell, M. R., Elbert, N. F., & Hatfield, R. D. (1995). Human resource management: Global strategies for managing a divers work force. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Cascio, W. F. (1991). Applied psychology in personnel management. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Esque, T. J. & Gilbert, T. F. (1995, January). Making competencies pay off. Training, 32(1), 45–50.Google Scholar
  5. Franklin, J. R. (1995). A core competency approach to the management of the desktop infrastructure. Unpublished white paper. Available Internet: Scholar
  6. Gallon, M. R., Stillman, H. M., & Coates, D. (1995, May–June). Putting core competency thinking into practice. Research Technology Management, 38(3), 20–28.Google Scholar
  7. Hamel, G. & Prahalad, C. K. (1994). Competing for the future. Boston: Harvard Business School.Google Scholar
  8. Harari, O. (1994, June). The brain-based organization. Management Review, 83(6), 57–60.Google Scholar
  9. Holmes, L. & Joyce, P. (1993). Rescuing the useful concept of managerial competence: From outcomes back to process. Personnel Review, 22(6), 37–52.Google Scholar
  10. Iles, P. A. (1993). Achieving strategic coherence in HRD through competence-based management and organization development. Personnel Review, 22(6), 63–80.Google Scholar
  11. Kaplan, R. S. & Norton, D. P. (1992). The balanced scorecard—Measures that drive performance. Harvard Business Review, 70(1), 71–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Kaplan, R. S. & Norton, D. P. (1996). Strategic learning & the balanced scorecard. Planning Review, 24(5), 18–24.Google Scholar
  13. Klein, A. L. (1996, July–August). Validity and reliability for competency-based systems: Reducing litigation risks. Compensation & Benefits Review, 28(4), 31–37.Google Scholar
  14. Kravetz, D. J. (1994). Building a job competency data base to link HR activity. Unpublished manuscript. (Available from Kravetz Associates, 671 Timber Ridge Drive, Bartlett, IL 60103)Google Scholar
  15. Levine, E. L. (1983). Everything you always wanted to know about job analysis. Tampa, FL: Mariner.Google Scholar
  16. McNerney, D. J. (1995, February). “Designer” downsizing: Accent on core competencies. Hr Focus, 72(2), 1–4.Google Scholar
  17. Nunnally, J. C. & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory. (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  18. Pedhazur, E. J. & Schmelkin, L. (1991). Measurement, design, and analysis: An integrated approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  19. Prahalad, C. K. (1993, November–December). The role of core competencies in the corporation. Research Technology Management, 36(6), 40–47.Google Scholar
  20. Prahalad, C. K. & Hamel, G. (1990, May–June). The core competence of the corporation. Harvard Business Review, 68(3), 79–91.Google Scholar
  21. Quinn, J. B. (1993, September–October). Managing the intelligent enterprise. Planning Review, 21(5), 13–16.Google Scholar
  22. Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills. (1992). Skills and tasks for jobs. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  23. Sparrow, P. R. & Bognanno, M. (1994). Competency requirement forecasting: Issues for international selection and assessment. In C. Mabey & P. Iles (Eds.), Managing learning (pp. 57–69). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Spencer, L. M. & Spencer, S. M. (1993). Competence at work: Models for Superior Performance. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  25. Stewart, J. & Page, C. (1992). Competences—are they useful to trainers? Industrial and Commercial Training, 24(7), 32–35.Google Scholar
  26. Thompson, M. A., Lemaire, K. C., Jacob, T. W., Gubman, E., Abosch, K. S., Smith, B., O'Neal, S., White, M. L., Wiley, R. B., Cira, D. J., & Schoonover, S. C. (1996). The role of competencies in an integrated HR strategy. ACA Journal, 6–21.Google Scholar
  27. Thornton, G. C. (1992). Assessment centers in human resource management. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan K. Lahti
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North TexasUSA

Personalised recommendations