Competencies for building performance excellence: a study in a fertilizer unit.

AuthorRao, Gudivada Venkat

Competency has a wide meaning and includes knowledge, abilities, skills and behavior exhibited in accomplishing a task. Competency mapping is a tool for mapping the competencies required for executing roles or jobs. The identification and fixing of competencies differ according to the nature of the organization. This paper examines the current practice in a fertilizer company operating at level 4. The methodology for calculation of gap in the required proficiency level is scrupulously discussed. The proficiency gap is a useful metric for the organization to formulate its development and competitive strategies. The level wise approach is adopted for calculating the competency gap in the fertilizer unit.


Human resource management is a distinctive approach to employment management and seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce using an array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques (Isthiak Uddin et. al., 2012). The term competency was introduced and popularized by David McClelland (1973). The ability to deploy the skills is precedence to maximize human capacities, utilization and generate revenue. In future, skill mapping through proper HRM initiatives will be the trend, as highly skilled and knowledge based jobs are increasing. Indian organizations are also witnessing a change in systems, internal cultures and philosophy due to the global alignment. The multi-skilling environment requires redesigning of jobs and redefining of roles. These roles form the important sources for identifying the competencies of the organization. Competency mapping is a way of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of an employee or an organization. Competency mapping has a wide variety of applications in managing and compensating the best in the organization. The organizational strengths in areas like teamwork, leadership, and decision-making can be further developed as core competencies of the organization.

In view of its importance and potential, many global and domestic organizations are using and applying competency based technique to combine the strengths of different employees to produce the highest quality work. This type of assessment can help them prepare for a career change or advancement in a specific job field. The capabilities have to match with the capacity to attain the desired outcome (Boyatzis, 1982). Further, building of core competencies is a key corporate strategy for organization's development and competitive advantage.

Theoretical Review

Competency mapping is a process through which one assesses and determines one's strengths as an individual worker and as part of an organization (Ishtiak Uddin et al, 2012). Competency mapping includes behavioral components related to two areas:

* Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ)

* Human relational and decision-making.

Organizations employ competency mapping to understand the employee strengths for deployment at workplace. Competency mapping is also an effective tool to analyze the combination of strengths in different workers to produce the most effective teams and the highest quality work. Quinn Faerman, Thompson, and McGrath (1990) indicated that competencies were associated with knowledge and skills for implementing certain assignments or projects effectively. Spencer and Spencer (1993) similarly defined competency as a characteristic of an individual that is causally related to criterion-referenced effective and/or superior performance in a job or situation. Parry (1998) defines competency as a cluster of related knowledge, skills and attitudes that affects a major part of one's job that correlates with performance on the job that can be measured against well-accepted standards and that can be improved via training and development.

The components of competency are knowledge, understanding, skills, attitude and other characteristics like motives, values, trait, self concept (Knowles, 1975). Competencies are the measureable skills, knowledge and attitude. Knowledge is awareness, understanding and information of facts, events and is a cognitive competency. Knowledge by itself is not...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT