Competencies and Capabilities: A Comparative Review and Synthesis

  • Cahiers de recherche; 1997.19
Publication date1997

The recent surge of interest in resource-based theory has led to a proliferation of research on firm competencies and capabilities. Both concepts have found a very receptive audience among both management scholars and practitioners. The arrival of new scholarly contributions at an increasing pace, combined with their application to a wider range of topics, has caused a considerable loss of terminological clarity and conceptual integrity. With the intention of clearing up some of the resulting confusion, this paper provides an extensive review of the literature. Distinctive competence emerges as a conceptual platform for more recent approaches. The concept refers to particular configurations of functional capabilities that provide customer value and competive differentiation. Core competence is defined as a result of corporatewide organizational learning in technologicla and manufacturing-related areas. The concept focuses on organizational mechanisms to protect and leverage existing resources which - when properly managed - are supposed to provide sustainable competive advantage. Organizational capabilities are described as corporatewide processes which cut across functions. As coordinating mechanisms they govern the interaction of resources, people and knowledge. The dynamic capabilities approach adds a particular focus on the process of innovation and upgrading of competencies in dynamic competitive environments. Based on the relevant literature, comprehensive definitions for each of the three approaches are provided. A final section identifies common themes and distinguishing features nd provides an integrative framework

Citation (ISO format)
RAUB, Steffen Pascal. Competencies and Capabilities: A Comparative Review and Synthesis. 1997
  • PID : unige:5914

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