Third how do core competencies integrate with other kinds of corporate

Third how do core competencies integrate with other

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Third, how do core competencies integrate with other kinds of corporate knowledge to produce particular products and services? This paper answers the first question by presenting a framework describing the internal dynamic and elements of core competencies. It answers the second by providing a usable guide to discovering them within a firm. It answers the third by describing core competencies’ place within the structure of organizational knowledge held by corporations. The authors hope that this framework, guide, and description will prove useful to corporate managers and research professionals interested in strengthening their core competencies and applying them more effectively. INTRODUCTION The construct of the core competence—sometimes called by other names such as organizational competencies or distinctive capabilities—has been widely studied (Bogner & Thomas, 1994; Fowler et. al., 2000; Lei, 2000; Leonard-Barton, 1992; Nelson & Winter, 1982; Pitt & Clarke, 1999; Post, 1997; Sanchez et. Al., 1996; Walsh & Linton, 2001; Winter, 2003), especially since the publication of Prahalad and Hamel’s influential 1990 article, “The Core Competence of the Corporation.” Since then, empirical and conceptual research on this concept has brought about many views of what these competencies are and how they can be applied to create better products and services. In general, core competencies have been seen as capabilities held by people within a firm that, when applied to create products and services, make a critical contribution to corporate competitiveness. For a more complete discussion of core competencies, see Edgar and Lockwood (2008), which reviews the core competence literature, describes their components, and identifies research that remains to be done on them. What has not been published, however, is a paper intended for intellectual leaders within corporations and their executives to help them conceptualize core competencies, discover the ones their
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62 Academy of Strategic Management Journal, Volume 10, Number 2, 2011 firms hold, and know the place of these competencies within the structure of organizational knowledge. This paper provides such direction in three ways. First, it presents a conceptual framework, drawn from previous research, for understanding the core competencies of a firm, revealing the internal dynamic and elements of the core competence. This is an initial framework and, as will be discussed later, applying it will likely lead to its revision. Second, the paper presents a useful guide for applying this framework to discover the core competencies held by a particular firm. This guide has several advantages. It draws upon numerous perspectives as to an organization’s competence. It is inexpensive to do. It also illuminates the complexity usually found within a core competence while making one comprehensible. Corporate managers and research professionals may find both the framework and the guide useful for understanding their firms’ core competencies.
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