Are there certain areas in which you excel? Math? Engine repair? Technology? Cooking? These may be among your core competencies—things you are especially good at. Companies have core competencies, too and it’s likely that you have encountered the idea of core competencies in your organization. Although companies are typically seen as collections of business units, the idea of core competency allows companies to be seen as collections of basic abilities, which are essential for existing products and product lines and represent the abilities of the organization to create future products or services.
Essentially, a core competency must be a bundle of skills or collective learning, that:
- The company is unique in doing, or nearly unique.
- Contributes to a product or service that customers consider valuable.
- Is extendable into other product lines.
Core competencies are crucial for innovation because they are what differentiate one company from another. With reference to the Abernathy and or other models, core competencies are necessary for successful change within an organization as the industry ages. Previously, core competencies primarily applied to manufacturing operations. Today especially, they also apply to service industries where they are sometimes more difficult to identify. The acquisition of core competencies must be part of the long-term planning for a corporation.
Different core competencies will be required by companies as their industry progresses through phases and shifts its emphasis between product and process innovations.
Organizations are organic with vague and changing work roles and reporting structures and a high level of lateral communication. In the Fluid phase, the only companies that can enter and compete are those with competencies that allow them to innovate with particular technologies related to the product. There is limited innovation to processes early in the fluid phase, but this does begin to increase.
Although early personal computers varied widely in features and performance, consumers came to expect that a personal computer would have a hard drive, a monitor, a keyboard, a CPU of some minimum speed, and a certain amount of memory. In response to the established expectations, the various designs of companies converge to satisfy the marketplace expectations. By this interplay, a dominant design emerges. Following the emergence of the dominant design, creativity related to product design is focused on incremental changes.
Activity: Core Competencies Paper
Core competencies are examined in order to recognize their transience and the need to continually appraise them and make adjustments. Writing this paper will familiarize you with the selected company’s products or services and how the core competencies affect planning and operations.
- Prepare a four- to six-page paper identifying the core competencies of either the Kmart/Sears.
- The paper should contain three sections identified below.
- Profile the company
- Define what is meant by core competencies.
- Identify those of the given company.
- Explain how the company has or has not evolved in today’s global market with respect to its core competencies.
- Include a bibliography (set of references) for the research (not included in page count).
- Your personal thoughts on:
- The theory of core competencies.
- The core competencies of the company you researched.
- The knowledge gained from doing this assignment.