Workplace Competence: integrating social and personal perspectives
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Understanding what constitutes workplace competence stands a key concern for those who rely on and aim to develop and/or sustain that competence. Without a comprehensive understanding of this competence, it is difficult to advise individuals, enterprises, and governments how they should, respectively, plan their development throughout working life, manage the continuity of their workforce's skills, and organise how education systems can prepare and further develop individuals' capacities for work. Yet apprehending what constitutes workplace competence is not so easily undertaken. Rather than being uniform across an occupation or even nationally consistent, competence is shaped by situational factors, emerging technologies, specific occupational requirements, and the capacities of those who enact those requirements. Moreover, both the requirements for performance and personal capacities are dynamic, being shaped and remade by workers in response to the changing and particular demands of work performance. Yet, ultimately, competence at work is something enacted: a performance and judgements about that performance that can only be made through accounting for the circumstances of the performance and also the capacities of the performer. In this way, there is a need to understand to competence from both socially shaped and personally constituted perspectives.
International Perspectives on Competence in the Workplace: Implications for Research, Policy and Practice
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