Academic journal article IUP Journal of Management Research

Competency Mapping as a Strategic HR Tool in Manufacturing Industry: An Empirical Study

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Management Research

Competency Mapping as a Strategic HR Tool in Manufacturing Industry: An Empirical Study

Article excerpt


The changes that are sweeping across the world have made the organizations aware of the need for having competent employees. With the changing business scenario and new challenges emerging in the competitive world of liberalization, globalization and information technology, good performance in any job/task is necessary for organizational success. Hence, it has become imperative for the organizations to identify the characteristics of successful performance. These behaviors/characteristics are called 'competencies'.

Competency is an underlying 'characteristic' causally related to superior job performance (McClelland, 1973; and Boyatzis, 1982). It was first popularized by Boyatzis and defined as "a capacity that exists in a person that leads to behaviors that meet the job demands within parameters of organizational environment, and that in turn brings about desired results."

Despite the growing level of awareness, competency-based Human Resource (HR) still remains an unexplored process in many organizations. The underlying principle of competency mapping is not just about finding the right people for the right job, it is much more complex than it appears, and most HR departments have been struggling to formulate the right framework for their organizations (Naqvi, 2009). Considering the changing environment and the research gap which exists, there is a need to study the process of competency mapping, i.e., how the organizations go about implementing the process and how competency mapping process is used strategically by the organization to achieve results and fulfill commitments made by the employees.

The paper is structured as follows: it presents a brief overview of the theoretical aspects of the competency mapping process, followed by a discussion of the objectives, data and methodology used in the study to analyze the issues and the problems related to the implementation of the competency mapping process in the manufacturing organizations. Subsequently, the results are discussed, and finally, the conclusion is offered.

Competency Mapping

Competency Mapping is a process of identifying key competencies for an organization and/or a job and incorporating those competencies throughout the various processes (i.e., job evaluation, training, recruitment, etc.) of the organization. Competency process examines two areas: emotional intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ), and strengths of the individual in areas like team structure, leadership, and decision making. It refers to a process through which the competencies of the necessary process are identified. It is done to determine the critical activities of the mandatory processes of the organization.

Organizations perform competency mapping to determine the competencies of workers which are crucial for effective working and organizational success, and to achieve competitive advantage. The competencies which are included in the identification are: managerial, behavioral, technical, skill-based, attitude-based, and conceptual knowledge-based. All competencies together decide the actual status of the activity completion and process functioning which is important for the organization. Once the process of identification is completed, the map becomes an input for several other HR processes such as job evaluation, recruitment, training and development, needs identification, performance management and succession planning.

The Process of Competency Mapping

In any organization, one of the major concern areas for the HR department is to determine the competencies of the processes and to evaluate the strength of the person working on it. To conduct the competency mapping, certain steps need to be followed, which are summarized as follows:

The process of competency mapping starts from understanding and defining the vision and mission of the organization and formulating them into specific, time- bound business goals. It is followed by outlining the organization's structure clearly, and identifying the various hierarchies and positions with the reporting relationships. …

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