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Rethinking competence systems for knowledge-based organizations

Journal article
Authors Rikard Lindgren
Dick Stenmark
Jan Ljungberg
Published in European Journal of Information System
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 18-29
Publication year 2003
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 18-29
Language en
Keywords Competence systems, knowledge management, intranet
Subject categories Business Administration


Existing competence systems are based on a rationalistic view of competence. While these competence systems might work in job-based organizations, we argue that in more dynamic settings, such as in knowledge-based organizations, the interest-informed actions that capture the emergent competencies of tomorrow require different types of information technology support. The main objective of this paper is to elaborate on the possibilities and implications of using interest-activated technology as a design rationale for competence systems. This paper is based on an action case study of an implemented interest-activated Intranet recommender system prototype at Volvo Information Technology AB in Gothenburg, Sweden. On the basis of how organizational members used this prototype to find information they were interested in, our research team was able to inquire into how personal interest, embodied in information-seeking activities, could be a means for identifying competence. Building on the relation between personal interest and competence, we discuss competence systems design and spell out explicit implications for managerial practice in knowledge-based organizations.

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