Monday, 30 July 2012

Computing with competencies: Modelling organizational capacities

an article by Elena García-Barriocanal, Miguel-Angel Sicilia and Salvador Sánchez-Alonso (University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain) published in Expert Systems with Applications Volume 39 Issue 16 (15th November 2012)


The notion of competency provides an observable account of concrete human capacities under specific work conditions. The fact that competencies are subject to concrete kinds of measurement entails that they are subject to some extent to comparison and even in some sense, calculus.

Then, competency models and databases can be used to compute competency gaps, to aggregate competencies of individuals as part of groups, and to compare capacities.

However, as of today, there is not a commonly agreed model or ontology for competencies, and scattered reports use different models for computing with competencies. This paper addresses how computing with competencies can be approached from a general perspective, using a flexible and extensible ontological model that can be adapted to the particularities of concrete organizations.

Then, the consideration of competencies as an organizational asset is approached from the perspective of particular issues as competency gap analysis, the definition of job positions and how learning technology can be linked with competency models. The framework presented provides a technology-based baseline for organizations dealing with competency models, enabling the management of the knowledge acquisition dynamics of employees as driven by concrete and measurable accounts of organizational needs.


► We review the current state of competency models and the needs for more complex competency schemas.
► We present a general model for expressing competencies and how it is expressed in the form of an ontology.
► We describe how that model can be used for different tasks involving computation and inference with competencies.

Hazel’s comment: 
Some readers will remember the post I wrote last week about dropping some journals from my regular reading list. I have also been looking at the number of journals for which I receive alerts. I know that these individually do not take as long to deal with as the hard copies in the British Library but there are significantly more of them. There is, moreover, a limit to how long I can sit and look at article titles, decide whether to read the abstract, decide whether to blog and then reformatting and checking – I have to get up and go do something else such as housework for a while before coming back to the cerebral activity. This journal was one I very nearly dropped – and what a gem I would have missed. I've not read the full article but an ontology of competence has got me really excited (sad person that I am).

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