Competency Management in the Public Sector

European Variations on a Theme


Horton, S.,
Hondeghem, A.,
Farnham, D.

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Competency Management is increasingly being adopted as an approach to HRM in both the private and public sectors. This book will be of interest to both practitioners and academics as it seeks to inform the reader about the practice of competency management in European public services. It throws light on the origins and meanings of the concept and traces the competency movement from the 1980s in the UK and USA. It links competency management to performance management and HRM and demonstrates how a competency approach can add value to all parts of an organisation. The nine country studies provide a rich insight into the practices found across the public sectors of Europe. At one end of the spectrum is Britain with its holistic approach to competency management in the Senior Civil Service and widespread use throughout the rest of the service. Belgium, the Netherlands and Finland provide further examples of recent developments and good practice. In France and Germany, however, competency management has only just appeared on the reform agenda and the reasons for this are identified. Micro studies in Italy and Sweden provide an insight into the problems that arise when the perceptions of reformers diverge from those of managers and managed, while the study of Poland shows the problems faced by countries in transition which lack an appropriate educational sub-structure for public management and HRM.