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Abstract

Even though the literature on competence in organizations recognizes the need to align organization level core competence with individual level job competence, it does not consider the role of information technology in managing competence across the macro and micro levels. To address this shortcoming, we embarked on an action research study that develops and tests design principles for competence management systems. This research develops an integrative model of competence that not only outlines the interaction between organizational and individual level competence and the role of technology in this process, but also incorporates a typology of competence (competence-in-stock, competence-in-use, and competence-in-the-making). Six Swedish organizations participated in our research project, which took 30 months and consisted of two action research cycles involving numerous data collection strategies and interventions such as prototypes. In addition to developing a set of design principles and considering their implications for both research and practice, this article also includes a self-assessment of the study by evaluating it according to the criteria for canonical action research.

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