Organizational competencies - Marketing Strategy

These are the abilities and skills available to the company to marshal the effective exploitation of the company’s assets. The combination of assets and these skills allows an organization to undertake specific activities. Activities such as producing innovative products are a capability that arise out of the underlying assets and competencies of the organization. These competencies can lie at the three decision-making tiers:strategic, functional and operational; and at three levels in the organization’s structure: corporate, team and individual (Hooley et al., 1998):

  • Strategic competencies :These relate to the management skills, the drive and the strategic direction of the organization. Skills should be assessed in a range of areas, including ability to create strategic vision, communicate, motivate, implement strategy, assess changing circumstances,learn and innovate.
  • Functional competencies :These refer to the skills available to the organization to manage its activities in the various functional areas such as finance, operations and marketing. The marketing function should be assessed on its skills such as handling customer relationships, channel management, product management, product innovation and new product development.
  • Operational competencies :These skills are necessary to run the day to-day operations across the functional areas of the organization. As an example, in the marketing function these would include skills of co-ordinating and implementing sales force activities, promotional campaigns,public relations activities, special offers and discounts, updating product packaging and labeling. Where these activities are subcontracted to third parties such as PR agencies, the skills that need to be assessed are the abilities of coordinating and controlling these external relationships.
  • Individual competencies :These are the abilities and skills that lie with individuals in the organization. These competencies are based not on individuals’ skills in isolation, but on whether individuals have the required skills to execute the tasks they face in their area of responsibility ,whether at strategic, functional or operational level.
  • Team competencies :It is necessary for individuals in organizations to work together in teams. These may be teams formed on a formal or informal basis. Despite the specific skill base of the individuals involved, a group also requires the skills necessary to work together as a team. A key element of successful project management relies on these team competencies.
  • Corporate-level competencies :These are the skills, that apply to the organization in its entirety, to execute tasks at strategic,functional and operational level. This could relate to the ability to foster innovation throughout the organization, or the ability to exploit and continually update the organizational knowledge base, by effective communication of critical learning throughout the business.

Once the assets and competencies of an organization have been identified there are likely to be some assets that are more important than others. The relationship between these assets and competencies can be mapped to uncover the key relationships .

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