Competence development in multinational companies: careers, capabilities and institutional frameworks

Competence development in multinational companies: careers, capabilities and institutional frameworks
Document type
Working Paper
Author(s)
Whitley, Richard
Publisher
Manchester Business School
Date of publication
1 February 2003
Series
University of Manchester Business School Working Papers. No. 445
Subject(s)
People management: all aspects of managing people
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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Building on the work of Penrose (1959), Richardson (1960; 1972) and others, recent contributions to the theory of the firm have emphasised the importance of endogenously developed capabilities and competences for building sustained competitive advantages (see, for example, Foss and Knudsen, 1996). In this approach, firms develop idiosyncratic knowledge and routines that provide superior capabilities through the continuing authoritative coordination of work activities and problem solving teams, both within and across formal legal boundaries (Loasby, 1996; 1999). These capabilities take time to build and typically involve relatively 'low powered' incentives to encourage employees to work together over considerable periods of time on dealing with organisational problems and generating firm-specific knowledge (Teece et al., 2000).

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