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Are you competent in competences?

A study provides an overview on competence management in German companies

What do companies associate with competence management? How do they think it can benefit them, and how can they make it efficient and effective?

Fraunhofer IAO put these questions to 518 practitioners in organizations and produced a study entitled “Competence management in German companies 2012/2013” With its overview of the status quo and future trends, this publication makes an excellent practitioners’ guide.

Some might see the question of competence management (CM) in German companies as not worthy of consideration. But the opposite is true. Especially in turbulent, often globalized markets and in sectors where competitive pressures are intense, having a highly qualified workforce is a key differentiator for companies. The more closely companies knit CM and corporate development together, the more room for maneuver they have to define the strategic direction they want to take. This is making CM ever more important as an aspect of corporate strategy.

For its new study entitled “Competence management in German companies 2012/2013” Fraunhofer IAO analyzed how companies in Germany currently deal with this issue. The scientists surveyed 518 experts from companies large and small across all sectors to find out whether they engage in CM, how they go about it, and what trends they see emerging for the coming years. This study not only describes the status quo and future scenarios, it also goes into great detail in examining helpful ideas and pitfalls on the road to successfully introducing effective CM. Practitioners looking to put systematic CM in place or expand on existing arrangements will find this publication has plenty of practical tips to offer them.

What’s surprising is that around three quarters of those surveyed consider the topic of CM to be either important or very important – and yet only around half of the companies approached actually perform any kind of CM. However, these report that the results exceed their expectations, for example, in terms of higher performance or the compensation of shortage of skilled staff. The major argument brought against CM is that it takes up so much time – so there is above all a need to increase the benefit, optimize the approach, and reduce the bureaucratic burden. If CM is to be introduced in a systematic way, it is also essential to define clear goals. But it is worth the effort: Those companies with a systematic approach to CM (60 percent) achieve better results with it than those where the approach is unsystematic.

The study (in German language) is now available in the IAO shop at, where it can be ordered at a price of 495 euros. A summary of the results of the survey are available as a PDF:

Alexander Karapidis
Competence Management
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2019
Weitere Informationen:

Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:

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