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Journal cover: Journal of Workplace Learning

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626
Previously published as: Employee Counselling Today

Online from: 1997

Subject Area: Learning and Development

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Competencies and workplace learning: some reflections on the rhetoric and the reality

Document Information:
Title:Competencies and workplace learning: some reflections on the rhetoric and the reality
Author(s):Thomas N. Garavan, (Thomas N. Garavan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Personnel and Employment Relations at the University of Limerick.), David McGuire, (David McGuire is a Government of Ireland scholar at the University of Limerick.)
Citation:Thomas N. Garavan, David McGuire, (2001) "Competencies and workplace learning: some reflections on the rhetoric and the reality", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 13 Iss: 4, pp.144 - 164
Keywords:Competences, Competency framework, Human resource development, Workplace learning
Article type:Research Paper
DOI:10.1108/13665620110391097 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:The use of competency frameworks as a basis for workplace learning initiatives is now relatively commonplace in organisations. This is reflected in the emphasis given to competencies in the HRD literature. However, the terrain of the competency discussion is somewhat ill-defined. This article attempts to define the context within which the value of competencies as a basis for workplace learning can be considered and discusses the philosophical and epistemological perspectives found in much of the literature. Competency definition and competency measurement issues are explored, as is a range of other issues concerning the value of competencies in a workplace learning context. The article concludes that, in the interests of clarity, consistency and reliability of measurement, consensus needs to be reached on the basic parameters and definition of competency.

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