Purpose – Knowledge-intensive organizations tend to be project intensive having many projects of different size and importance. In this context, competence evolves through projects. The purpose of this paper is to identify the mechanisms that steers competence management in these kinds of organizations and also the factors that are involved in the human capital contribution to competitive advantage in relation to the interaction between parent organizations and projects. Design/methodology/approach – This study has a contingency theory perspective and consists of a literature search in the following domains: project-intensive organizations, knowledge-intensive organizations, competence management, human resource management and dynamic capabilities and learning. Findings – The main contribution of this study is the theoretical framework derived from different domains. The framework is called the competence loop and explains how projects generate competence that the parent organization can either exploit in further activities or use for strategy adjustment. It also explains how an organization can use learning strategies to support competence exploration/exploitation. Another contribution is the description of the relationship between dynamic capabilities and organizational learning in project-intensive organizations. Research limitations/implications – This paper is a conceptual paper intended to create a base for further empirical studies. Originality/value – The paper combines different domains to define a framework that is a new approach to competence management in a project-parent organizational context. The framework includes learning and competence management characteristics and has both theoretical and practical value.
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 7, 2015