Competency-based or a traditional approach to training

David Dubois, William J. Rothwell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


With training budgets increasing and managers and HR practitioners recognizing that "jobs" are "out" and "work" is "in," the subject of what approach to training is best arises again. At the same time, a need emerges to define what competencies or traits a worker must possess to achieve prescribed work outcomes. Competencies models, detailing not only those traits but also how those traits should be. used in a work setting, are now being addressed in various training settings, such as the traditional and systematic ISO model and Dubois's Strategic Systems Model (SSM), which advocates the wide participation of people in and external to the organization. The authors suggest that training can become competency-based in at least three ways: 1) by reinventing the ISO model (or using the SSM), 2) focusing attention on training to build individual competence relative to a competency model of exemplary performance, or 3) building individual competence in a work-team context. After tackling the advantages and challenges associated with a competency-based approach to training, the authors explain when employee training should become competency-based or be handled traditionally, and how to implement competency-based training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalT and D
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management


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