You are here: Start


Organisational psychology has produced a wealth of competence concepts. From the point of view of this procedural theory, though, competence models separated from context should be judged critically: „Mr. Muller is very competent in accountancy!”, Mr. Meier has a high level of social competence!”. This is demonstrated by means of testing knowledge, completing examinations or assessing the performance in the everyday workplace. However, whether Mr. Meier can demonstrate his competence, which he had proven in another context, in this position, with these colleagues, this boss or these employees, in this existing time pressure and when there is widespread mistrust in the department, is not necessary guaranteed.

Competence, therefore, has at least four relevant aspects:

• The first is professional competence, which can be defined and usually is defined (acquisitions, certificates, titles)

• The second is that, which one can call personal style, i.e. that which happens when professional competence is used by a definite person (context!), and thus gains a particular hue, a particular form and a particular style

• The third aspect refers to the context capacity: Can someone behave flexibly and mindfully in different situations, with different people, with different teams, factual questions, and time frames? This is also often called social competence. We consider context competence more fitting, because it is not just about social phenomena.

• Finally, it needs control competence which rests upon the independence of the person from the context. It is only when someone does not require a special answer from the environment (success, recognition, attention) that he can make his competence freely available to the organisation. Without this inner autonomy and freedom, the environment must (!) react in a certain way, which limits and reduces the effectiveness of professional abilities.