The idea of relational governance is derived from Macneil’s (Macneil’s 1978, 1980) paper on relational contracting. He differentiates the one-off exchanges with that of ongoing exchanges which are established upon and within the relationship among the parties. This lead to maintaining solidarity, integrity, goodwill, and harmony that is important. The element of information sharing is also critical, because this encourages mutuality between the relationship and more importantly reduces the conflict (Macneil’s 1978, 1980).
While studying on the managerial knowledge and managerial skills, early researchers Gaddis (Gaddis, 1959) and Archibald (Archibald, 1975) highlighted the importance of administrative skills, technical knowledge, and leadership ability including problem solving, communication, conflict resolution, analysis and integration. Also the works of Einsiedel (Einsiedel ,1987) and Posner (Posner ,1987) assert more of the human skills and leadership skills such as exhibiting vision, creativity, credibility, tolerance for ambiguity, flexible management style, motivation and effective communication. According to Thamhain (Thamhain ,1991), the project manager prerequisites are leadership, administrative and technical, while according to Pettersen (Pettersen ,1991) there are 5 categories which a project manager should possess which are administration, problem solving, interpersonal relations, supervision and team management, and some other personal qualities.
Shenhar and Thamhain (Shenhar and Thamhain, 1994) in their study, contend that conceptual skill in mentioned in Katz’s model is very broad. They suggested a new model broadly outlining Katz’s model. In their model they include the managerial knowledge and also the skills in operational, human, technical, and strategic areas. They proposed that manager should have sound technical knowledge and technical skills to do work as a professional and also to guide subordinates. Using their framework, various researchers, came out with manager competencies such as Planning and Scheduling, Team structure, customer coordination, monitoring and control, problem analysis, etc mostly through the realm of project management study.
The term ‘competency’ was first coined in the managerial context while conducting research by Boyatzis (Boyatzis, 1982) to identify the features that distinguish superior managerial performance from that of average managerial performance. In his book, The Competent Manager: A Model for Effective Performance, Boyatzis laid down the plan or method for the competency debates to follow. Boyatzis states that “It is the competence of managers that determines, in large part, the return that organizations realize from their human capital, or human resources.” (Boyatzis, 1982). Broadly competency can be defined as a mixture between knowledge, skill, ability and other sets of features that an employee possesses that enable them to accomplish their activities more efficiently and effectively.
The study established that there is no one single factor but an array of factors that distinguished superior or exceptional performers from the average performers. These include experience, personal characteristics, motives and other various attributes. Since then the literature on competency is characterised by a huge diversity of definitions.
For the thesis topic research purposes, there is a need to distinguish between ‘competence’ and ‘competency’. The term ‘competence’ is used to refer to the standard of achievement or performance attained; on the other hand the term ‘competency’ is used to refer to the attitude or the manner by which it gets accomplished. In other words, the competence describes what people can do and the competency focuses on how do they do it.
Spencer and Spencer (Spencer and Spencer ,1993) defined competence as “an underlying characteristic of an individual that is causally related to criterion-referenced and/or superior performance in a job or situation”, and they identified five different types of competence characteristics. They are Motives, Traits, Self-concept, Knowledge and Skill.(1) Motives – Motives “drive, direct, and select” (Spencer and Spencer ,1993) behaviour towards certain actions or goals and away from others. In other words, the activities a person persistently thinks about or wants that causes action.(2) Traits – the physical characteristics and their consistent response to information or situations.(3) Self-concept – a person’s values, attitudes, or self-image.(4) Knowledge – the information a person holds in specific content areas.(5) Skill – the person’s ability to perform a certain mental or physical task. (Spencer and Spencer ,1993) The competence comprises both organizational/firm level competences and personal competencies (job-competency level). Boam and Sparrow (Boam and Sparrow, 1992) and Sparrow (Sparrow ,1994) contend that competency recognition systems should be able to identify both organisational competences and personal competencies. Personal competencies are those acquired by a person or an individual by way of skills, technical knowledge, domain expertise, abilities and experience that are pivotally related to superior or effective performance in job (Boyatzis 1982). On the other hand, Organizational competences subsist of a combination of complimentary assets, differentiated skills, cognitive characteristics and the routines that cater to the basis for organization’s competitive capacities, sustainable advantage in the particular business. These are usually embedded in the firm’s processes and systems and get absorbed by all their members and their structures. In other words, the skills and abilities they possess in their deployment of their resources and their cognitive characteristics that are geared in accomplishing the activities (Murray and Donegan, 2003; Bogner and Thomas, 1994;Escrig-Tena and Bou-Llusar, 2005). Many authors have suggested as competence based integrative approach aligning organaisation/firm competencies and personal competencies.
An important integrative concept in this regard is that of the occupational competence, especially the managerial competence. The fundamental thrust has been that the acceptance of organisational effectiveness in part is directly correlated to the manager’s performance, an interpretation visible from the research conducted by Boyatzis (Boyatzis, 1982). Therefore, it is imperative and necessary to integrate managerial-level competencies with the firm-level capabilities (Murray and Donegan, 2003; Bogner and Thomas, 1994;Escrig-Tena and Bou-Llusar, 2005; Lustri et al. 2007). However, there is limited empirical research in this area. For example, Hondeghem and Vandermeulen (Hondeghem and Vandermeulen, 2000) argued that despite there are some endeavors to extract managerial competencies from that of organisational strategies, this is not yet fully developed. This highlights the need to identify competency gaps of the managerial employees in terms of firm’s specific business strategies (Boyatzis, 1982, Hondeghem and Vandermeulen, 2000, Homer 2001; King 2001; Soosay 2005; Yang, Wu, Shu and Yang 2006).
Managerial competencies are defined as the skills or the personal characteristics that help in contributing to effective performance in their managerial occupations (Albanese, 1989). They were developed to enhance their efficiencies to overcome the emerging business requirements (Meyer and Semark, 1996; Hondeghem and Vandermeulen, 2000). Competencies get strengthened over a period of time as one gets familiar with the tasks that necessitate comprehension of those distinctive skill sets. Competencies must be employed by industry professionals and also the same has to be protected by businesses establishments because, like other knowledge, they are found to fade away over time if not applied in business situations (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990).
According to Luthans, Hodgetts and Rosenkrantz (Luthans, 1988; Hodgetts and Rosenkrantz,1988), successful and efficient managers found to allocate far less time in the traditional management activities, such as decision making, planning, and controlling, as compared to a average manager. In turn, effective managers found to allocate and spend more time on routine communications, networking, and people resource management (Luthans et al., 1988). Mintzberg (Mintzberg, 2009) acknowledge this multidimensional role and presents interpersonal, personal, actionable and informational competences as applicable attributes for a manager.
Although researchers and scholars study managerial competence greatly, the “managerial competence” topic in the context of supply chain management is sparse and is in its early stages. This inadequacy is rather remarkable, as research evidence explicates that supply chain management competence has a consequential effect across the upstream and downstream supply chain on financial competitiveness and business performance (Bowersox, Closs, Stank, and Keller, 2000; Aquino & Draper, 2008; Ellinger et al., 2011).
Some scholars like Gammelgaard and Larson, Murphy and Poist, Giunipero et al., Shou and Wang have focused on complete gamut of supply chain management competencies and found hard and soft skills while others, like Van Hoek et al., , (Van Hoek et al., , 2002) and Richey et al., (Richey et al., 2010), focus only on soft attributes such as emotional, creative, political, experiential, intuition etc.,
Murphy and Poist (Murphy and Poist 2006) introduced the BLM framework (Business Logistics, Management) to compare the business and managing skill requirements for junior and senior level logistics managers. Further Gammelgaard and Larson (Gammelgaard and Larson, 2001) use managerial/ interpersonal, technological/ quantitative, and SCM core, a 3 factor skill model and captured 45 supply chain management skill areas as core skills. Giunipero et al., (Giunipero et al., 2006) finds that building strategic relationships primarily focusing on strategic cost and total cost reduction while integrating and collaborating with the suppliers. In addition, Shou and Wang (Shou and Wang ,2015) conducted an explorative research study to cover wide range of SCM manager competences and identified five SCM competency dimensions: SCM qualifications and leadership, generic skills, SCM expertise, functional skills, and industry-specific senior management competencies.