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Forecasting core competencies in an R&D environment

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This study, carried out in 1998, aimed to develop a method of forecasting core competencies in an agricultural research organization, using the Delphi Technique. First, based on a survey of internal documents and interviews, nine organizational core competencies and their specific components (human competencies) were defined, and expert judges identified. These judges responded to a questionnaire, in which the importance of the future human competencies was assessed and the organization’s existing human capacity was evaluated. Means were calculated for both judgements and changes were made in various definitions, based on the experts’ comments. Another questionnaire was designed and sent out to an expanded panel of judges to confirm or to revise the priority mean scores obtained or to add scores in the case of competencies that entered later. Factor analysis and reliability scores have demonstrated internal and inter‐competency consistencies. Technological Innovation Management and Geo‐processing appeared as the top priorities and Plant Pathology as the least priority. Priorities for each human competency were also calculated and they have been helpful for decision‐making concerning the selection and graduate training of researchers on the organization studied.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Management Department, University of Brasilia, SQN 116, Bloco I, Apto. 305, 70773‐090, Brasilia, Brazil., Email: 2: Work and Social Psychology Department, University of Brasilia, SQN 106, Bloco I, Apto. 605, 70742‐090, Brasilia, Brazil., Email: 3: Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research. QI 25, Lote 14, Bloco E, Apto. 630, 71060‐250, Brasilia, Brazil., Email: 4: Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research. SHIN QL 15, Conj. 7, casa 19, 71535‐275, Brasilia, Brazil., Email:

Publication date: July 1, 2001


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