Competence (organization)

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Competencies are in the organization theory rights and obligations that a jobholder or officials be given. They legitimize him to take actions to properly fulfill his tasks and oblige him to take responsibility for this in the form of an accountability .


The word competence comes from the Latin competentia 'suitability' , 'permission', the verb competere can mean ' to meet' , 'sufficient', 'to be able to do something' or 'to be entitled'. Instead of competence, the term empowerment first prevailed in the German official language from 1658 after Ernst Fidicin . The adjective “competent” originally meant “to be responsible for” around 1731, but is increasingly used today as a synonym for “capable of making judgments” or “professionally qualified”.


For the German philosopher Adolf Lasson it was already clear in 1882 that what lies within the limits of a law is the sphere of the authority of all legal subjects . The concept of authority originally comes from police and administrative law . Authorization here is the authorization granted by law or orders to intervene in the legal position of other legal entities. In police and regulatory law, an authorization is the specific legally granted authorization to take a certain measure . The right of the judge to develop the law is almost undisputed today. In this respect, in the sense of Article 20 (3) of the Basic Law, at least the power of the courts to develop the law can also be anchored as a constitutional mandate.


Based on its use in public administration, “competence” is used in the sense of authority or responsibility in the business literature, especially in the area of human resources , planning and organizational theory. Competencies are "rights and powers of institutions or persons that establish the formal legitimation for their actions" and must be in accordance with the tasks and responsibilities assigned to these institutions or persons ( congruence principle of the organization ).


A distinction is made between leadership and implementation skills.


The type and scope of assigned competencies are characteristics of a position . The more extensive and significant the competencies assigned to a position, the higher this position is in the hierarchy of the organization. The most comprehensive competencies are therefore found in the board of directors and management in companies and heads of authorities in authorities. The principle of exclusivity applies to the allocation of competencies. After that, the competence assigned to one position can no longer be assigned to another position. This prevents an impending conflict of competencies.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Competence  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Gerhard Köbler: Etymological legal dictionary. 1995, p. 42.
  2. Gerhard Köbler: Etymological legal dictionary. 1995, p. 226.
  3. ^ Adolf Lasson: System of legal philosophy . 1882, p. 207 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  4. Dietger Hahn: Competence. In: Eduard Gaukler, Walter A. Oechsler, Wolfgang Weber (Hrsg.): Concise dictionary of personnel. 1975, col. 1112.
  5. H.-T. Frütjes: planning bodies . 1989, col. 1465.
  6. Knut Bleicher : Organization: Strategies-Structures-Cultures. 1980, p. 1056 ff.
  7. Knut Bleicher: Organization: Strategies-Structures-Cultures. 1980, col. 1056.
  8. Knut Bleicher: Organization. 1993, p. 117.
  9. ^ Ina Maier: leadership skills . 2015, p. 16 ff . ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  10. ^ Wilhelm Hill, Raymond Fehlbaum, Peter Ulrich: Organizational theory. Volume 1/2, 1994, p. 127 ff.
  11. ^ Wilhelm Hill, Raymond Fehlbaum, Peter Ulrich: Organizational theory. Volume 1/2, 1994, p. 129.