Title: Defining and documenting 'social competence' in working life: cautionary commentary

Authors: Grete Wennes

Addresses: Trondheim Business School/SINTEF Technology and Society, Jonsvannsveien 82, 7004 Trondheim, Norway

Abstract: We highlight the general and growing demand for |social competence| in working life, its definitions, origins and in particular, governmental support in Norway for accounting systems recording social competence. What are we really asking for when we demand social competence in working life? The paper clarifies theoretical concepts and research findings, detecting considerable ambiguity within and between them. A case example of a Norwegian insurance company Gjensidige Forsikring illustrates how social competence is acknowledged, codified and understood by managers. Nevertheless, documentation can never capture the contextual, cultural, symbolic and relational complexity hidden in social interaction and life. And we might not want it to either.

Keywords: social competence; working life; mapping relationship skills; relationships; emotions; post-emotional organisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2007.013613

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2007 Vol.2 No.1, pp.22 - 34

Published online: 09 May 2007 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article