Title: The competent middle manager: framing individual knowledge in north-east Italian SMEs

Authors: Arnaldo Camuffo, Anna Comacchio

Addresses: Department of Economics and Business, University of Padua, Via del Santo, 33, 35123 Padua, Italy. ' Department of Business Administration, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, San Trovaso, 1075 30123 Venice, Italy

Abstract: In SMEs, where organisational structures and management systems are usually informal and where some key people represent the main and sometimes exclusive repository of knowledge, studying individuals, analysing the nature of their knowledge, identifying their personal characteristics and how these relate to individual and business performance, constitute a strategic area of research (at the moment almost unexplored), potentially rich of implications in terms of human resource management systems| design. This paper represents a first attempt in this direction of research. It uses competency modelling for assessing the nature and types of individual knowledge developed in SMEs, presenting research results on a country, Italy, where SMEs represent the backbone of the economy. They show that ||best|| (most effective) middle managers perceive their organisational role as wider than their colleagues and have a repertoire of competencies comparatively more aligned with firm|s expectations and requirements.

Keywords: human resource management; HRM; knowledge management; middle managers; competency modelling; organisational capabilities; SMEs; Italy; individual knowledge.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2004.005495

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2004 Vol.1 No.4, pp.330 - 350

Published online: 12 Oct 2004 *

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