Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Resource Management


Human Resource

First Advisor

Daniel Kemper

Second Advisor

Joe Lonigro

Third Advisor

Jim Lister


This thesis focuses on competency model development methods and evaluating an actual competency model development method used by a consulting company on behalf of its client.

As HRD professionals get down to actually measuring human performance against the model they set forth to specify competency and its associated behaviors, they often find behavioral measurements to be subjective and relative, rather than objective and criterion-based.

The purpose of this study is to review competency model definitions and development methods, as well as the implications for using competency models to improve human performance, business results and competitive advantage.

The competency model development method implemented by a consulting company on behalf of its telecommunications client is evaluated against the competency model development methods identified in the literature. The telecommunications company needed to reorganize and streamline its organization to create a competitive advantage in a highly competitive industry. Downsizing and staffing churn added to the need to provide necessary skills and knowledge faster, with increased performance factors, and at reduced cost. The consulting company's approach to developing competency models for the client emphasized alignment with business strategy and continuous improvement.

Two evaluators were selected based on their experience and expertise in the training and human resource development field. Each evaluator was asked to review background information on competency model development methods and evaluate the telecommunications company's actual competency model development method by completing a prepared questionnaire. After completing the questionnaire, the evaluators discussed their evaluation during a follow-up phone interview.

Both evaluators found that the competency model development method used by the consulting company's telecommunications client was appropriate. Questions were raised regarding criteria for high performer selection and methods to ensure that performers participating in the competency model development process understand "future state" requirements.


Copyright 1998, Sharon K. Kramer.