A Theory of Collective Competence: Challenging the Neo-Liberal Individualisation of Performance at Work

Abstract
Contemporary work-related education and training policy represents occupational competence as the outcome of individual performance at work. This paper presents a critique of this neo-liberal assumption, arguing that in many cases competence should be regarded as an attribute of groups, teams and communities. It proposes a theory of collective competence in terms of (1) making collective sense of events in the workplace, (2) developing and using a collective knowledge base and (3) developing a sense of interdependency. It suggests that the language of competence would become a more effective tool for understanding performance at work if the collectivistic sense of the term 'competence' were used in conjunction with the more established individualistic sense.
Keywords competence   vocational training   collectivism   individualism   Journal Article   Vocational teachers Training of   Knowledge management   Industrial productivity   Professional Competence
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