Understanding, finding, and conceptualizing core competence depth: A framework, guide, and generalization for corporate managers and research professionals


In recent years, managerial interest in corporate core competencies as competitive tools has risen greatly. Corporate managers and professionals often have several questions regarding them. First, what are corporate core competencies? Second, how can they determine which core competencies, or which aspects of them, their firm holds deeply? More generally, what does it mean for a firm to hold a competence deeply? Utilizing concrete examples, this paper answers the first question by presenting a framework describing the elements of core competencies, their internal dynamic, and their breadth. It answers the second question by providing a usable methodology for discovering the depth of a firm's core competencies. As it does so, it answers the third question by presenting a generalized conceptualization of core competence depth. The authors' hope is that this framework, methodology, and generalization will prove useful to corporate managers and research professionals interested in strengthening their core competencies and applying them more effectively.


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Academy of Strategic Management Journal