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The core competence paradigm (CCP) is a recent innovation in management theory. This paper considers the implications of the CCP for the conduct of public sector RTD programmes and their management. The most important implication which emerges concerns the significance of public programmes in providing support to generic technologies. The paper shows that core competencies consist of two basic ingredients: technological capabilities and the organisational capabilities to combine them in a way which is responsive to market needs. The paper is divided into four sections. Section one gives a brief synopsis of the CCP with particular reference to technology. Section two examines some connections between this paradigm and other key concepts in the theory of technological change. Section three asks the question: if companies are pursuing policies informed by the CCP, what does that imply for the balance of public sector R&D intervention? Section four examines the scope for the transfer of particular private sector management practices which are linked to the CCP into the sphere of the management of public sector R&D programmes.

Additional information

Authors: COOMBS R, CROMTEC, Manchester School of Management (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: Report: XII-377-94 EN (1994) 13 pp.
Availability: Available from the SAST Programme Office, European Commission, DG XII, 200 rue de la Loi, B-1049 Bruxelles (BE)
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