Strategic Competency Model of Researchers of Iran’s Petroleum Research Centers

Author Name(s): Ahmad Farmahini Farahani, Fathollah Moztarzadeh, Mohsen Bahrami
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Competencies provide a solid foundation for creating compatible performance standards. In order to create a new research culture and to overcome future challenges, research managers strongly need researchers that have strategic competencies in the oil industry to be present at a global level and to obtain technologies. In this paper, the subject of designing strategic competency models for researchers of industrial petroleum centers to be present at world scientific assemblies for future development has been studied. In this research, factors of competency are explained and detected using desk research and experts’ opinions; then, competency factors are categorized and analyzed by employing predicting methods and then the competency model of researchers at petroleum research centers is presented. In the end, the practical model of measuring the mentioned competencies is provided to be used by the mentioned individuals and institutions.


Competencies provide a solid foundation for creating compatible performance standards. In order to create a new research culture and to overcome future challenges, research managers strongly need researchers that have strategic competencies in the oil industry to be present at a global level and to obtain technologies. Considering the global environment of petroleum business and future events, researchers’ competencies are extremely important for future development. Presenting a model based on scientific and empirical foundations can be considered as one of the fundamental solutions that enables researchers to face events related to petroleum industry, in terms of global competitiveness [1]. Petroleum and in general energy industry, because of their international nature, are one of the main challenges and possible future crises in the world. Considering the competitors and consumption changes, especially in emerging industrial countries, we should turn to new paradigms to be able to be present in a highly competitive market and to create a competitive advantage. This subject is naturally considered as responsibilities and missions of the research field; but this field requires researchers with strategic competencies, high knowledge capacities and etc


Many researches have been conducted on competencies for job and management positions in different organizations in Iran and in the world; but there has not been any study about strategic competencies of researchers and thus, the present study is considered as a new research. Carrying out confirmatory factor analysis on LISREL software, it was concluded that factor load of all competency components (6 components) are in a desirable state and all the factor loads are bigger that 0.70 and also all the relations between the competencies and research main structure are bigger than 1.96, which means that all the relations are significant and thus, confirmed. Therefore, the validity of research model structure was confirmed. It is noteworthy that no study had ever been conducted before to extract a local model for strategic competencies of researchers and therefore we can certainly claim that this research is the first in country about strategic competency model of researchers in oil industry research centers and in the Institute for International Energy Studies. In this section and by presenting some methodological points from the research, some suggestions are made for future researchers. We hope that by taking further research steps, more complete actions will be taken and we will achieve more findings. The analysis level of the present study is at the level of research organizations and the Institute for International Energy Studies as the case study. Considering the difference between functional diversities of research organizations, we recommend that a similar study will be conducted in other research organizations. With this description, the final model of competencies might be different in each research organization. This study was conducted in the Institute for International Energy Studies, but similar studies in other research organizations are needed for generalization. This is as similar to the previous point which says model of strategic competencies might be different in other research institutes. Number of competencies extracted by the researcher is too much and we recommend to take fewer core competencies into account in future studies and instead we suggest increasing the quality of extracting methods of competency development. One of the serious objections to the model of competencies is relation identification between dimensions and components of competencies; however, considering the definition of competency model in this study, this point is unrelated. Therefore we suggest that in future studies, the relation between competencies gets investigated in the competencies model. Some of the competencies are considered as basic and potential abilities and some are indicators and results of having another competency (for instance, the competency of open mindedness is a core competency for the competency of understanding strategic thinking.). This being said, future studies should try to consider this approach in designing their competency model. In order to extract strategic competencies of researchers and even key competencies of occupations and management, it is better to use combined methods and not be content with seeminglyvalid methods. For example, future studies can use strategies of field observation, conduct a deep interview with the highest responsible person in the organization, analyze the process of HR management in the organization, investigate the organizational maturity level using common models, carefully study strategies and goals of the organization. Questionnaire is a common tool in collecting information is widely used in most management and behavioral studies. But this tool is not that efficient in extracting competencies models and even in extracting methods of competency development and therefore we advise using qualitative approaches in this kind of researches. A focus group consisted of expert physicists can appropriately consider different aspects of extracting components and dimensions in a relatively long time. Identifying competencies is a very important issue and understanding how to develop these competencies is an issue different from designing a competency model. For future researchers, we recommend that a deep study should be conducted on one competency and one superior and more efficient method to develop that competency; and that study should move towards implementing that method or methods in a more organized manner. One of the deficiencies of the present study is identifying a group of methods for developing strategic competency of researchers. Thus, for improving each competency or similar competencies or even components of competencies, we advise future researchers to select a method and conduct a deep study on it. The present study only tried to identify strategic competency of researchers and has not paid attention to consequences, problems and establishment issues and methods implementation. Therefore, we advise future researchers to study the problems regarding implementing methods of developing strategic competencies of researchers. The current study has investigated HR competencies for researchers in a general/not technical section that can include organizational competencies.

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