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Vol. 30. Num. 2. 2014. Pages 61-66

Analysis of professional competencies in the Spanish publicadministration management

[Análisis de las competencias profesionales en las jefaturas de la Administraciónpública española]

Pedro Ángel López Martínez1 , Juan José Montaño Moreno2 , Lluís Ballester Brage2 1City Council of Palma de Mallorca, Spain ,2Univ. Balearic Islands, Fac. Psychology, Dep. Behavioural Sciences Methodology, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Abstract

The present study aims to analyse the degree of importance civil servants in the Spanish PublicAdministration (SPA) attach to a set of twenty professional competencies, as well as to compare the level ofmanagers' self-assessed competency and that of a reference population of managers. For this purpose, asample of 613 public servants in the SPA consisting of lower-ranking officials and managers was chosenand a survey methodology was used for data collection and analysis. The results indicate first that the mostrelevant competencies for both groups are self-confidence and self-assurance, communication, andteamwork. Secondly, the level of relevance attached by lower-ranking officials is in many cases greater thanthe level attached by managers. Finally, managers in the SPA show a self-assessed level of competency farbelow that of the reference population of managers. This set of results provides valuable information forthe creation of a competency-based Comprehensive Human Resources Integrated Management System inthe SPA. 

Resumen

El presente trabajo tiene como objetivo analizar el grado de importancia que otorgan los funcionarios de laAdministración Pública Española (APE) a un conjunto de veinte competencias profesionales así como compararel nivel competencial autoevaluado por sus jefaturas con el de la población de directivos de referencia.Para ello se ha trabajado con una muestra de 613 empleados públicos de la APE compuesta por puestosbase y jefaturas y se ha aplicado una metodología de encuestas para la recogida y análisis de datos. Los resultadosobtenidos indican, en primer lugar, que las competencias más relevantes para ambos colectivosson la confianza y seguridad en sí mismo, la comunicación y el trabajo en equipo. En segundo lugar, el nivelde relevancia otorgado por los puestos base es, en muchos casos, superior al nivel otorgado por las jefaturas.Finalmente, las jefaturas de la APE muestran un nivel competencial autoevaluado muy por debajo delde la población de directivos de referencia. Este conjunto de resultados aporta información valiosa para lacreación de un sistema de gestión integral de los recursos humanos por competencias en la APE. 

Times of economic and political crisis and vertiginous changes in the European and international stage mean that the commitment of the Spanish Public Administration (SPA) to citizen-customer satisfaction faces numerous complex challenges on a daily basis.

Faced with this situation, it is necessary to respond with speed, professionalism, and efficiency. Even with greatly diminished budgets and fewer resources, it is absolutely essential to be equipped with competency-based comprehensive human resources integrated management technologies which will enable us to provide increasingly more and better services to an ever growing number of citizens who need the proximity, effectiveness, and efficiency of the SPA more than ever. Each public organization must find the best way of making this special, unique contribution that gives meaning to its institutional existence. In other words, each public organization must define, based on its raison d’être, what the competencies of its public servants are and should be ( Ministerio de Administraciones Públicas, 2000 ); therefore, human resource management in the public sector has a key role in the future ability of governments to generate efficiency and competitiveness in public administrations and in the general economic framework ( CEOE, 2011).

Since McClelland (1973) referred explicitly to the term of competency as that which really causes superior on-the-job performance – that is, the elements that positively affect initially expected results – there has been a long debate concerning its interpretation ( Olaz, 2009 ). Professional competency is a topic that has been the object of many debates, less interpretations, and practical applications in different fields for over 30 years ( Fernández-Salinero, 2006).

While the concept of competency has been characterised by a large variety of definitions to be found in specialised literature, based on all of these it is possible to the essential elements that make up the concept of competency ( Galindo, 2010 ): all competency involves knowledge, procedure, and attitudes combined towards one goal, head knowledge (understanding), know-how (skills, abilities, aptitudes, and capabilities), knowing how to be (attitudes), knowing what to be like (beliefs and values), and being able to do (means and resources) – these are the elements that make up the range of competency; and what stands out most among these characteristics is the fact that one may be very capable but not competent.

In this context we can understand by competency not only the ability to be able to perform specific on-the-job tasks successfully but also to in many less programmed situations in an unstable environment ( De Ansorena, 1996; Levy-Leboyer, 1997 ).

Strategic plans and defined aims must set the direction inside public organizations (Ministerio de Administraciones Públicas [Ministry of Public Administration], 2000); but competency-based management systems can make it possible to achieve these.

The adoption of competencies as a basis for human resource management in an organization entails a series of advantages. Pereda and Berrocal (2011) point out some of these advantages. Among others, it enables us to use a common language that is accessible to all the members of the organization, as this s observable behaviours that people are familiar with and not psychological traits; it focuses all people's efforts towards attaining results; it contributes to predicting the future behaviour of people based on their past behaviour; and it enables a comparison between the profile of job ments and people's competency profile ( Gil, 2007).

Performance evaluation of public servants is one of the fundamental challenges the SPA will have to face in this decade, since the Civil Service Basic Statute (CSBS) was passed, making it a legal obligation. Thus, the Spanish administration, sooner or later, will have to to carry it out. Moreover, the administration has a second problem stemming from the lack of a tradition of performance evaluation: the absence of tools and performance evaluation models that are specific to public administrations ( Salgado & Cabal, 2011).

Along the same lines, a thorough review of training plans ought to be carried out in order to avoid actions that are merely continuations or routine, by linking improvement projects to the strategic planning for each field, and targeting the skills and aptitudes of staff in order to enable progress to be made in competency-based management systems (Minsterio de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas [Ministry of Finance and Public Administration], 2013).

The present study aims to ascertain, first of all, whether the degree of importance attached to a series of key competencies by lower-ranking civil servants and civil servants in management positions has statistically significant differences. Secondly, it aims to find out whether the degree of competency self-assessed by the managers analysed is the same as that of a reference population of managers.

The resulting information can be of great value at the present time and of special relevance for the decision making of those in charge of organizing and managing human resources at a local, autonomic, and state level of the SPA.

Method Participants

A sample of 613 civil servants took part – representing 46.05% of the total population working in the City Council of Palma de Mallorca ( N = 1,331) – 487 of whom correspond to lower-ranking officials and 126 to managers.

In terms of gender, the sample has 225 women and 388 men, while the age of the sample ranges between 25 and 70 years, with a mean age of 44 years (standard deviation of 9.57) and with an average tenure of 14 years (standard deviation of 10.54).

Procedure

The participants were divided into groups of 15 people. At these meetings the aim of the study was explained and people were asked to participate voluntarily. Subsequently, the participants, after the corresponding instructions and clarifications, aimed at eliminating problems in understanding the competencies to be assessed, answered the questionnaire in the presence of one of the authors of this article, who finally proceeded to collect the questionnaires.

All the questionnaires were applied between the months of October 2010 and April 2011.

Instruments

In order to evaluate and measure the competencies of public servants, we used the Cuestionario CompeTEA by Arribas and Pereña, (2009) , which consists of 20 competencies grouped in five subject areas: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Task development, Setting, and Managerial, and were self-assessed only by those in direction and management positions.

There are a number of instruments to assess competencies, most of which entail an adaptation of personality traits to the language of competency. However, one of the main aims in the construction of CompeTEA was to a test specifically designed to assess competencies and not personality traits ( Arribas, 2009).

The final and main objective of the tool was to cover as large a range as possible of professional competencies whilst ensuring the psychometric quality of the measure. This aim involved a characteristic process of construction, which meant starting from a wide set of initial elements and competencies in order to obtain a final refined set of items.

The use of CompeTEA and not other instruments such as the FB 360 (Marmolar, Bustillo, Arribas, & Minguijón, 2007), the Sosia ( Gordon, 1990) or the Bip (Hossiep & Parchen, 1998 ), is motivated by the fact that the former has been widely proven over a long time of application, is made in Spain, is more straightforward in its use, and covers a wide range of professional competencies ( Arribas, 2009).

The Intrapersonal and Interpersonal areas correspond to the framework of emotional competencies defined as the way in which we relate to ourselves and to others ( Goleman, 1996 ). The area of Task development s the key competencies and factors for performing on-the-job activities and problem solving. The domain of Setting heightens the projection and purposes of the organization and s customer's perspective and change management as a driving force for innovation and organizational progress. Lastly, the Managerial area is represented by the abilities and competencies involved in resource management and direction (Direction, Planning and Organization) and talent management (Leadership).

The answers subjects can give to each of the items are coded according to the levels A = always or nearly always, B = often, C = seldom, and D = never or hardly ever , and correspond to statements regarding professional on-the-job performance. The aforementioned questionnaire is made up of 170 items and in this study we worked with the direct scores.

With respect to the psychometric qualities of CompeTEA, Arribas and Pereña (2009) report several values and analyses as to reliability and validity that are highly favourable, making it a suitable instrument for measuring competencies in the professional field.

Meanwhile, we also used the Inventory of On-the-job Professional Competencies of Management and Senior Management in the SPA, which was d for this purpose by the authors of this study . It was answered by the two groups of civil servants: those in management and senior management, as well as the lower-ranking civil servants. It is likewise made up of 20 competencies, which represent the desired competencies in order to be able to hold management and senior management positions adequately. The possible responses are coded according to the following levels as regards their importance: 0 = not the case, not at all important, 1 = a little important, 2 = quite important, 3 = very important . In this case, the subject had to score the importance of each competency for each one of the existing five categories of management positions: chief of bureau, section, service, department, and director. As regards the psychometric goodness-of-fit of this instrument, Cronbach's alpha coefficient is equal to .905 for the subsample of managers and .888 for the subsample of lower-ranking officials. These values indicate high reliability in the measures obtained through this questionnaire.

Data Analysis

The non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test z -index corrected for ties was applied in order to compare the degree of relevance or importance attached by mangers and lower-ranking civil servants to each of the competencies analysed. Meanwhile, the z -compliance test was applied for means with a known population standard deviation in order to compare the competency level self-assessed by the managers in the SPA and the reference population of managers. For this purpose, David Arribas, co-author of the CompeTEA test, provided the authors of this study with the self-assessed results of a sample of 1,152 managers that would act in the present analysis as the reference population. Finally, statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS statistical package (SPSS 20.0).

Results

Table 1 shows the ranking or hierarchy of the degree of importance attached by both groups analysed to each of the existing categories of managers. To do this, the order value based on the sum of the percentages of the categories quite important and very important is given (this percentage appears in brackets). Among the competencies that appear most frequently in the top rankings of importance according to both groups, we have Self-confidence and Self-assurance, Communication, and Teamwork.

Table 1

Ranking of importance of competencies attached by lower-ranking officials (PB) and managers (JEF) for each level of management.

LEVEL OF MANAGEMENT
COMPETENCIES  Bureau Section Service Department Director
  PB  JEF  PB  JEF  PB  JEF  PB  JEF  PB  JEF 
Intrapersonal area                     
Self-control and emotional stability (EST)  5 (85.60)  5 (76.90)  4 (93.50)  7 (90.50)  4 (95.00)  1 (98.60)  3 (94.80)  13 (95.90)  6 (92.20)  8 (93.90) 
Self-confidence and self-assurance  3 (89.40)  3 (81.00)  3 (94.80)  2 (93.90)  2 (95.50)  6 (97.30)  3 (94.80)  3 (98.00)  2 (93.50)  5 (94.60) 
(CONFI)                     
Resistance to adversity (RES)  10 (82.10)  10 (68.00)  7 (92.50)  11 (85.00)  5 (94.60)  3 (98.00)  7 (94.40)  9 (96.60)  4 (92.70)  14 (91.80) 
Interpersonal area                     
Communication (COM)  2 (91.40)  4 (80.30)  1 (95.90)  2 (93.90)  1 (96.60)  1 (98.60)  3 (94.80)  6 (97.30)  4 (92.70)  5 (94.60) 
Establishment of relationships (REL)  4 (86.20)  6 (74.80)  5 (92.70)  5 (91.20)  10 (93.10)  16 (93.90)  15 (91.20)  13 (95.90)  14 (90.50)  10 (93.20) 
Negotiation (NEG)  11 (81.00)  16 (59.20)  9 (90.90)  13 (83.70)  2 (95.50)  12 (95.20)  9 (94.20)  1 (98.60)  9 (91.80)  1 (96.60) 
Influence (INF)  17 (70.70)  14 (62.60)  18 (81.00)  14 (83.00)  18 (88.40)  19 (91.20)  20 (87.30)  19 (93.90)  20 (84.70)  18 (88.40) 
Teamwork (EQUI)  1 (92.70)  1 (91.80)  2 (95.30)  1 (96.60)  10 (93.10)  14 (94.60)  19 (89.90)  20 (89.80)  19 (86.60)  20 (82.30) 
Task development area                     
Initiative (INI)  16 (73.30)  18 (54.40)  15 (85.60)  18 (76.90)  15 (91.40)  19 (91.20)  16 (90.90)  18 (94.60)  17 (89.90)  19 (83.70) 
Result oriented (ORRES)  19 (68.50)  17 (57.10)  19 (78.90)  19 (74.10)  19 (88.10)  18 (91.80)  14 (91.40)  13 (95.90)  11 (91.60)  2 (95.20) 
Ability to analyse (ANAL)  8 (83.20)  10 (68.00)  8 (91.20)  8 (88.80)  8 (93.50)  3 (98.00)  6 (94.60)  1 (98.60)  8 (92.00)  5 (94.60) 
Decision making (DECI)  18 (69.40)  19 (53.70)  17 (83.60)  14 (83.00)  7 (93.80)  10 (95.90)  1 (95.30)  3 (98.00)  1 (94.80)  8 (93.90) 
Setting area                     
Knowledge of the organization  13 (78.90)  14 (62.60)  14 (86.00)  16 (81.60)  12 (92.70)  14 (94.60)  7 (94.40)  3 (98.00)  3 (93.30)  2 (95.20) 
(CONO)                     
Vision and anticipation (VIS)  20 (65.30)  20 (49.00)  20 (76.50)  20 (72.10)  20 (86.60)  17 (92.50)  13 (91.60)  6 (97.30)  11 (91.60)  10 (93.20) 
Citizen and civil servant oriented (ORI)  7 (84.30)  2 (85.70)  10 (89.20)  4 (93.20)  15 (91.40)  10 (95.90)  16 (90.90)  6 (97.30)  18 (89.70)  13 (92.50) 
Openness (APER)  9 (83.00)  6 (74.80)  11 (88.80)  9 (87.80)  14 (92.00)  6 (97.30)  11 (92.70)  9 (96.60)  6 (92.20)  10 (93.20) 
Identification with the organization  14 (77.80)  8 (73.50)  16 (84.70)  10 (87.10)  17 (88.60)  12 (95.20)  16 (90.90)  13 (95.90)  14 (90.50)  2 (95.20) 
(IDEN)                     
Managerial area                     
Management (DIR)  12 (79.30)  10 (68.00)  12 (87.50)  11 (85.00)  9 (93.30)  3 (98.00)  12 (92.00)  13 (95.90)  13 (91.40)  15 (91.20) 
Leadership (LID)  15 (73.90)  13 (66.00)  13 (86.90)  16 (81.60)  13 (92.20)  8 (96.60)  10 (93.10)  9 (96.60)  9 (91.80)  15 (91.20) 
Planning and organization (ORG)  6 (84.70)  9 (69.40)  5 (92.70)  5 (91.20)  5 (94.60)  8 (96.60)  2 (95.00)  9 (96.60)  16 (90.10)  17 (89.80) 

Meanwhile, Table 2 presents the comparisons as regards the level of relevance attached by managers and lower-ranking officials to each competency for each of the categories of manager analysed. Thus, the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test z -index value corrected for ties is given along with its level of significance. It can be observed that in the 100 comparisons performed the level of relevance attached by the lower-ranking officials is greater (indicated by the negative value of the z -index) than the level attached by the managers; in 31 cases this superiority is statistically significant. These differences are mainly found in the categories of chief of bureau and section.

Table 2

Comparison between the level of relevance of competencies of management and lower-ranking officials for each level of management.

Competencies  Bureau  Section  Service  Department  Director 
Intrapersonal area           
Self-control and emotional stability (EST)  -2.90**  -1.95  -0.13  -0.73  -0.63 
Self-confidence and self-assurance (CONFI)  -3.30**  -1.81  -1.32  -1.39  -1.40 
Resistance to adversity (RES)  -3.61**  -2.31*  -1.29  -1.90  -1.93 
Interpersonal area           
Communication (COM)  -4.69**  -3.41**  -1.35  -0.84  -1.11 
Establishment of relationships (REL)  -4.12**  -2.92**  -0.84  -0.24  -0.30 
Negotiation (NEG)  -5.87**  -3.77**  -0.41  -1.49  -1.88 
Influence (INF)  -1.32  -0.77  -1.97*  -3.28**  -2.22* 
Teamwork (EQUI)  -1.96  -1.43  -0.24  -0.28  -1.55 
Task development area           
Initiative (INI)  -4.24**  -2.65**  -0.02  -2.53*  -0.57 
Result oriented (ORRES)  -3.46**  -1.31  -0.60  -0.43  -0.04 
Ability to analyse (ANAL)  -3.88**  -0.71  -1.52  -0.16  -0.15 
Decision making (DECI)  -3.42**  -1.16  -0.37  -0.38  -0.27 
Setting area           
Knowledge of the organization (CONO)  -4.05**  -2.74**  -0.16  -1.58  -2.29* 
Vision and anticipation (VIS)  -3.86**  -2.01*  -1.93  -2.43*  -2.64** 
Citizen and civil servant oriented (ORI)  -0.08  -0.63  -0.54  -1.47  -0.37 
Openness (APER)  -2.16*  -0.89  -1.40  -1.56  -1.66 
Identification with the organization (IDEN)  -1.62  -0.36  -1.61  -1.80  -2.58* 
Managerial area           
Management (DIR)  -2.70**  -0.68  -0.79  -0.54  -0.42 
Leadership (LID)  -1.85  -0.86  -0.71  -0.11  -0.88 
Planning and organization (ORG)  -4.56**  -2.30*  -0.75  -0.34  -0.23 

*p < .05, **p < .01

Finally, Table 3 supplies the comparison between the level self-assessed by the managers in the SPA and by the reference population of managers for each of the competencies analysed. For this, the z -index value of the compliance test for means with a known population standard deviation and its level of significance is provided. The results reveal that in all cases, the managers in the SPA a self-assessed level of competency statistically below the level demonstrated by the reference population.

Table 3

Comparison between the level of competency self-assessed by the managers in the SPA and the reference population.

Competencies  Study sample (n = 126) Population of managers (N = 1,152)
  SD   
Intrapersonal area           
Self-control and emotional stability (EST)  19.68  2.66  20.98  2.47  -5.91* 
Self-confidence and self-assurance (CONFI)  20.31  2.85  22.00  2.40  -7.90* 
Resistance to adversity (RES)  18.92  2.25  21.00  2.58  -9.05* 
Interpersonal area           
Communication (COM)  20.94  2.82  22.62  2.58  -7.31* 
Establishment of relationships (REL)  22.57  3.72  24.20  3.20  -5.72* 
Negotiation (NEG)  18.95  2.39  21.17  2.59  -9.62* 
Influence (INF)  20.59  2.22  22.11  2.26  -7.55* 
Teamwork (EQUI)  25.94  2.98  27.44  2.28  -7.38* 
Task development area           
Initiative (INI)  27.96  3.24  28.81  3.17  -3.01* 
Result oriented (ORRES)  28.22  3.84  31.66  3.40  -11.36* 
Ability to analyse (ANAL)  26.17  2.43  27.14  2.47  -4.41* 
Decision making (DECI)  20.79  2.29  21.51  2.18  -3.71* 
Setting area           
Knowledge of the organization (CONO)  23.21  4.02  26.88  3.14  -13.12* 
Vision and anticipation (VIS)  18.59  3.21  21.18  3.32  -8.76* 
Citizen and civil servant oriented (ORI)  21.42  2.92  23.28  2.56  -8.15* 
Openness (APER)  20.35  2.75  22.12  2.47  -8.04* 
Identification with the organization (IDEN)  22.72  3.09  26.63  3.05  -14.39* 
Managerial area           
Management (DIR)  23.56  3.10  26.12  2.93  -9.81* 
Leadership (LID)  22.23  3.58  24.66  3.04  -8.97* 
Planning and organization (ORG)  23.04  3.12  25.20  3.06  -7.92* 

*p < .01

Conclusions

The results obtained in this study have an important impact in the field of the SPA, as they enable us to know the assessment carried out by lower-ranking civil servants and civil servants in management regarding the importance of the different competencies. What is more, they provide highly valuable information concerning the competencies that civil servants with management responsibilities should possess in order to perform their work efficiently. The conclusions stemming from the analysis of the results are as follows:

With respect to the importance of competencies , both groups highlight that the competencies analysed are considered key pieces in the performance of management responsibility. This conclusion leads us to consider the need to draw up a Catalogue of competencies for management positions and posts of director – in concordance with the mission, vision, and values of the public service – which would a Dictionary the competencies are defined using deors that translate them into observable behaviours. Likewise, for each direction and management job, the level of proficiency of the competency that ought to be held (normal, high and very high), should be established, together with the behaviours associated to each level ( Generalitat de Catalunya, 2009).

In relation to this aspect, there is an extensive literature dealing with the study of competencies and their transcendental importance inside organizations (e.g., Boyatzis, 1982; García, 2011; Hay, 1990; Kanungo & Misra, 1992; Spencer & Spencer, 1993 ).

It should be noted that in many cases it is quite clear that the level of relevance attached by lower-ranking officials is statistically greater than the level of relevance attached by managers. Initially both groups would follow the same patterns as regards placing the competencies of Self-confidence and Self-assurance and Communication in the top places in the ranking; and in all the types of existing management positions, curiously the two above competencies belong, respectively, to the Intrapersonal area (way in which people relate to themselves) and the Interpersonal area (way in which people relate to those around them in the workplace); and these two areas, in turn, constitute the central nucleus of what several authors have called in one way or another Emotional Intelligence, which is necessary in order to transform intellectual potential into real life results with the consequent recognition and rewards ( Gardner, 1987; Goleman, 1999; Mayer & Salovey, 1993; Thorndike, 1920 ). Meanwhile, both groups identify the competency of Teamwork in the top places but only for the chiefs of bureau and section, with this competency relegated to the bottom places in the chiefs of department and directors. Other competencies located in the top positions for both groups for the chiefs of department and directors are those of Decision making, Knowledge of the organization, and Ability to analyse . It is also worth noting the little relevance both groups attach to the competency of Vision and anticipation in the chiefs of bureau and section, and to that of Influence in the chiefs of service, department and directors.

We were able to see that the competencies indicated by the respondents in this study as relevant are mentioned in the CSBS and outline the domain of on-the-job performance in the City Council of Palma de Mallorca and throughout the SPA (local, autonomic, and state), specifically the competency of Goal and results oriented appears in article 53.8; Initiative in articles 54.8 and 54.10; Commitment and Identification with the organization in article 53.11, Collaboration and Teamwork in 53.3, and Resistance to adversity in articles 53.8 and 53.10.

With respect to the comparison between the self-assessed level in the managers and the reference population , the results are systematic and convincing: the managers have a lower self-assessed level of competencies compared to the reference population of managers in all 20 competencies analysed, which leads us to confirm that the current ion and promotion systems in the SPA do not take into ac specific demands for positions of responsibility (inexistence of a specific profile), and in many cases the same indicators are taken into ac as for lower-ranking positions. Neither does the List of Jobs (LOJ) define specific, differentiated s for each level of management; therefore it does not discriminate what people are supposed to do depending on the level of responsibility they find themselves in. This situation makes it impossible to fulfil the mandate of the CSBS as regards the compulsory evaluation of professional performance, as there is no model against which to compare the reality of each civil servant in terms of involvement, performance, attainment of goals, etc. All of this enables us to point out the need to establish a training model linked to the competencies d for the positions of direction and management that will prepare for the s that must be taken on.

Reality shows that it does not suffice to candidates for staff management purely by means of the customary procedures through public exams based on merits or by free appointments without a previously established profile of competencies which takes into ac both theoretical knowledge and practical abilities or know-how, as well as personal attitudes or commitments, which range from knowledge and know-how to knowing what to be like and how to be in a particular place and time ( Morin, 1999 ). In the ion procedures handled by the different studies used in this research, we detected little or no presence of a competency profile as an indicator of good professional development.

At present, rapid, complex technological, economic, labour, and social changes are taking place, thus, human resources must possess the competencies that will enable them to cope with these changing situations. This is particularly relevant in the case of civil servants in positions of direction and management – key pieces in our organizations – as the ability of organizations to develop in a dynamic, complex environment is largely determined by the abilities of its managers (Kolb, Lublin, Spoth, & Baker, 1986). What is more, some authors even claim that organizations end up being a reflection of the leaders they have at any given time.

All too often, institutional leaders, directors, and managers bemoan the little motivation of their subordinates when it would be appropriate to reflect on the causes of this disillusionment: perhaps it is they themselves with their behaviours or lack of behaviours (competencies) who are contributing to this process in which talent is pushed away from their organizations by their own inability or difficulties to lead correctly ( Fernández, 2007 Kolb et al., 1986, Marmolar et al., 2007, Ministerio de Hacienda, 2013 and Pereda and Berrocal, 2001).

It is necessary to implant a change of culture in the public administrations, once and for all adopting a process of professionalization of management. The evaluation of on-the-job performance through goals and the training programmes that are necessary for their design and implementation are the most appropriate tools to generate efficiency and competitiveness in the Spanish public administration (CEOE, 2011).

Finally, this study will help us go further into the creation of a competency-based integrated management system in the SPA, which will make it possible to fulfil the CSBS and transform human resources in the three administrations: local, autonomic, and central.

Conflict of Interest

The authors of this article declare no conflict of interest.

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