Abstract

The beginning of the 21st century features the ever increasing globalization, rapid technological and demographical shifts, and numerous mergers and acquisitions. All of the above factors heavily impact organizations forcing them to compete more intensely, to devise new strategies, and introduce new approaches to their operations and customer relations. Globalization offers foreign companies a chance to become local market players and thus pose a serious competitive threat to local operators. Technologies that replace each other at a fast pace make organizations to review their attitude to customers and consumers, and continuously look for new ways to meet their changing demands. Such demographic trends as aging populations and falling birth rates, particularly telling in Russia, are already ringing alarm bells of work force reduction, which triggers tough corporate competition for qualified personnel. All of these phenomena are already visible in Russian and international markets, including the oil industry: nowadays, companies have to fight for best human resources; the time it takes to headhunt world-level technical experts has increased to 12-18 months; and ever more sophisticated methods are used to recruit personnel. In addition, as quality of education offered by Russian petroleum universities deteriorates and the qualifications of their graduates decline, companies have to launch in-house training programs for young specialists.

All of the above factors show that in order to stay afloat and prosper, companies have to revise their attitudes and customs. Traditional approaches to competition are gradually losing their former significance. An organization's success no longer exclusively hinges on its ability to meet the needs of its customers or shareholders, but also on how effectively its processes help it in responding to environmental challenges and changes. Traditional ways of gaining a competitive advantage, such as offering better quality services and products at a lower price, using state-of-the-art technologies, research, etc., must now be complemented with developing an organizational capability or the company's ability to manage its human resources in such a way as to obtain competitive edge. Continuously changing external conditions and the growing significance of uniqueness to company operations have defined this paper's topic. Organizational capability development would enable the company to acquire a source of corporate uniqueness that can hardly be copied or imitated by its competitors.

This article describes a research project carried out within TNK-BP in order to assess the level of its organizational capability and design an organizational capability development program.

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