A Study on Individual Competencies for Foreign Government Representatives in Taiwan

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2012

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The purpose of this study was to identify the individual competencies required for foreign governmentrepresentatives serving in Taiwan and explore how these individuals have developed such competencies. A qualitative approach was adopted to reach this purpose. Participatory observation in one foreign mission office in Taiwan, document review and semi structured interviews with ten foreign government representatives serving in Taiwan were utilized for data collection. The research suggest that the competency development stage of foreign government representatives is guided by a social learning process and later enhanced by intentional self-development changes. Work experience and on-the-job learning methods guided by these two processes represent the way in which foreign government representatives have acquire the competencies necessary to be posted in Taiwan. Moreover, to have a more integral competency assessment, this study utilized the American Society for Training& Development (ASTD) competency model as a guideline to further categorize those individual competencies, identifying three competency levels. The first foundational level competences identified included: relational ability, communication skills, linguistic ability, intercultural competence, analytical skills, business acumen, knowledge management, administrative skills, adaptability/flexibility, emotional intelligence, stress management, openness to experience and extroversion. The second focuslevel areas of expertise were composed of: protocol, public service orientation, public relations, market development, attracting investment, international politics and law, and history and cultural affairs. Finally the top level execution roles determined were: political analyst, commercial counselor, public diplomacy agent, consular advocate and management officer. The findings of this study provide information for government ministries and officials in charge of selecting foreign mission holders and for those international educators responsible for training and developing the future generation of diplomats and foreign government representatives.
The purpose of this study was to identify the individual competencies required for foreign government representatives serving in Taiwan and explore how these individuals have developed such competencies. A qualitative approach was adopted to reach this purpose. Participatory observation in one foreign mission office in Taiwan, document review and semi structured interviews with ten foreign government representatives serving in Taiwan were utilized for data collection. The research suggest that the competency development stage of foreign government representatives is guided by a social learning process and later enhanced by intentional self-development changes. Work experience and on-the-job learning methods guided by these two processes represent the way in which foreign government representatives have acquire the competencies necessary to be posted in Taiwan. Moreover, to have a more integral competency assessment, this study utilized the American Society for Training& Development (ASTD) competency model as a guideline to further categorize those individual competencies, identifying three competency levels. The first foundational level competences identified included: relational ability, communication skills, linguistic ability, intercultural competence, analytical skills, business acumen, knowledge management, administrative skills, adaptability/flexibility, emotional intelligence, stress management, openness to experience and extroversion. The second focuslevel areas of expertise were composed of: protocol, public service orientation, public relations, market development, attracting investment, international politics and law, and history and cultural affairs. Finally the top level execution roles determined were: political analyst, commercial counselor, public diplomacy agent, consular advocate and management officer. The findings of this study provide information for government ministries and officials in charge of selecting foreign mission holders and for those international educators responsible for training and developing the future generation of diplomats and foreign government representatives.

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Competency, Foreign government representatives, Diplomacy, International Relations, Competency, Foreign government representatives, Diplomacy, International Relations

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