Dr. Sara ElZarka
DESIGNING A COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK FOR LOGISTICS EXECUTIVES: THE CASE OF THE READY-MADE GARMENTS MANUFACTURERS IN EGYPT
The ready-made garments (RMG) manufacturing industry in Egypt is one of the main industries that supports the Egyptian economy through exports‟ earnings. Egypt’s RMG exports are considerably less in quantity than other RMG exporting countries despite the advantages that Egypt has in terms of availability of high quality raw materials „cotton‟, the geographical proximity to main RMG importers and duty free trade agreements. Among the factors found to affect the competitiveness of Egypt’s RMG exports are the lack of training, and the lack of skilled labour and management. This research develops a competency framework - a tool that can assist RMG manufacturing companies in Egypt to identify the skills needed for effective job performance and to define the skills deficiencies that would require training. This competency framework focuses on logistics executives in RMG manufacturing companies, as competent logistics executives have been shown to play a vital role in supporting the competitive advantage of organisations. The competency approach had not previously been used in research to identify the competencies needed for logistics executives in any industry, including the RMG industry. Moreover, very little work has been carried out on investigating the skills of logistics executives in developing countries, nevertheless in the Middle East. To create this competency framework, methodological triangulation was used through the use of questionnaires, content analysis and semi-structured interviews. The online questionnaire targeted a sample of logistics executives in RMG companies in Egypt to determine the tasks they consider important for effective job performance. The content analysis was performed on skills-related research to collect the skills and knowledge elements acknowledged in the literature to create logistics competencies. The output of the questionnaire and the content analysis was then used in a semi-structured interview with a senior merchandiser and development manager in an Egyptian RMG manufacturing company to provide an example of a completed competency framework.
This thesis seeks to make an original contribution to knowledge by creating a competency framework template that RMG manufacturing companies in Egypt can use to identify the competencies and detect the skills deficiencies of logistics executives. This contribution would not only benefit the RMG manufacturing companies in Egypt, but it could also be of use to RMG exporters in developing countries which suffer from similar skills and training problems. This research is also a contribution in that it emphasises the role of logistics executives towards supporting Egypt’s RMG exports, an angle which has not previously been explored, as earlier research focused on other aspects that supported the competitiveness of Egypt’s RMG exports such as trade regulations. Moreover, acknowledging the role of logistics executives in this study could draw the attention of other industrial sectors in Egypt to consider the role of competent logistics executives towards supporting companies‟ performance.