University of California, Riverside

Human Resources



Competency Requirements for Business Officers


Identification of seven general competency clusters for a Business Officer

The data for this model was gathered through personal interviews of Business Officers on campus and their managers - the Vice Chancellors and Deans. Business Officers included the Chief Financial Officers of the major divisions, Senior Business Officers, and Management Services Officers.  Each interview focused on the knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, values, and other personal characteristics which are needed to effectively perform the job.  Our data was then tested against the models developed by Spencer and Boyatzis and was found to be compatible.

Seven general competency clusters or competency categories have been identified as applicable to all levels:

  • Achievement
  • Helping/Service
  • Influence
  • Management
  • Cognitive Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Professional/Managerial Expertise and Specialized Knowledge

The competency categories are intended to be broad representations which serve as the basis for distinguishing the special characteristics of each.  The description of the underlying characteristics of each category consists of traits, ways of behaving, thinking, etc.  In most cases, we have included a spectrum of the underlying characteristics, from behavior which was described to us as not successful, to that which resulted in superior performance.  Our intent is to provide a point of reference, a context within which these characteristics may be viewed.  Similarly, where appropriate, we have provided a contextual perspective of the role which a particular position might play within the organization, e.g., the impact is localized or across a division or campus.

The range of positions included in the model is from the entry level MSO I to the CFO.  The seventh cluster, "Professional/Managerial Expertise and Specialized Knowledge" includes skills which tend to be visible, and relatively surface characteristics of people.  The remaining six clusters focus on self-concept, trait, and motive competencies which are more hidden, deeper and central to personality.  Skills and knowledge are the basic qualifications in order to be considered for employment while the remaining competencies are essential for superior performance.

The model provides a much expanded and detailed information base about what it takes to produce superior performance in the job of Business Officer.  One can look at each of the clusters for specific descriptors of the behaviors, traits, characteristics, skills and knowledge.  Thus, application of the model will prove useful in the analysis of position requirements, description of those requirements for recruitment, selection for employment, performance management, etc.

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