n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Scalable competency in the communication profession

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



This article describes a research project that investigated the factors that enable entry to and advance within a career in professional communication. The scope of 'professional communication' is delimited to the areas that are embraced by the broad and overlapping domains of marketing communication, public relations, internal and external communication. A grounded theory approach was used. Individual professional competencies were identified and clustered. The ability to accumulate or scale these was termed 'scalable competency' and identified as a central factor in professional advancement. Scalable competency is related to two sets of determinants that are described as 'push' and 'pull' factors. An additional competency, that of integration, was identified as a factor that applies to both sets of determinants. Constraints to advancement were also identified.

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