The importance of digital communication competence in the competitive advantage context of the UK professional business sector

Sharpe, R 2021, The importance of digital communication competence in the competitive advantage context of the UK professional business sector , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Rapid technological advancement is impacting jobs and work resulting in digital skills being critical in the contemporary UK workforce (Riley et al., 2020). As such and by 2030, 20% of the labour market could be under skilled for their job requirements with the persistent issue of the digital skills gap continuing to impact the UK economy (Nania et al., 2019). Employing Dynamic Capability Theory proposed by Teece, Pisano and Shuen (1997), the investigation centred on the UK Professional Business Sector to investigate the importance of digital communication competence in that competitive business context. A focus on digital skills sets in that sector is vital to keep ahead of technological advances, innovation alignment and to maintain competitive positioning (Riley et al. 2020). The sector is knowledge based and includes a range of sub sector organisations including: management consultancy, outsourcing, recruitment and office administration amongst others. Dynamic capability measures were employed linking change to restructure, products, services and geographical expansion with a profitability and innovation focus. Strategic learning and knowledge transfer measures linked directly to the digital communication competence focus which was analysed using the European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DIGCOMP) (Ferrari, 2013). The UK based sample of Professional Business Sector largely reflect the dynamic capability measures employed although their organisational focus on learning and knowledge transfer could generally be improved to support their strong acknowledgment of the importance of employee digital communication competence. Nearly all consider the features and intermediate levels of this skill set to be important in their organisational context whilst advanced levels of the competence are key in some businesses and in some roles. These organisations reflect a digital transformation and digital mind-set focus. Alignment of digital innovation with the business model spotlights learning and knowledge to underpin their value of digital skill sets. Employee development is key in ensuring understanding of online safety principles and improving the overall workforce digital skill level to create distinct dynamic advantage in the changing context of work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Lord, JD (Supervisor) and Hartley, KA (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Depositing User: Ruth Sharpe
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 13:09
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 13:09
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/60978

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