Dutch public affairs professionals in the national and European arena: A smart mix of skills, attitude, and knowledge competences

Edward L. Figee*, Jordi F. Gosselt, Paul C.J. Linders, Menno D.T. de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Although the profession of public affairs (PA) is increasingly important for organizations, relatively little is known about the range of competences PA professionals need. This article presents a qualitative study among 41 experienced Dutch PA professionals and practitioners, who were interviewed about the competences needed in regional and local PA. The results show that a combination of skills-related, attitudinal, and knowledge-related competences is needed. Skills-related competences involve two broad domains: politics and communication. Attitudinal competences comprise the almost paradoxical qualities of authentic professionalism and flexibility. Knowledge-related competences comprise political and communicative knowledge. These competences are used in a delicate process of swapping, depending on the situation of the very moment and the PA file at hand. Every competence may be of decisive importance. The PA professional is a silent diplomat.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1666
JournalJournal of public affairs
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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