What are Core Competencies?
Core Competencies are a business’ primary strengths or tactical advantages, including technical capabilities and assembled knowledge, that allows it to be successful on the open market.
This management theory was created by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, who described them as "a harmonized combination of multiple resources and skills.” Core competencies should permit the business to grow into new markets, along with significantly benefitting customers. They also should be difficult for competitors to copy so they provide a truly competitive edge.
An example would be expertise in micro-electronics, fine optics and precision mechanics that allow building cameras but also could be used to expand into other product markets.