Ability/capacity/capability of an organization

Trimple

Member
Japanese
I've read past threads on capacities/capabilities/abilities but I am still unable to
distinguish between them clearly.
I would very much appreciate it if you could help me out in selecting the best
wording in the following context.

I wish to describe the "required ability" of an organization to identify/investigate
problems.  If the ability is lacking, it needs to be developed.  Which of the
following would best describe the needed ability?
1) Ability to identify
2) Capability to identify
3) Capacity to identify

Ability seems to me the most natural.
However, I have heard terms like "capacity-building of a group".
I have also seen the word "capabilities" used in similar contexts, and I am unsure.

Thanks for your help!
 
  • Kryptonite1303

    Senior Member
    India - Tamil & English
    In your context, ability.
    Since we are talking about an organisation, i.e. a system, and not a person, do you think "capability" is a better word.

    For eg., "In order to identify process exceptions at an early stage, we need to build sufficient capability into the system." What do you think?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I was addressing the original question: Ability to identify/investigate problems. Which is totally different from building any corporate capabilities.
     
    I agree that "ability" is the best choice in isolation, and "capability" adds nothing but an unnecessary syllable. On the other hand, "capacity" is possible if the organization's ability to identify problems is limited by a lack of resources. In that situation, the addition of resources (manpower, for example) could be said to improve the capacity of the organization to identify problems. "Ability" would work for that as well, which is why it's best choice in the absence of a larger context.
     

    Kryptonite1303

    Senior Member
    India - Tamil & English
    I was addressing the original question: Ability to identify/investigate problems. Which is totally different from building any corporate capabilities.
    Sorry. I was wondering if 'capability' is a better word in the context of an organisation but I gather 'ability' is a better option.
     
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