This paper presents the results of a business – university collaborative research project on defining lower management competencies in the year 2025. The purpose of the research was to help a large local airport to define and understand what competencies lower management will need in order to function effectively in the renewed organization portrayed in an internal strategic document called “Chief Plan 2025”. At the same time the research was needed as input for developing new business curricula. Field research was done by a team of five researchers using focus groups and interviews with 43 employees from 15 different business units. Three general types of critical competencies emerged from the data; professional, interpersonal and personal. Management implications are that the airport will need to adapt its HRM policies. New business curricula will need to help graduates to work in roles, rather than functions. Limitations are linked to the generalizability of the results and the fact that the research was organization-centric, meaning broad societal changes that might affect individuals’ attitudes and in turn their attitude towards work were not considered.