Today, more and more organizations rely upon the competencies of their staffs. This increasing reliance on competence has triggered many organizations to implement competence systems in order to support staff allocation and competence development. Competence systems can be characterized as systems that describe and present measures of individualsâ?? competencies. Even though the implemented competence systems are seemingly well-designed, it is apparent that such systems are only sporadically used in competence management practice. In spite of the fact that competence systems are aimed at supporting knowledge-based organizations, it seems that the systems do not fit this type of organization. This thesis is about how to design competence systems so that they achieve their intended effects in knowledge-based organizations. The main research question of this thesis is: How can competence systems be designed to support knowledge-based organizations? The objective of this thesis is to produce design-specific knowledge for successful competence systems adoption in knowledge-based organizations. This thesis is based on an action research study covering six organizations. The learning outcome of the first action research cycle was that successful integration of competence systems requires system features conveying a technology spirit more in line with organizational knowledge work practice. On the basis of the first action research cycle, the objective of the second action research cycle was to develop and implement competence systems prototypes in order to understand and improve competence systems adoption in knowledge-based organizations. Based on the evaluation of the prototype systems, the general lesson learned was that an activating technology spirit of competence systems would facilitate their adoption in knowledge-based organizations. The thesis demonstrates that conceptualizations of people's interests are crucial for successful competence systems adoption in knowledge-based organizations.