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Hrm Practices in Knowledge Workers

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Text Preview 2nd Special Focus Symposium on ICESKS:
Information, Communication and Economic Sciences in the Knowledge Society Zadar, November 13th to 14th, 2008
HRM practices in managing knowledge workers

Ing. Martin Šikýř, Department of Personnel Management, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Economics, Prague, Winston Churchill Sg. 4, 130 67 Prague 3, Czech Republic,[email protected]

Prof.dr.sc. Damir Boras, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, Croatia Ljubica Bakić-Tomić, Ph.D. Faculty for Teachers, University of Zagreb, Croatia, [email protected]

Abstract
What resources are the most important for an organization? That is knowledge and its owners so-called knowledge workers. If an organization wants to be successful, i.e. prosperous, competitive and flexible, its managers must find out an efficient and effective way to manage knowledge workers whose knowledge helps the organization to achieve expected objectives. Knowledge workers may be managed successfully through common and proven Human Resource Management (HRM) practices in job design, recruitment, selection and orientation, performance management, compensation, training and development. These and others HRM practices help the organization and its managers to create conditions for efficient and effective management of workers and their knowledge, including voluntary and mutual creation, sharing and use of knowledge in the organization. The aim of this paper is to apply the theory and practice of Human Resource Management to the theory and practice of Knowledge Management and propose a possible way of using HRM practices in managing knowledge workers and their knowledge in the organization. The paper is written on the basis of available literature and authors’ opinions and experience. Key words: Human Resource Management practices, Knowledge Management, knowledge workers. 1. What is knowledge?

What is knowledge? The answer to this question is not so simple and unambiguous. The word “knowledge“ is commonly used in many different meanings (awareness, familiarity, understanding, comprehension, experience, etc.). To define knowledge, we can use the fact that knowledge is always knowledge of something, has its object, and knowledge of someone, has its subject (Tondl, 2002). The object of knowledge is a certain sequence of symbols that describe elements and matters of the real world. We usually call this sequence of symbols “data“. The subject of knowledge is a source of knowledge (he/she/it creates, disseminates and mediates knowledge) or a receiver of knowledge (he/she/it acquires and uses knowledge). The subject of knowledge is able to demonstrate his/her/its knowledge in some way. One of the possible ways of demonstrating one’s own knowledge is to create and use purpose-built stores of data that we usually call “databases“. A typical subject of knowledge is a human being that creates and uses various databeses in various forms such as documents, periodicals, books, paintings, pictures, multimedia presentations, computer systems and also (and maybe above all) in one's own memory. We create and use databeses to collect, transfer, store, transform and present data in order to satisfy our actual information need. The information need means our demand to learn something new and is satisfied at the moment of use of information content of data. We use data, interpret data and ascribe some meaning to data. In this moment data changes into “information“ that satisfies our actual information need and brings us profit. We can use information in the process of decision making (information reduces uncertainty or ignorance), in the process of communication (information makes possible to share its meaning) and in the process of learning (information supports generation and development of new knowledge). But if we want to use information, we must be able to interpret available data, ascribe some meaning to data and use the information content of data. And... Show More

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