Managing Knowledge Workers
by Olivier Serrat Rationale
A knowledge worker is someone who is employed because of his or her knowledge of a subject matter, rather than ability to perform manual labor. They perform best when empowered to make the most of their deepest skills. Assumptions about people working in organizations are less and less tenable. One misleading notion is that they are subordinate employees retained around the clock; another is that they rely on their organization for livelihood and career. One hundred years ago, in the United States and Europe, the largest single group of workers labored in agriculture. Sixty years later, it consisted of technical, professional, and managerial people. Today, it is made up of knowledge workers who may practice at an organization but might not be its employees. And, if they are in full-time employment, fewer and fewer are subordinates. What of it? Observers make out that working habits are shifting from lifetime employment in a single organization to portfolio work. Knowledge workers produce and distribute ideas and information rather than goods or services. They are individuals with different aspirations from the hierarchy-conscious personnel of the past; they are also m obileandtheydoleave.Hiringtalentedpeopleisdifficult.Keepingthemismoredifficultstill.So,toplugthedrainofhumancapitalinacompetitiveknowledgeeconomy, knowledge workers should be treated as an asset rather than as a cost. Preferably, they should be managed as though they were partners (or at least volunteers).
Making knowledgeable people perform is not a matter of making them work harder or more skillfully. Naturally, they are dedicated and such interventions are beside the point. Rather, the managerial task relates to removing obstacles to performance and then channeling efforts into areas that will contribute to the accomplishment of an...
...Reprinted from Future of Work Agenda March 2007
What is a KnowledgeWorker, Anyway?
by Jim Ware and Charlie Grantham In our consulting and research work we spend a lot of time exploring how the emergence of knowledge work as the primary driver of economic activity is changing the nature of the workplace and even basic organizational and management practice. Recently one of our clients asked us a very basic question: Just what is aknowledgeworker?” As he said, “Everyone uses that term but it certainly doesn’t seem very well defined. And if we’re going to be doing market research and making investments aimed at attracting knowledgeworkers to our community and local businesses, we sure ought to have some kind of agreement about just who it is we’re talking about.” We agree, and that question stimulated the development of a working paper on “Knowledge Work and KnowledgeWorkers.” We’re pleased to offer an excerpt from that paper here.
Peter Drucker is generally credited with coining the term “knowledgeworker” in 1959. In 1991 he wrote an article on knowledgeworker productivity for the Harvard Business Review (“The New Productivity Challenge,” Nov-Dec 1991, pp69-79) in which he more or less put knowledge work (ill-defined at best) and service work in one...
...departments have the right strategies to select, develop, manage and retain knowledgeworkers?
As Peter Drucker recently quoted, the new knowledge economy will rely heavily on knowledgeworkers who are not, as a rule, much better paid than traditional skilled workers but also see themselves as professionals. Knowledge technologists are likely to become the dominant social and perhaps, political force over the next decades. Thus, it is very important to have the right strategies in place to select, develop, manage and retain knowledgeworkers. But before we proceed to analyze if HR departments do have these strategies, we need to understand what the term ‘knowledgeworkers’ means. A knowledgeworker is one who works primarily with information or one who develops and uses knowledge in the workplace. In a knowledge-driven economy, a knowledgeworker is oriented more towards research, analysis and manipulation of the symbols, as in information, rather than the mechanical tools. These individuals have domain knowledge expertise and may include broadly: architects, finance experts, graphic designers, fashion designers, pharmaceutical scientists, researchers, teachers, and policy analysts, to name but a few.
In order to focus...
...DQ 4 about KnowledgeWorkers and their working field and circumstances
The term knowledgeworker was first used by Peter Drucker in his book Landmarks of Tomorrow from 1959. His opinion is right that knowledgeworkers have positions in the technology field, researching, system analysts, technical writers, academical professionals and so forth.
The concrete definition of a knowledgeworker is described in Thomas Davenports Book Thinking for a living (2005) as someone who uses his mind for work. Knowledgeworkers do primary solve “non-routine” difficulties and not daily tasks. They possess knowledge and are able to carry out combining convergent, divergent and creative thinking (Reinhardt et al., 2005).
As knowledgeworkers need time to search for their information – according Mcdermott (2005) they spend about 38% of their time searching for information – knowledgeworkers can not be treated as other workers. They do not receive all necessary information from their management in order to fulfill their tasks. They are analysing and working with their creativity in order to develop strategies, new products or other outputs. They often work out of their head office, they are displaced by their managements or they work in a home office (2005).
...Knowledge Management Practices in Ayurvedic Industry.
Knowledge management (KM) is based on the idea that an organisation’s most valuable resource is the knowledge of its people. This is not a new idea – organisations have been managing “human resources” for years. What is new is the focus on knowledge.
This focus is being driven by the accelerated rate of change in today’s organisations and in society as a whole. Knowledge management recognises that today nearly all jobs involve “knowledge work” and so all staff is “knowledgeworkers” to some degree or another – meaning that their job depends more on their knowledge than their manual skills. This means that creating, sharing and using knowledge are among the most important activities of nearly every person in every organisation.
Knowledge management is essentially about facilitating the processes by which knowledge is created, shared and used in organisations. It is not about setting up a new department or getting in a new computer system.
At its broadest, KM is the ‘process through which organizations generate value from intellectual and knowledge based assets’
There are two types of knowledge assets –
Explicit or formal assets like copyrights, patents, templates, publications,...
Knowledge management – how organizations track, measure, share and make use of intangible assets such as an employee’s ability to think fast in a crisis – is increasingly important in a fast-changing knowledge society. Organizations have always managed knowledge, even if they did not use the term knowledge management. For example, a person experienced in operating or repairing a particular machine could pass their knowledge on to newcomers.
Knowledge management (KM) can also be defined simply as doing what is needed to get the most out of knowledge resources.
* KM focuses on organizing and making available important knowledge, wherever and whenever it is needed.
* It is the process to help an organization to identify, select, organize, disseminate, transfer information.
* KM is related to the concept of intellectual capital (both human and structural).
* Social/Structural mechanisms for promoting knowledge sharing.
* Leading-edge information technology (e.g. Web- based conferencing) to support KM mechanisms.
* Knowledge management systems (KMS): the synergy between social/structural mechanisms and latest technologies
CLASSIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
* As a whole, knowledge management is accomplished through four...
Table of contents
Categorization of knowledgeworkers 4
Knowledgeworker roles 5
Management guru Peter Drucker coined the term "knowledgeworker." In his 1969 book, The Age of Discontinuity, Drucker differentiates knowledgeworkers from manualworkers and insists that new industries will employ mostly knowledgeworkers. Drucker was clearly prescient about the expanding role of knowledge in an information-based economy as the knowledgeworker is one who works primarily with information or one who develops and uses knowledge in the workplace.
Fast-forward 42 years. The terms "knowledgeworker" and "manual worker" are no longer mutually exclusive. People loading product onto rail cars certainly work with their hands, but they may also contribute knowledge to the business.
sometimes are called "gold collars", because of their high salaries, as well as because of their relative independence in controlling the process of their own work
A knowledgeworker is a person that adds value to an organization by processing existing information to create...
...Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry
The study of Knowledge Management is a process that has been researched for centuries by western philosophers and traditional theorists, however it is only until recently that knowledge management has been the main focus for many organisations. Many have said that it was the publishing of Karl Wiig’s, “knowledge management foundations” (1993), that sparked the huge interest in knowledge management and nearly two decades on KM is now considered as an essential tool for companies to improve their performance and adaptability.  Not only this but the concept of knowledge has been regarded as a businesses most precious asset and highly critical in keeping a firm competitive.  This study will look at the knowledge management of one of the most Knowledge intensive industries in the world, the pharmaceutical industry, looking at, comparing and criticising the different strategies that are used within the industry.
The pharmaceutical industry is rapidly growing and rapidly evolving, with organisations constantly investing in their research and development departments for the development of new and valuable explicit information. In 2007 €6,525 million was spent on R+D in the UK for the pharmaceutical market, showing that firms invest large sums of money in this knowledge intensive...
...consider in detail of the business model and key features of the enterprise and specific details of the knowledgeworker roles, and the skills, knowledge, and attributes required for this business to become insurmountable.
Future scape of a enterprise
Instead of knowledge management systems or enterprise applications or our e-mail to manage information, it should be that the systems to co-ordinate the enterprise and make them act according to all its experience.
Attribute of the enterprise required for the business to success in 2020.
Be critical thinking for the future. The organisation has to prepare proactively for the future by building scenarios and responses to emerging trends that could impact them. If the organisation are heading into the future much less prepared because they have no standard or consistent approach to detect and evaluate future impacts, or worse will likely wait until the trend becomes a distinct disruption and requires focused recovery action.
Be able to handle the retirements of baby boomers and the loss of knowledge. The well documented, coming baby boomer retirement wave is one important future impact facing many organisations. The overwhelming challenge organisations expect to confront is the loss of organisational knowledge through those retirements. (retain knowledge is important, huge challenge)