Table of Contents
A new generation or era has been born in the workplace and knowledge workers are the individuals who are considered to be in the forefront. Some people are of the view that in this era, the workers have been exempted of the constrictions that comes along with organizational employment (Pink, 2001). Nonetheless, the majority of the knowledge workers function as employees and up-and-coming research indicates that the interaction between this type generation of workers and organizations have led to a well-built tensions in competition (Warhurst & Thompson 2006).
The authors of this article present an opinion that needs to be considered as far as the knowledge economy is concerned. This puts forward an opinion that the differences resulting from the introduction of the knowledge workers in the contemporary world of professions lead to the formation of a hybrid in regard to the various relationships in the employment sector. This is the matter in which these writers have dedicated their time and resources on in coming up with this article. Series of research works have been conducted and the findings, based on the fact that the firm involved is a big consultancy firm, gives suggestions that the various tensions come up as a result of this be considered in coming up with a good hybrid that incorporates the current bureaucracies (Warhurst & Thompson 2006).
The term knowledge economy can be used to refer to an economy that is basically based on the knowledge. The use of knowledge technologies in the various endeavors to try and accomplish some economic benefits takes precedence in this kind of economy. Knowledge can be viewed in varying opinions and is known to assume lots of forms that are difficult to predict. Knowledge as an economic factor has a lot of limitations in regard to common understanding as opposed to other concrete resources involved in the industrial economy. However, this does not compromise its importance as far as global economy is considered. The various apprehensions that need to be considered in coming up with a hybrid that will be successful as presented by the authors are; the structure of knowledge work, organizational context, the individual seniority and lastly the client nature (Warhurst & Thompson 2006).
The structure of knowledge work
This is a type of structure that involves individuals whose level of education and expertise in a given field is quite high. These people are known to utilize cognitive ability to tackle various challenges and deciding on a plan to tackle them, and finally accomplishing them in a very informed way that is based on more than just basic reasoning (Warhurst & Thompson 2006).
These workers include engineers, lawyers, doctors, scientists and educators. The senior personnel in marketing, consulting, advertising, finance, insurance as well a policy development. All categories of jobs that can be considered as based on knowledge fall under this category of knowledge workers. The reason why a hybrid is important is because none of the systems is purely perfect. Knowledge workers also experience some challenges just like any other workers. The problem of inequality is also a reality as far as these are considered, without forgetting the fact that these people also face unemployment challenges. However, their unique roles in the economy give them an advantage based on the fact that they have unique acquired resources that play a major role in fighting the challenges that come along with rising mechanization of the contemporary economy. Nonetheless, most of the knowledge based services that are offered by majority of these workers have been over-exploited due to the fact that freelance businesses have become the order of the day. Due to the scarcity of job opportunities people who have specialized in different knowledge jobs start their own firms as a kind of self-employment venture (Warhurst & Thompson 2006).
Among the ways one can benefit as a knowledge worker as stipulated by the writers of this article are; knowledge workers make great contributions to the world economy based on the fact that the exploitation of the opportunities that come along as a result of deciding to invest in their own businesses creates employment for other people. Such technical professions as biotechnology processing fall under the same field of knowledge economy and demands high standards of knowledge to execute. The authors have suggested that the Information Technology can be very supportive to all those wishing to invest in knowledge economy opportunities because IT presents great opportunities in terms of building a career out of this. Such businesses may involve things like consultancy firms and these can actually be based on any kind of knowledge be it medical, law, engineering, financial and so on. These firms do not trade any kind of goods , all they trade is knowledge or advisory services in the respective fields. Other viable investments among others include; academic institutions and research laboratories all of which deal with offering services that are based on the acquired knowledge (Warhurst & Thompson 2006).
One good thing about a knowledge worker investment is that if the investor feels uncomfortable when working in a centralized place or an office, he or she can opt to become a freelance and operate from home. The only challenge that they would face is outshining other freelance who have invested in the same field. As presented in the article, the urge for workers to regularly improve on their range of skills and the continuous adapting of such skills is a sure way of increasing the demand of the labor market. It is worth noting that in the case of a business, knowledge workers are the most expensive to employ and this explains why most of them opt to go into private practice based on the fact that not many businesses can afford to pay them as required (Warhurst & Thompson 2006).
These are some of the challenges as well as the advantages of dealing with knowledge economy. The hybrid that needs to be developed should focus on maintaining the benefits or even improving them further while minimizing the challenges as much as possible. This is the reason why the two authors of the article suggested on the formulation of a hybrid system. It is therefore very sad to find that there are knowledge workers in the society who are perfectly trained and experienced but they remain unemployed. This is indeed wastage of resources due to the fact these people have specialized in certain knowledge but they fail to put it into practice. However, this is upon such individuals to make informed choices on such a matter. It is total lack of commitment to find someone of this caliber idle without anywhere to work based on the fact that it is not a must that these people are employed, they can always enter into private practice. in fact with the current rise of productions that are based on knowledge, the demand for knowledge workers is bound to rise and therefore those who are focused should be able to secure themselves a sources of income. The ability of such workers to discover the opportunities and to actually make a step towards exploiting these opportunities in undertaking new investment plans has been greatly enhanced by the presence of things like social software which in most cases is free.
Warhurst and Thompson, made it very clear in the discussion of the structure of knowledge economy that the good things need to be incorporated in a hybrid system that can be considered for use by a number of companies.
In their article, Warhurst and Thompson ensured that they discussed in detail knowledge management and its connection to organizational context to find the good things that could be incorporated in the old system to come up with the best quality of a hybrid. the argument in this case is that knowledge management is not just involved in the IT thing but it also entails things such as the organizational processes that search for to enhance the inventive human capacity (Leibold & Gibbert 2006).
Business world has transformed so much in the contemporary world not only in the inability to predict the kind of future that is likely to unfold but also in terms of other major two factors that needs to be considered. Firstly, the work of knowledge work has been distinguished from the physical labor. Intellectual work has been promoted and the people possessing the wealth of knowledge have become critical players in this field. Secondly the knowledge work is basically dependent on the computing environment as well as the Information technology field of specialization (Warhurst & Thompson 2006). With these two realities in a world where globalization, information overload, rapid technological changes and need for innovative projects based on the culture of knowledge becoming a reality in life, knowledge economy has gained a lot of popularity and significance in the current world. This has forced organizations to incorporate changes in the way manage their businesses. Most of them have learnt to respect knowledge, value interactions, and use knowledge and the information technology in developing solutions to basic problems. This has led to great emphasis being put on the knowledge management as well as laying more emphasis on the use of Information Technology carrying out most of their processes (Foss 2006).
There are basically four main parts that can be used to explain the issue of knowledge management. First, a theoretical overview regarding the knowledge management issues must be provided. This introduces the idea and its relationship with Information technology. The second part lays emphasis on the organizational context elements that establish the success of the scheme of knowledge (Lytras, 2010). Here the organizational cultures as well as the structure that can facilitate knowledge management are evaluated. Thirdly, an interaction model between the corporate culture and organizational structure is developed and lastly, the challenges that are likely to face such organizations are discussed followed by a conclusion as well as a recommendation that is necessary (Warhurst & Thompson 2006).
This explains why Warhurst and Thompson found it necessary to incorporate the issue of organizational context in the formulation of a hybrid system that would incorporate the good things that come along with knowledge economy (Pink & Afonso, 2004).
Knowledge workers form a very different group of work force from the workers who were involved in organizational employment. As has already been clearly elaborated in the upper part of the paper, Warhurst and Thompson (2006) are offering a perfect situation that aims at eliminating the main difficulties that organizations face in an attempt to ensure that they overcome the main competing tensions that are brought about by the fact that organizations are only having knowledge workers. According to the two writers, it is very clear that the knowledge worker has become a very integral part of the economy due to the rising age of technology. As a result of this, the company ought to strike a balance that ensures that the knowledge workers have both the qualities that lie on the boarders of organizational employment and knowledge employment. According to Warhurst and Thompson (2006), this is only realizable when a firm ensures that the advantages that are brought about by working with the work force under each of the employment conditions are taken into the organization while the negatives are avoided at optimal levels.
In their studies Warhurst and Thompson (2006) came out with a very important factor that ought to be considered under any employment that is based in this era of knowledge management. The fact that the seniority of the individual ought to be considered very much by the organization in ensuring that the hybridization of the work force that is desired by the firm is achievable. The seniority of certain employees at the work place where the knowledge workers are is a very important aspect that ought to be well addressed so as to ensure that the knowledge employees produce the optimal results that are needed from them (Ninan 2005). This is a sensitive matter to the work force because as had already been discussed, it is clear that the work force that is employed under the knowledge workers more often than not are not keen at recognizing the structure of authority in an organization.
As a matter of fact, this came earlier in the paper as the main reasons as to why the knowledge work force is different from the traditional workers. While the knowledge workers have very little to do with the structure and the seniority of the employees, the traditional worker was based on keenly addressing the various positional differences and ensuring that they are left as fixed as they are.
In regard to this matter, Warhurst and Thompson (2006) critically analyzes organizational structure and bureaucracy as being very effective factor to ensure that an organization runs as a unit and hence promote the realization of organizational goals rather than personal goals. This is the main advantage that ought to be taken of by managers during this knowledge based employees era. The main reason as to why Warhurst and Thompson (2006) suggest that using this approach is a very effective tool in ensuring that the main advantage that is argued to be found in using the traditional employee method is derived while still working under the knowledge worker framework.
While creating a clear link in ensuring that the seniority of the employees is recognized under the structure, it is a huge challenge since the structure of the knowledge workers is one that facilitates responsibility for creating and exploring fresh ideas. This is very much unlike in the traditional workers case where the leadership or the people entitled with senior positions had the main responsibility of ensuring that the existing structures in the organization are managed and implemented as they are (Masuyama 2003). By incorporating the aspect of leadership and seniority under the knowledge workers, it is a method of ensuring that the output of the workers in terms of high creativity for new ideas is maintained at the optimal level.
While creating seniority among the employees, Warhurst and Thompson (2006) insist that this is a helpful process in ensuring that success is achieved in blending the traditional workers system with the knowledge workers system since it ensures that the workers being supervised are producing results which are totally different from those expected from the traditional workers. It is no wonder tat the workers ought to be supervised in a very different manner from the traditional workers. The highly ranked or senior workers in the organization ought to ensure that they ensure that the leadership position that they have is used to help ensure that the workers are more promoted towards having the needed open minds, appreciate the different needs and motivations that the workers have.
By having leadership apply this main concept in their leadership, then it is ensured that the employees are capable of developing their own very individual and unique methods to creating optimal results at work. This helps ensure that the individual workers are producing the optimal output in the firm in terms of having unique ideas which are generated individually (Schienstock 2004). In a nutshell, it is therefore true that innovation I the best manner that can be used to create seniority aiming the employs and not by merely creating structures within the organization.
Level and Nature of Client
As has already been elaborated all through the paper, knowledge workers aim at ensuring that they provide the optimal levels of innovation so as to come up with new ideas and plans which end up being effective in propelling the economy. The management of the knowledge workers should therefore help in ensuring that the clients that are being served by the employees are able to derive optimal satisfaction as far as innovation is concerned (Horibe 2009). It is therefore an important factor to ensure that the client that is being served by the company through the knowledge workers is clearly distinguished in terms of their level and nature.
In an effort to ensure that the traditional workers and the knowledge workers are blended together so as to come up with the optimally performing collaboration, then the management has to put a lot of consideration in the nature an level of the clients so as to come up with the right strategy to ensure that the work force produces the optimal results. In regard to this aspect, it is important that knowledge management team puts into consideration the fact that technology is a key component of knowledge. The adoption of technology in the production by the employees has to be governed or regulated depending on the nature and the level of the client that is being served.
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It is in this same breathe that the linkage of technology to knowledge forms the main criteria that can be used by management under the hybridized workforce to ensure that the optimal economic development is brought out of the framework. Knowledge has been mad plenty most necessarily due to the age that we are currently living in. it is therefore due to this fact that technology becomes very vital in helping the knowledge workers to keep a track of the knowledge that is out there. In ensuring that the customer that is being served receives the optimal satisfaction that is needed, the manager ought to ensure that depending on the nature and size of the client that his workers are about to serve, there exists adequate technology that can be used to derive the information need to solve the problem at hand (McKercher 2008). Large scaled clients for instance offer the company huge monies and have to be served with a lot of accuracy and speed. This can only be made possible by the managers ensuring that the workers that are under him are provided with the needed technology. This helps ensure that the employees avoid wastage of time while looking for information or even creating things by themselves. This may be as simple as ensuring that the workers have the access to internet services. Using this, it becomes very easy for the workers to complete the expectations of the client under the required condition and bearing the much needed accuracy.
It is important for the management to take note of the fact that the provision of technology is not enough to guarantee that the operations that are to be done from the customer or client are done. The management has to ensure that the work force that is being designated to using the particular technology are completely trained so as to develop the appropriate skills that are required in the operation and use of the technology are obtained. The management must therefore ensure that depending on the level of the client that the company has, it is possible for it to adequately use the knowledge workers to attract the needed satisfaction to the clients. In a nutshell therefore, it is important for managers under the hybridized knowledge workers to ensure that the appropriate technology to serve all the clients of the company are provided for the workers and also go an extra mile in ensuring that the employees make use of the technology (Schienstock 2004). This goes a very long way in ensuring that the workers' performance is improved and that the clients to the company are satisfied in their own capacities.
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As has been highly emphasized throughout the paper, the knowledge workers are actually the new era of employees that are being used by virtually al the firms today. These employees are a complete contrast to the traditional employees given on the methods of operation that they use in the place of work. The concrete structure that is observed under the traditional workers is the main aspect that is highly avoided in the knowledge worker management as discussed in the paper. In general terms, it can be said that the management under this context is taken to be a coach to the workers and not a boss. On the other hand, the management strategy that is applied to ensure that the goals of hybridizing the traditional worker and the knowledge worker mainly treats the employees as individuals no wonder the special guidance offered fro optimal innovation by the employee.