Management of Hr for Knowledge Workers

Published: 2021-09-14 22:35:06
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Category: Social Issues

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Table of Content
ABSTRACT 2
DEFINING AND RECOGNIZING INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL 4
RECRUITING KNOWLEDGE WORKERS 5
SPECIFIC TRAINING NEEDS FOR KNOWLEDGE EMPLOYEES 8
FOSTERING INNOVATIVE THINKING OF KNOWLEDGE WORKERS 10
FINANCIAL VS. NON-FINANCIAL REWARD FOR KNOWLEDGE AND NON-KNOWLEDGE EMPLOYEES 11
INNOVATIVE REWARD SYSTEMS FOR KNOWLEDGE WORKERS 13
CREATING ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE FOR SHARING KNOWLEDGE 15
DEVELOPING INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL: INFOSYS CASE STUDY 17
UNILEVER: LEVERAGING KNOWLEDGE-SHARING CULTURE 17
CONCLUSION 19
REFERENCES 23




Abstract
Intellectual capital is increasingly seen as a primary organizational asset. Knowledge workers are the main lever that the company can pull to gain the competitive advantage. Knowledge workers are involved in creating, applying and disseminating knowledge to generate ideas and solve problems, whereas non-knowledge workers typically perform manual, repetitive tasks and do not generate ideas. Some of the most popularly used HR strategies for structured workers are not necessarily effective in attracting, motivating and retaining knowledge workers. In an organizational context, training should cover all aspects of intellectual capital (human, social, and organizational). Training programs for knowledge workers should strengthen knowledge sharing and be in line with the organizational culture. As the illustrative example of the Microsoft indicates, competitive success depends very largely on the precarious ability to reconcile the conflict between the social production of knowledge and the economic appropriation of profit.


Management of Human Resources for Knowledge Workers
The new technologies have profoundly impacted the life and work of individuals, society and the economy, and the way in which businesses and industry are organized and conducted. Over the years, business processes have gradually shifted from mechanistic-based to practice-based and now information-based. In essence, knowledge workers anchor successful organizations. Peter Drucker (1998) was the first to coin this term, defining knowledge worker as "someone who adds value by processing existing information to create new information which could be used to define and solve problems". Their work focuses on mental rather than muscle power and is characterized by non-repetitive tasks. Davenport (2005: 10) aptly noticed "knowledge workers live by their wits - any heavy lifting on the job is intellectual, not physical". Knowledge workers are those who acquire, interpret, disseminate and apply information to solve problems, generate ideas, or create new products and services. Although Cortada (1998) deemed that almost everyone in the workplace might be considered as a knowledge worker because the amount of information that people use to perform their jobs is constantly growing, knowledge workers are different from task or low skilled workers. To a greater extent knowledge workers define their own tasks and have autonomy in determining what, when and how they work. Their work tends to be unstructured. Unlike knowledge workers, structured task workers do not generate ideas. They maintain data and information. They do not develop new processes or analyze data. Consequently, knowledge workers should be recruited, trained and developed in a different manner than the non-knowledge workers. Improving the productivity of knowledge workers and retaining them is a challenge for organizations today. Therefore, by implementing human resource strategy to develop and create the knowledge, knowledge worker and retain them; a firm can understand how to create, develop, transfer knowledge and harness it effectively to develop a competitive advantage. The research paper focuses on all the mentioned aspects of knowledge workers. The paper starts with defining intellectual capital and its role in organizational wealth. Further, it discusses different views on recruitment knowledge vs. non-knowledge employees. Then is scrutinizes different training programs that best fit knowledge workers. In-depth analysis is given to reward and recognition practices, including non-financial incentives. Finally, the main attributes of organizational culture are considered to foster knowledge-sharing culture. In addition, two short case studies for Infosys and Unilever are presented to show management of knowledge workers is not a prerogative of IT companies.
Defining and Recognizing Intellectual Capital
It is now commonly accepted that neither possessing rich mineral resources, nor erecting numerous factories contribute to prosperity and wealth of the society. What does make the difference is intangible capital. Thus, a recent World Bank study found that 82% of America's wealth could be found in intangible assets such as the skills, rules, laws, education, knowledge, customs, expectation, etc., as compared to, for example, only 39% of Niger's (The World Bank, 2005). Microsoft, for instance, like other IT companies, with few assets and a huge market cap, is based almost entirely on intellectual capital (Gnuschke, 2001). In a nutshell, it may be said that a nation's wealth resides in its intellectual capital possessed by knowledge workers.
Subramaniam and Youndt (2005) defined intellectual capital as all knowledge an organization possesses to harness in the process of conducting business to gain competitive advantage over its competitors. More specifically, intellectual capital consists of human, social, and organizational capital (Burke & Cooper, 2006). Human capital reflects individual employee capabilities. Social capital, on the contrary, is defined as knowledge in teams and networks of people. Finally, organizational capital refers to "institutionalized knowledge and codified experience stored in databases, routine, patents, manuals, structures, and the like" (Subramaniam & Youndt, 2005: 338).
Subramaniam and Youndt (2005) examined the linkage between these tree types of intellectual capital and innovation, and revealed that organizational capital positively influenced incremental innovative capability and social capital was associated with both incremental and radical innovations. It is notable that human and social capital was positively

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