Compose a 500 words assignment on changing roles of worker. Needs to be plagiarism free! They perform best when empowered to make the most of their deepest skills” (1). Davenport provided an accurate definition of knowledge workers as “those who create knowledge, such as product development engineers, or whose use of knowledge is a dominant aspect of their work, such as financial auditors. One aspect of work that has changed is that users and creators of knowledge are more likely to be the same people” (Wagner, 2002, par. 5).
Serrat averred that with knowledge workers, managing entails knowledge managers and not bosses where leadership skills and styles are exercised. The changing role from boss to player/coach is hereby assessed. A player/coach role was identified by Davenport as manifesting eight key trends, to wit: (1) doing work from overseeing it. (2) organizing communities against hierarchies. (3) understanding rather than imposing work designs and methods. (4) a focus on recruiting and retaining versus hiring and firing employees. (5) building knowledge rather than manual skills. (6) evaluating invisible versus visible performance achievements. (7) building knowledge friendly culture as against totally ignoring culture. and (8) a focus on supporting rather than fending off bureaucracy (Wagner, 2002, 1 cited Davenport, 2001).
Most organizations rarely acknowledge that their financial auditors, product development engineers, or customer relations professionals are knowledge workers who can assume the roles of player/coach as envisioned, characterized, and defined by Davenport. By being hired initially as an expert in the field of customer relations, for example, the knowledge shared and imparted by this professional in his or her field of endeavor begins to be incorporated in the organization’s culture. The inputs imparted could necessitate revisions in the organization’s policies and procedures which aim to improve customer relations skills at all levels of the organization. Eventually, one who was initially hired as a knowledge worker can eventually be honed into a knowledge manager assuming the role of a player/coach.
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Managing a knowledge worker requires the development of skills and acknowledges that “managers themselves act as good follower and team player as well as leader and technologist. Since the process of influencing the performance of knowledge workers is mainly developmental, they need also to hone skills in appraising, coaching, mentoring, and providing feedback. One measure of their effectiveness will be by the quality of the (internal and external) relationships that they create” (Serrat, 2008, 2). One manages or leads knowledge workers despite the difficulty in identifying, measuring, or quantifying that knowledge through being sensitive to the nature of the work and by assuming roles of player/coach as called for by the situation. The manager must have the ability to clarify the nature of the job, finding the appropriate fit for the assigning projects which are aligned with organizational goals, and being able to design ways to evaluate the performance of knowledge workers (Johnson, 2006, 4).
Managing knowledge workers remain to be a challenging, yet rewarding task for knowledge managers. It would continue to be a revolutionary endeavor that could still find shifts in future roles as the need requires.