Knowledge Mangement and Management of Working-life

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    Knowledge Management and the Management of Working Life Research paper – case study Oral presentation Keywords: Knowledge work, knowledge management, working life and knowledge-intensive companies. A single case study has indicated that there is a clear connection between the organizational work, managerial style and the working environment in knowledge-intensive companies. Furthermore the study indicates that the knowledge-workers only to a limited extent use the formalised working environment–system. Instead current issues are dealt with in a more informal manner. A subsequent systematic search for literature regarding these issues confirms that there is limited systematic knowledge about the problems related to knowledge-work and their causes including how the concern for the working environment is handled in knowledge-intensive companies. This forms the basis of the PhD. study, which focuses on the working conditions within the practice of Knowledge Management, and the organizing of the knowledge work. The overall objective is to analyse the possibilities for knowledge-intensive companies to integrate working environment management and ensure improved working conditions. The methodology employed in the PhD. project is characterised by being a combination of a descriptive and a normative. This article states the findings based on the first part of three and characterises knowledge-work and working life in knowledge-intensive companies and how OHS issues are dealt with. A larger range of knowledge-intensive companies has been studied analytically through qualitative interviews of key-actors. Regarding the key activities and the daily practices of knowledge-work, I found that the general tasks dealt with project management, product development, consultancy, analyses etc. Handling these tasks required special qualifications such as the ability to establish and make use of networks, sharing ones knowledge and the ability to cooperate with the clients to meet their distinctive needs. All together these elements were integral parts of the knowledge-work. It was left to the employees themselves to seek the necessary and adequate information when needed. And consequently, the employees had a mutual interest in the knowledge pool being available to everybody whenever needed. It was also clear that knowledge was shared willingly and plainly. However, reflections were primarily individual when it regarded the organizing and the management of the knowledge work together with its strains, as the consultants had no shared rooms for reflection and learning. It also became evident that the organization of the knowledge caused frustration, stress, repetition of faults, and a loss of time due to retrieval of information among the colleagues. Besides, surrounding conditions had a real influence on the understanding of the knowledge-work and ones situation. In addition, I found that occupational issues of current interest were handled in an unstructured and informal way. Generally the formalized working environment-system was not used. Instead the handling and managing primarily took place among the employees themselves. This forms the basis of a discussion and a possible intervention regarding the possibilities for integrating working-environment issues in the management and organising of the knowledge-work. The methodology to be used in the second and third part of the project will be outlined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the XVthe Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association and the 7th
    PublisherThe Ergonomics Society of Korea
    Publication date2003
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    EventXV Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
    Duration: 24 Aug 200329 Aug 2003
    Conference number: 15


    ConferenceXV Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association
    Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


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