Knowledge Worker: Liquid Labour

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This week I’d like to focus on rise of the “Knowledge Worker”, a term coined by Peter Drucker that is “defined as when people would generate value with their minds more than with their muscle” (HBR.org, 2015)

A rising trend of knowledge workers being hired by human resources, targeted by marketers of technology and being written about by consultants is a result of global connectivity and being able to access the flow of information from user to generator and vice-versa.

Within organisations today every worker can contribute to the flow of business information and showcase their worth in the success of the company, and do it relatively easy.Workers have a right to ask about performances as well as economic and political questions in terms of why they do what they do.

“ In a collaborative organization…all workers’ knowledge counts, regardless of their roles. Every team member contributes, shares knowledge, and participates in making decisions, whether he or she is loading crates, designing products, servicing customer accounts, creating tactical marketing plans, or determining long-term strategy. And most important, information flows in multiple directions rather than cascading from senior leadership down through multiple levels of management to front-line people.” (Bloomberg Business, 2011)

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3 thoughts on “Knowledge Worker: Liquid Labour

    the_mcgill said:
    August 20, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Hi Sam! A very clever meme, and informative piece of writing. Your choice to focus on Peter Drucker’s theory of the “Knowledge Worker” was very effective in condensing what is a very broad topic. You also have used simplistic language to simplify what can be a very challenging concept to grasp. I know, while I had the general idea of liquid labour, your post helped me in truly grasping this week’s topic.

    If I could make one suggestion, perhaps condense the quote at the end. I realise all of it is relevant to your argument, but finishing on a large quote might limit the sense of your personal voice in the post for some readers.

    Otherwise a very enjoyable read, and a clever use of a meme that tied back directly to your argument!

    Liked by 1 person

    Claudia said:
    August 20, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Hey Sam! Gotta admit, I laughed at the meme – very clever! The whole notion of the ‘knowledge worker’ is a really fascinating concept, and I think that it really important that we as Communication and Media students are familiar with what this term actually entails. I like the metaphor of us all being individual ‘nodes’ in an expansive and complex distributed network, it helps understand this slightly abstract concept!

    Although I do think this decentralized network topology is a very efficient method of communication in business, what concerns me is potential for work life to ‘bleed’ into personal life as a result of the liquidity of these information flows. Therefore, do you think that knowledge workers have more autonomy (eg. ease of communication with multiple facets of the company/organization), than those who work in traditional manual labour jobs? I’d be really interested to hear your opinions!

    Liked by 1 person

    Linh Hoang said:
    August 21, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Your meme was brilliant; definitely made me giggle. It gave the overall post and the topic a humorous take and supported your points about knowledge workers. The whole topic about knowledge workers is really fascinating because you don’t really think about the shift from industrial workers till it’s put right in front of you. It also makes you think about how much as changed due to the technological innovation that we even have a shift in the workforce. It would be great to add links in your text just to provide further details about the topic as it is quite broad. This way you can allow readers to thoroughly understand the idea of liquid labour and knowledge workers, without heavy text amounts. Good Work!

    Liked by 1 person

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