Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performances and Results from Knowledge Workers

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Overview


Knowledge workers create the innovations and strategies that keep their firms competitive and the economy healthy. Yet, companies continue to manage this new breed of employee with techniques designed for the Industrial Age. As this critical sector of the workforce continues to increase in size and importance, that's a mistake that could cost companies their future. Thomas Davenport argues that knowledge workers are vastly different from other types of workers in their motivations, attitudes, and need for autonomy--and, so, they require different management techniques to improve their performance and productivity.

Based on extensive research involving over 100 companies and more than 600 knowledge workers, Thinking for a Living provides rich insights into how knowledge workers think, how they accomplish tasks, and what motivates them to excel. Davenport identifies four major categories of knowledge workers and presents a unique framework for matching specific types of workers with the management strategies that yield the greatest performance.

Written by the field's premier thought leader, Thinking for a Living reveals how to maximize the brain power that fuels organizational success. Thomas Davenport holds the President's Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College. He is director of research for Babson Executive Education; an Accenture Fellow; and author, co-author, or editor of nine books, including Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know (HBS Press, 1997).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591394235
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 8/29/2005
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 962,031
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas H. Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Chair at Babson College and a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business.
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Table of Contents

1 What's a knowledge worker, anyway? 1
2 How knowledge workers differ, and the difference it makes 25
3 Interventions, measures, and experiments in knowledge work 39
4 Knowledge work processes 61
5 Organizational technology for knowledge workers 85
6 Developing individual knowledge worker capabilities 111
7 Investing in knowledge workers' networks and learning 141
8 The physical work environment and knowledge worker performance 165
9 Managing knowledge workers 187
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    Insights on knowing your knowledge workers

    This is a fine, occasionally frustrating book. It is frustrating for the same reason that it is so badly needed: business is just starting to figure out what it means to compete in a knowledge-based economy. Knowledge work is tremendously important, but only partially understood. This volume, which mixes practical advice with worksite studies, is a good stepping stone toward comprehending knowledge work and the people who accomplish it. Author Thomas H. Davenport is honest enough to admit what isn¿t known, however he delivers what is known clearly. He explains various organizational schema that are applicable, but not rigid. He provides examples, sharing personal and organizational stories that illustrate both success and failure in knowledge work. We warmly recommend this book to knowledge workers, those who manage knowledge workers and business leaders who are planning for the future.

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