For a global organization to keep up with the competitiveness in the market, it has to adopt two strategies. It has to factor in the continuous advances in IT and communication technologies and use them to its advantage. It can manage its knowledge at the individual level, and also at the organizational level. For an organization to produce and sell effectively, it requires knowledgeable production personnel. These informed members introduce recurrent creativity into the firm to give it an edge over other competitors. We call them Knowledge workers.
Who are knowledge workers?
Knowledge workers are people in an institution that has the capability to interpret the information given in a specific area, in which they are skilled. They seek to advance the understanding of the subject by analyzing it. The research on the topics involved, and find alternatives depending on their expertise and experience. Generally, they influence the company’s decisions and strategies. Knowledge workers fall in almost all areas of the profession, with each having a vast number of resources to his access. It is the task of Knowledge workers to determine where to allocate and utilize the skills and knowledge of hired company personnel. At times they are required to manage their knowledge since knowledge is renewable and it changes. In the knowledge age, whoever has more knowledge has more power and capacity to create wealth. The ability to use the knowledge sets one company apart from the others. It is the new source of innovation in today’s industries.
Why are they important to an organization? Which relevance do they have to UAE based organizations?
Most large organizations in the UAE are based there for the sake of maximizing their market influence since the UAE is seen as one of the largest market import and export regions. Knowledge managers hired for the sake of expanding the firms market influence might find the need to outsource by locating a base in the UAE to influence the sale and demand of their product by way of product promotion. There are two ways in which a company stands to gain by outsourcing in the UAE; they can invest in joint-stock companies or limited liability companies. The latter serve to the larger benefit of the commercial company law, which requires that the company be fully owned by UAE nationals or that the non-UAE shareholder owns at most 49% of the Company (Marat 2006, p. 172-173). Markets keep changing and the strategies to counter the changes have to ensure the company stands to gain more from the market than its competitors. An organization has to strive and produce services that are cheaper, better, and faster to sustain its place in the market against competitors. For this reason, Knowledge workers are seen as intellectual capital (Green 2009). When they are strategically located or are allowed immediate access to a high stakes market environment, they can market the firm more effectively. For this reason, it becomes imperative to put them to work with the large organizations in the UAE. Research suggests that approximately 2% of the working population might work on the land, 10% might work in industries, while 88% might work as knowledge workers.
What effect can the following have on knowledge workers and how can these be effectively managed?
Outsourcing can be defined by the recruitment of qualified external services and expertise for quality service preservation at the company, and for cheaper running expenses. This way the organization’s key players remain in the company’s main location carrying on the hefty and crucial company duties while other qualified personnel at distant dispersed locations apply their influence on the local markets around them. Outsourcing has the following advantages:
- It lowers costs by eliminating the need to deploy employees to dispersed branches.
- It enhances access to knowledge workers from diverse organizational societies.
- It allows full-time operations from the distributed branches at local residential places.
- It reduces risk from travel and other distance barriers (Green 2009, p. 4).
It also presents the following challenges:
- Managing the various teams effectively from the base may prove to be difficult.
- The business has to cope with a new team from the fields; outsourced team.
- Preventing knowledge leaks to competitors may be difficult.
- Having to accommodate various recruited cultures with their respective legal issues (Green 2009, p. 5) may be a challenge to the company.
An organization finds it necessary to downsize its employee base when it is seeking to lower its labour force to a number it can manage. It can also do so when it seeks to reduce its production costs, and when it seeks to improve its efficiency, productivity and profitability. The main reason for such a move would be to cut the overall cost of its operations. The organization’s culture, structure and weaknesses are put through consideration, and if downsizing can be accomplished without risking productivity, quality and profitability, then the lay-offs can be pulled off with the ultimate result being significant savings for the organization (Esteri 2009). Many terms can be put to the term downsizing, but the general term has a positive effect on the company, yet it is the least understudied phenomenon. It makes an organization more cost-effective.
When knowledge workers impart on taking this option for the organization’s best interest, they look upon the human resource and present the idea to the people at the top. If the resolution is accepted, it may cut across the board, affecting even the non-productive managerial staff. Knowledge workers have to take the process in a precise and strategic manner. It might backfire on the firm or the proposing employee if the lay-offs were to be conducted haphazardly causing a rally or a march of retrenched employees suing the firm. The affected employees may win in the suit, and secure a nice compensation and an employee post that would completely put an end to any future efforts of trying to suck them again. Knowledge workers have to therefore look for ways to perform this task without attracting negativity or critique from the rest of the personnel. If the company heads feel that the move might also kick them out, they might also be forced to reject it.
Business Growth, on the other hand, would present a couple of challenges for the company; the Knowledge workers would require personnel deployment to the locations and new posts created by the firm. This might mean having to relocate and manage a business at the expense of the main branch. This relocation into new territory may take a toll on the newly deployed team member before he gets used to the locals around him and learns their consuming habits. As a result, his effectiveness may drop significantly.
What is the relationship between organizational learning and knowledge workers?
The major role of knowledge management is to inform the organization of changing market trends. They do so by holding frequent work-related conferences, through which the organization picks up production changes that would be effective in keeping up with the competition. The knowledge workers, therefore, play the role of informing the organization when to push stocks into the market, and when to hold stocks to alter the market. Without this important knowledge, the organization stands to lose to a more knowledgeable competitor. Therefore, they are in charge of organizational learning and knowledge. A large challenge occurs where the company must keep its knowledge away from the competitor. It is the work of the Knowledge workers to keep the firm informed, and protects such information from the competitors.
List of References
Esteri, M. 2009. Downsizing as a Staff Management Technique. Web.
Green, A. & Stankosky, M. 2009. In Search of Knowledge Management: Pursuing Primary Principles. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.
Marat, T. 2006. Doing Business with the United Arab Emirates. London: GMB Publishing.