What are knowledge or innovation workers? What are the key elements of professional practice, work environment and work design needed to support the productivity and creativity of knowledge or innovation workers in organizations? How, if at all, do you think these work design elements and practices have been affected by the spread of management imperatives or goals associated with “financialization” within non-financial organizations and corporations? (Is this development likely to enhance or impede innovation within organizations? What are the other likely significant effects of this development? Explain your answer.
1)This topic relates essentially to Week 7 themes and most of your resources for the question will be found under the Learning Materials for that week. There are two related themes here. The first focuses on the working conditions and environment supporting knowledge/innovation workers’ creativity and productivity. (This is just one part of your essay and should not take up all the space.)
2) The second relates to the way in which these working conditions and practices have been affected, if at all, by the spread of the imperatives or company goals associated with “financialization” into the management of non-financial corporations and organizations. So a part of your answer involves explaining what “financialization” is and how it is has affected management practices in non-financial organizations and corporations – including organizations that specialize in innovation.
3)Then it’s a question of deciding whether this relatively recent management strategy conflicts with the conditions innovation and knowledge workers need in order to produce and create. The essential readings for Week 7 are very accessible and helpful here. You may however wish to integrate one other theme from the unit.
4)For this essay you may rely on the research into work practices that has already been carried out (my recently published review of decades of on the ground research is a good overview of the results of hundreds of studies.)
5)As an OPTION ONLY – if you have access to this many people – you may wish to use the survey I developed in conjunction with Maria Varua and Mathew Bright. Here I think you should aim to get AT LEAST 10 people to fill in the survey. They can work for a public or a private organization – they should be knowledge or innovation workers. We used IT workers from various firms in our study. (Contact me if you intend to use the survey. I have uploaded a copy of our first version under ESSAY OPTION THREE RESOURCES in the Learning Materials section on VUWS). It won’t matter whether you use the survey or just rely on the relevant readings. SO don’t feel you can’t choose this question if you cannot or don’t want to conduct a survey. You can still a VERY good job here. (You may wish to construct your own qualitative survey/interview questions and interview a handful of Knowledge Workers).
6)Identify whether the relevant key innovations are process, product, organizational (or in some cases) marketing innovations or a combination of these.
7)You are also required to find at least FOUR academic or scholarly readings of your own. If you are not sure, use the scholarly reading filter in the search terms in the library catalogue.
8)Your answer should take the form of an essay or project – a guideline for essay writing is included in VUWS in the Assessment Section. Refer also to the marking guidelines and the criteria for individual projects in the Learning Guide.
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