Tom Davenport on Knowledge Work

ThinkinglivingPicked up this link in David Gurteen’s newsletter today to an interview with Tom Davenport by CIO Insight magazine.

"They [knowledge workers] don’t like to be told what to do. They enjoy more autonomy than
other workers. Much of their work is invisible and hard to measure,
because it goes on inside their heads or outside the office." Tom Davenport

Seems to tie in quite well with some of my recent entries on knowledge work. Why the focus on knowledge work from Tom? Because he has written a new book on the subject, "Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performance and Results from
Knowledge Workers
" (Harvard Business School Press, July 2005).

"In my latest book, Thinking for a Living, I developed a unique classification system for segmenting knowledge workers into four major categories

Related stuff:

  • Ingo Forstenlechner

    I had not noticed the book announcement on the Gurteen newsletter and was therefore very grateful to have found it on your blog. Did like you did and ordered it straight away.
    I never made it beyond chapter 3. From the announcement and the intro I had expected break-through stuff on measuring knowledge, innovation and such. I had expected that a book with the sentence “How to get better performance and Results” would actually contain a good deal of knowledge on measuring and managing performance of knowledge workers and not just commmon places like “A laissez-faire approach to knowledge work wont lead to improved performance and results” under the heading “Recommendations for Getting Results from Knowledge Workers”. This was the last sentence I read in this book.
    But anyways, thank you for writing about this and – another thing I wish to say – I really like your blog and think it has a great mix of subjects that are very valuable for me. I am looking forward to your book.
    Kind regards,

  • John Curran

    Just read your comment Ingo and just finished Tom Davenport’s book. I did actually make it all the way through but I was scanning and speed reading most of the time. I have to agree it was a MASSIVE disappointment – full of vague generalisations and those really dreadful bullet point lists of recommendadtions at the end of each chapter. I can only imagine that this was the publisher’s idea in order to make it more accessible to average readers (whoever they are). Full review in this blog soon (and on!

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