Contextual Enablers and Behaviour Outputs for Action of Knowledge Workers
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32870
Contextual Enablers and Behaviour Outputs for Action of Knowledge Workers

Authors: Juan-Gabriel Cegarra-Navarro, Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Denise Bedford


This paper provides guidelines for what constitutes a knowledge worker. Many graduates from non-managerial domains adopt, at some point in their professional careers, management roles at different levels, ranging from team leaders through to executive leadership. This is particularly relevant for professionals from an engineering background. Moving from a technical to an executive-level requires an understanding of those behaviour management techniques that can motivate and support individuals and their performance. Further, the transition to management also demands a shift of contextual enablers from tangible to intangible resources, which allows individuals to create new capacities, competencies, and capabilities. In this dynamic process, the knowledge worker becomes that key individual who can help members of the management board to transform information into relevant knowledge. However, despite its relevance in shaping the future of the organization in its transition to the knowledge economy, the role of a knowledge worker has not yet been studied to an appropriate level in the current literature. In this study, the authors review both the contextual enablers and behaviour outputs related to the role of the knowledge worker and relate these to their ability to deal with everyday management issues such as knowledge heterogeneity, varying motivations, information overload, or outdated information. This study highlights that the aggregate of capacities, competences and capabilities (CCCs) can be defined as knowledge structures, the study proposes several contextual enablers and behaviour outputs that knowledge workers can use to work cooperatively, acquire, distribute and knowledge. Therefore, this study contributes to a better comprehension of how CCCs can be managed at different levels through their contextual enablers and behaviour outputs.

Keywords: Knowledge workers, capacities, competences, capabilities, knowledge structures.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 539


[1] J. C. Reinhardt, B. Schmidt, P. Sloep, and H. Drachsler, “Knowledge worker roles and actions results of two empirical studies,” Knowl. Process Manag., vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 150–174, 2011.
[2] P. Healey, “Building institutional capacity through collaborative approaches to urban planning,” Environ. Plan. A, 1998.
[3] P. A. Mclagan, “Competencies: The next generation,” T D, 1997.
[4] R. M. Grant, “The Resource-Based Theory of Competitive Advantage: Implications for Strategy Formulation,” Calif. Manage. Rev., vol. 33, pp. 114–135, 1991.
[5] J. H. Hall, S. Sarkani, and T. A. Mazzuchi, “Impacts of organizational capabilities in information security,” Inf. Manag. Comput. Secur., vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 155–176, 2011.
[6] P. F. Drucker, “Knowledge-Worker Productivity: The Biggest Challenge,” Calif. Manage. Rev., 2012.
[7] J. G. Cegarra-Navarro, F. W. Dewhurst, and S. Eldridge, “Linking chief knowledge officers with customer capital through knowledge management practices in the Spanish construction industry,” Int. J. Hum. Resour. Manag., vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 389–404, 2010.
[8] M. Khalique, N. Bontis, J. A. N. bin Shaari, and A. H. M. Isa, “Intellectual capital in small and medium enterprises in Pakistan,” J. Intellect. Cap., 2015.
[9] R. L. Katz, “Skills of an Effective Administrator,” Harv. Bus. Rev., 1955.
[10] A. García-Pérez, J. Cegarra‐Navarro, D. A. D. Bedford, M. Thomas, and S. Wakabayashi, Critical Capabilities and Competencies for Knowledge Organizations. Bingley BD16 1WA: Emerald Publishing Limited, 2019.
[11] J.-G. Cegarra-Navarro, P. Soto-Acosta, and A. K. P. Wensley, “Structured knowledge processes and firm performance: The role of organizational agility,” J. Bus. Res., vol. 69, no. 5, pp. 1544–1549, 2015.
[12] J. M. Nevis, E., DiBella, A.J. & Gould, “Understanding organization learning systems,” Sloan Manage. Rev., 1995.
[13] J. G. Cegarra Navarro, G. Cepeda-Carrión, A. Wensley, and N. Sánchez-Casado, “An application of health-portals to improve electronic listening,” Serv. Ind. J., vol. 33, no. 13–14, pp. 1417–1434, 2013.
[14] T. W. Jackson and P. Farzaneh, “Theory-based model of factors affecting information overload,” Int. J. Inf. Manage., 2012.
[15] K. Wong, “Critical success factors for implementing knowledge management in small and medium enterprises,” Ind. Manag. Data Syst., 2005.
[16] M. Schindehutte, M. H. Morris, and A. Kocak, “Understanding market-driving behavior: The role of entrepreneurship,” J. Small Bus. Manag., 2008.
[17] R. M. Choudhry, D. Fang, and S. Mohamed, “Developing a model of construction safety culture,” J. Manag. Eng., 2007.
[18] E. H. Schein, “How can organizations learn faster? The challenge of entering the green room,” Sloan Manage. Rev., 1993.
[19] P. Ståhle and J. Hong, “Dynamic intellectual capital in global rapidly changing industries,” J. Knowl. Manag., 2002.
[20] J. G. Cegarra-Navarro and A. Wensley, “Promoting intentional unlearning through an unlearning cycle,” Journal of Organizational Change Management, 2019.
[21] J. M. Sinkula, W. E. Baker, and T. Noordewier, “A framework for market-based organizational learning: Linking values, knowledge, and behavior,” J. Acad. Mark. Sci., 1997.
[22] A. E. Akgün, J. C. Byrne, G. S. Lynn, and H. Keskin, “Organizational unlearning as changes in beliefs and routines in organizations,” J. Organ. Chang. Manag., vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 794–812, 2007.
[23] S. S. Posavac, F. R. Kardes, and J. Joško Brakus, “Focus induced tunnel vision in managerial judgment and decision making: The peril and the antidote,” Organ. Behav. Hum. Decis. Process., vol. 113, no. 2, pp. 102–111, 2010.
[24] D. Norton and R. Kaplan, “Translating Strategy into Action: The Balanced Scorecard,” Harv. Bus. Rev., 1992.
[25] D. Giampaoli, M. Ciambotti, and N. Bontis, “Knowledge management, problem solving and performance in top Italian firms,” J. Knowl. Manag., vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 355–375, 2017.
[26] A. Sánchez-Polo, MT; Cegarra-Navarro, J.G; Cillo; V; Wensley, “Overcoming knowledge barriers to health care through continuous learning,” J. Knowl. Manag., p. In press, 2019.
[27] J.-G. Cegarra-Navarro, A. Wensley, D. Jimenez-Jimenez, and A. Sotos-Villarejo, “Linking procedural memory with organizational learning through knowledge corridors,” J. Knowl. Manag., vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 1503–1522, 2017.
[28] M. Pina e Cunha and R. Chia, “Using Teams to Avoid Peripheral Blindness,” Long Range Plann., vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 559–573, 2007.
[29] A. E. Akgün, J. C. Byrne, G. S. Lynn, and H. Keskin, “New product development in turbulent environments: Impact of improvisation and unlearning on new product performance,” J. Eng. Technol. Manag. - JET-M, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 203–230, 2007.
[30] G. Secundo, A. Margherita, G. Elia, and G. Passiante, “Intangible assets in higher education and research: mission, performance or both?,” J. Intellect. Cap., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 140–157, 2010.
[31] B. J. Jaworski and A. K. Kohli, “Market orientation: Review, refinement, and roadmap,” J. Mark. Manag., 2004.
[32] J. S. Brown and P. Duguid, “Stolen Knowledge,” Educ. Technol., 1996.
[33] P. J. Martínez-Ortiz, S. Moffett, J. G. Cegarra-Navarro, and F. A. López Hernández, “Modelling the relationship between counter-knowledge and open-mindedness for policy development,” J. Public Aff., vol. 17, no. 3, 2017.
[34] M. García-Murillo and H. Annabi, “Customer knowledge management,” J. Oper. Res. Soc., 2002.
[35] A. Haesli and P. Boxall, “When knowledge management meets HR strategy: An exploration of personalization-retention and codification-recruitment configurations,” Int. J. Hum. Resour. Manag., 2005.
[36] M. M. Migdadi, “The role of effective chief knowledge officer in facilitating knowledge management,” J. Inf. Knowl. Manag., 2016.
[37] R. Kitahara, F. Westfall, and J. Mankelwicz, “New, multi-faceted hybrid approaches to ensuring academic integrity,” J. Acad. Bus. Ethics, vol. 3, pp. 1–12, 2011.
[38] C. L. Wang, P. K. Ahmed, and M. Rafiq, “Knowledge management orientation: Construct development and empirical validation,” Eur. J. Inf. Syst., vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 219–235, 2008.
[39] J. W. Moran and B. K. Brightman, “Leading organizational change,” J. Work. Learn., 2000.
[40] E. W. K. Tsang, “How the concept of organizational unlearning contributes to studies of learning organizations: A personal reflection,” Learn. Organ., vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 39–48, 2017.
[41] D. Cohen, “Toward a Knowledge Context:,” Calif. Manage. Rev., 1998.
[42] Megginson, Mentoring Executives and Directors. 2017.
[43] W. Swap, D. Leonard, M. Shields, and L. Abrams, “Using mentoring and storytelling to transfer knowledge in the workplace,” J. Manag. Inf. Syst., 2001.
[44] P. Senge, The fifth discipline: the art and practice of the learning organisation, Doubleday. New York, 1990.
[45] G. P. Huber, “Organizational Learning: The Contributing Processes and the Literatures,” Organ. Sci., 1991.
[46] L. W. Hillman, D. R. Schwandt, and D. E. Bartz, “Enhancing Staff Members’ Performance through Feedback and Coaching,” J. Manag. Dev., 1990.
[47] M. J. Lankau and T. A. Scandura, “An investigation of personal learning in mentoring relationships: Content, antecedents, and consequences,” Acad. Manag. J., 2002.
[48] S. Reese, “Putting organizational unlearning into practice: a few steps for the practitioner,” Learn. Organ., vol. 24, no. 167–69, 2017.
[49] J. G. Cegarra-Navarro, and S. Martelo-Landroguez "The effect of organizational memory on organizational agility: Testing the role of counter-knowledge and knowledge application", J. Intetectual Capital., vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 459-479.
[50] K. De Meuse, G. Dai, and J. Wu, “Leadership Skills across Organizational Levels: A Closer Examination,” Psychol. J., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 120–139, 2011.
[51] K. Becker, “Unlearning as a driver of sustainable change and innovation: three Australian case studies,” Int. J. Technol. Manag., vol. 42, no. 1/2, p. 89, 2008.
[52] J. G. Cegarra-Navarro, A. K. P. Wensley, and M. T. S. Polo, “A conceptual framework for unlearning in a homecare setting,” Knowl. Manag. Res. Pract., vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 375–386, 2014.
[53] K. Ewusi-Mensah and Z. H. Przasnyski, “Learning from abandoned information systems development projects,” J. Inf. Technol., vol. 10, no. 1995, pp. 3–14, 1995.
[54] J.-G. Cegarra-Navarro and M.-T. Sánchez-Polo, “Linking the individual forgetting context with customer capital from a seller’s perspective,” J. Oper. Res. Soc., vol. 59, no. 12, pp. 1614–1623, 2008.
[55] S. Ransbotham and G. C. Kane, “Membership Turnover and Collaboration Success in Online Communities : Explaining Rises and Falls,” Manag. Inf. Syst. Q., vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 613–627, 2011.
[56] W. Starbuck, “Unlearning ineffective or obsolete technologies,” Int. J. Technol. Manag., vol. 11, pp. 725–728, 1996.
[57] S. Tsang, E.W.K. and Zahra, “Organizational unlearning,” Organ. unlearning, vol. 61, no. 10, pp. 1435–1462, 2008.
[58] S. Dutta, O. Narasimhan, and S. Rajiv, “Conceptualizing and measuring capabilities: Methodology and empirical application,” Strategic Management Journal. 2005.
[59] M. E. Porter, “Towards a dynamic theory of strategy,” Strateg. Manag. J., 1991.
[60] O. E. Williamson, “Strategy research: Governance and competence perspectives,” Strateg. Manag. J., 1999.
[61] J. C. Rivera‐Vazquez, L. V. Ortiz‐Fournier, and F. Rogelio Flores, “Overcoming cultural barriers for innovation and knowledge sharing,” J. Knowl. Manag., vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 257–270, 2009.