Information Economy and Today’s Organization

                Physical workers create a tangible product, such as a product on a factory line.  Knowledge workers vary from physical production workers in that their work, and the quality of it, is not well-defined, is not possible to see or measure, and creates intangible, cognitive products (Latham, 2021).  Managers in the knowledge economy must manage knowledge workers.  Knowledge workers use subjective judgement and have a variable amount of mental engagement, which affects their overall productivity.  Managers in the knowledge economy find it difficult to measure productivity and to improve productivity of knowledge workers (Birkinshaw et al., 2020).  In fact, Ann Latham says that “Tracking their progress is laughable because they aren’t distinct, countable entities that move through well-known, clearly-defined processes toward predictable conclusions” (Latham, 2021).

                In order to effectively manage knowledge workers and positively impact their productivity, managers of knowledge workers need to be able to create an environment where workers can concentrate and exchange ideas (Karabell, 2015).  Google addresses “psychological safety” in their “re:Work” program, code named “Project Aristotle,” where they determined that creating an environment of psychological safety for a team of knowledge worker increase effectiveness (re:Work, 2022).  Google’s “Project Oxygen” research lists that key behaviors for managers are:  being a good coach, empowering the team (not micromanaging), creating an inclusive environment, being results-oriented, being a good communicator (listens and shares), supports career development, has a clear vision for the team, has key technical skills, collaborates, and is a strong decision maker (re:Work – Guide: Identify what makes a great manager, 2022).  These skills are critical skills for managers of knowledge workers in the knowledge economy.

                Shellie Karabell, writing for Forbes, lists skills similar to Google’s managerial skills.  Like Google, she says that it is important for managers to be able to communicate the strategic view and the vision, be respectful toward knowledge workers, remember their individuality, and come up with different metrics and measurements of success (Karabell, 2015).

                As a result of 2020 and the COVID-19 epidemic, more knowledge workers are working from home.  Post-COVID, 19% of employees, according to a global PwC survey, do not want to return to the office.  72% of employees would prefer a hybrid working arrangement, allowing them to work from home some of the time.  Gartner predicted 51% of global knowledge workers would be working remotely.  Managers, as a result, have “reduced oversight (control)” over knowledge workers.  Managers are learning not to have too many rules, but to focus on results.  In order to increase engagement and motivation, it is important to be flexible.  Post-COVID managers need to have skills in:  putting up guardrails while allowing autonomy and improvisation, providing positive feedback and opportunities for employees to grow and learn new things, and explaining the organization’s goals and purpose.  Managers need to use the online systems to check-in with employees to keep teams engaged and aligned (Shinkle, 2022).


Birkinshaw, J. Cohen, J, & Stach, P. (2020, August). Research: Knowledge workers are more productive from home. Harvard Business Review.

Karabell, S. (2015). How To Manage The Knowledge Workers On Your Team. Forbes. Retrieved from

Latham, A. (2021, August 8). Managers and knowledge workers have it tough and here’s why. Forbes.

re:Work. (2022, September 03). Retrieved from

re:Work – Guide: Identify what makes a great manager. (2022, September 03). Retrieved from

Shinkle, G. (2022, September 03). The new rules for managing knowledge workers in a post-COVID world.  Retrieved from

Published by Art Ocain

I am a DevOps advocate, not because I am a developer (I’m not), but because of the cultural shift it represents and the agility it gains. I am also a fan of the theory of constraints and applying constraint management to all areas of business: sales, finance, planning, billing, and all areas of operations. My speaking: I have done a lot of public speaking in my various roles over the years, including presentations at SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and Central PA Chamber of Commerce events as well as events that I have organized at MePush. My writing: I write a lot. Blog articles on the MePush site, press-releases for upcoming events to media contracts, posts on LinkedIn (, presentations on Slideshare (, posts on the Microsoft Tech Community, articles on Medium (, and posts on Quora ( I am always looking for new places to write, as well. My certifications: ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Web Application Security Professional (CWASP), Certified Data Privacy Practitioner (CDPP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), VMware Certified Professional (VCP-DCV), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE), Microsoft 365 Security Administrator, Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator, Azure Administrator, Azure Security Administrator, Azure Architect, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ITIL v4 Foundations, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner See certification badges on Acclaim here: My experience: I have a lot of experience from developing a great company with great people and culture to spinning up an impressive DevOps practice and designing impressive solutions. I have been a project manager, a President, a COO, a CTO, and an incident response coordinator. From architecting cloud solutions down to the nitty-gritty of replacing hardware, I have done it all. When it comes to technical leadership, I am the go-to for many companies. I have grown businesses and built brands. I have been a coach and a mentor, developing the skills and careers of those in my company. I have formed and managed teams, and developed strong leaders and replaced myself within the company time and again as I evolved. See my experience on LinkedIn here:

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