Table of Contents

Global Knowledge Work

Global Knowledge Work

Diversity and Relational Perspectives

Edited by Katerina Nicolopoulou, Mine Karataş-Özkan, Ahu Tatli and John Taylor

Global Knowledge Work is an up-to-date account of theoretical approaches and empirical research in the multi-disciplinary topic of global knowledge workers from a relational and diversity perspective. It includes contributions from international scholars and practitioners who have been working with the concept of global knowledge workers from a number of different perspectives, including personal and academic life trajectories. They reveal that the relational framework of the three dimensions of analysis (macro-meso-micro) is relevant for analyzing the phenomenon of global knowledge workers, as expertise and specialised knowledge and its innovative application, together with the attraction and retention of talent remain key topics in the current socioeconomic conditions.

Chapter 1: What Makes a Knowledge Society? Privileging Discourses

Jennifer Adelstein

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, human resource management, knowledge management, innovation and technology, knowledge management


Jennifer Adelstein INTRODUCTION According to the world view of many scholars, politicians, business people and others, we live in a ‘knowledge society’ (Drucker, 1993; Sharma et al, 2009), a ‘knowledge economy’ (Mokyr, 2002; Foss, 2007), or an ‘information economy’ (Boisot, 1998; Wolff, 2005; Schreyögg and Geiger, 2007). The rhetoric is laden with a mythology that equates such contemporary world views with those of historical golden ages of human endeavour; of unique and specific periods of human flourishing. This new society is perceived to be a break from bleaker historic periods that restricted or at least limited human progress. If we inhabit such a society, it may be more appropriate to gain perspective on it and move some distance in time from the awkward constraints of the current ‘post’ society, which Bell (1973) describes as post-industrial, and Drucker (1993) denotes as post-capitalist. To do this, the chapter focuses on what may be considered to be an earlier knowledge society, the historical periodization known as the Renaissance. It was a time that was also constitutive of a knowledge society; one that wrought huge social change and contained all the elements cited as fundamental to a contemporary Knowledge Society. I contend that the evolution of printing was as revolutionary in its impacts on European society 500 years ago as computer technology has been for the present period, a point also argued by McLuhan (1962). Fundamental to the concept of a knowledge society is the creation and application of knowledge. So, the chapter...

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