Diversity and Relational Perspectives
Edited by Katerina Nicolopoulou, Mine Karataş-Özkan, Ahu Tatli and John Taylor
Chapter 12: Digital Skills for Digital Disruption and Value Creation
Lorraine Warren INTRODUCTION This is a conceptual chapter that explores what we expect of knowledge workers in the 21st century, focusing particularly on leading-edge digital skills. It looks at how today’s digital environment provides unparalleled potential for disruptive innovation (Christensen, 1997) and growth, as the emergence of new industries and new sectors may now be possible. This chapter argues that the possibility of such disruptive innovation is dependent on the development of leading-edge digital skills, which presents challenges for educators if the potential of new opportunities is to be realised. Further, a conceptual framework is proposed that may have value for needs analysis and the design of programmes to develop new digital abilities for knowledge workers at the leading edge of the digital domain. The chapter concludes that these knowledge workers must be at the creative centre of the digital skills discourse, not cast as the passive recipients of prescriptive tick-box lists of actions. Knowledge, knowledge management and knowledge workers have become central to the discourse of contemporary organisations and business in the latter part of the 20th century (Drucker, 1968; Davenport et al., 1998; Brown and Duguid, 1998). Over this time, knowledge has been socially constructed as something tangible that can be owned, managed, processed, stored and manipulated in the service of competitive advantage for organisations. Not surprisingly, the significance of knowledge work has co-evolved with the development of information and communications technologies that can extend and amplify digital material across national and international boundaries contributing to the so-called...
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