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4.1DIFFICULTIES WITH MEASURING KNOWLEDGE WORK

(WARE & DEGOEY) The extant literature cites several reasons for the difficulty of measuring knowledge worker performance. First, it is often difficult to correctly quantity the output or contributions of these types of workers. Second, because the outcomes of projects in which knowledge workers participate often take many months or even years to materialize, it is often virtually impossible to match inputs to outputs within a given time-frame. Third, knowledge workers frequently have considerable discretion over how they conduct their tasks, and there often are many different ways to be successful or productive. Fourth, because projects in which knowledge workers engage frequently involve a substantial number of people, it is often difficult to attribute results to the contributions made by any one individual or even a team. Finally, a related issue is that knowledge workers tend to dislike and resist being measured. (Ware & Degoey, 1998)

4.2PROPOSALS FOR MEASURING KNOWLEDGE WORK

PRODUCTIVITY (WARE & DEGOEY) The measuring of knowledge work should be contextual. Factors such as organizational and professional goals and norms must largely determine which types of measures are most important in assessing the performance of any specific group of knowledge workers. It is also important to take into account the career stages of knowledge workers. Skills and capabilities that an organization values in a specific group of knowledge workers may depend very much on the broader roles that those workers play in the overall management of the organization, not just in how they carry out their operational knowledge work tasks. It is also important to acknowledge that almost all work contains both quantitative and qualitative elements, and hence, that measurement should address both of these elements. Figures 7 and 8 list some examples of quantitative and qualitative productivity measures. (Ware & Degoey, 1998)

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