A Comment on Kidd’s Characterisation of Knowledge Workers
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Irrespective of the frequency to which it is referred, the concept of ‘knowledge work’ remains surprisingly ill defined and generally not well understood. In this paper we address one of the more insightful contributions by Kidd in 1994 and contrast her characterisation with our experience in a case study of a legal team. In general this shows strong correlation with her definitions of knowledge work but also raises interesting questions about some of her secondary characteristics. These lend support to the hypothesis that knowledge work is not a uniform area. Thus, it is inappropriate to generalise too much on attributes that are governed by the domain of expertise in search of a universal definition. However, there is sufficient common ground to believe that only a few major groups exist distinguished mainly by working practice, team and career structures.
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