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Researchers as knowledge workers

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During my time here at the JTEL Winter School 2011 in La Clusaz, France I had the opportunity to reflect about my Ph.D. thesis. Tomorrow I will have to give a simulated thesis defense including the presentation of the overall context of the thesis and my overall research question. While the latter seems to be an easy task, I am rather heavily thinking about the first part. My thesis is placed in the middle of knowledge work in the research domain and I was wondering what you would comment on the statement:

Researchers are the archetype of knowledge workers.

For me this so obvious that it is even hard to argument for it. If you look at the typical job descriptions of researcher positions, they have to create new knowledge using a multitude of methods. Researchers are carrying out non-linear and non-routine tasks that require a lot of cognitive effort, combination and recontextualization. From my point of view that’s exactly how I would describe knowledge workers.

What is your take on this? Do you agree to the statement or do you think this is pure rubbish?

Author: Wolfgang Reinhardt

I'm a continuous learner in the fields of Technology Enhanced Learning, Science 2.0, Social Networking and e-Business. I'm a Social Media addict, CEO of a consulting and development company and father of two boys. I received a PhD from OUNL for my thesis "Awareness Support for Knowledge Workers in Research Networks". I'm currently working as Senior IT Project Manager in the field of e-business and e-procurement. I'm asking myself many questions why things are like they are and seek for answers.

One Comment

  1. Here are some answers from Twitter: Peter Kraker said “I think you are right, researchers are the archetypes of knowledge workers. It really comes down to the amount of cognitive effort.” Barbara Kieslinger sent me a direct message saying that she totally agrees and “scientists are knowledge workers, whose aim is to acquire, produce and share knowledge”

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