Towards an Understanding of Leading Knowledge Work and the Knowledge Worker – What the Literature Tells Us

Author: Maree Roche, Waikato Institute of Technology

Abstract: This paper presents a summary of the recent literature in the field of leading knowledge work and knowledge workers. It firstly defines the “knowledge worker” from Druckerʼs (2003) humanistic view and issues around knowledge management from a relational viewpoint. The paper outlines recent research on leading knowledge workers from three perspectives – shared leadership, self-managed teams and emerging leadership theories. The paper includes calls for further research in all three areas of leading knowledge workers. Finally, this paper concludes with how the emerging issues of leading knowledge workers impact on leaders, academics, and practitioners, particularly in relation to ongoing performance, and again highlights areas for future research.