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Governing knowledge work: transactional and transformational solutions


Frost, Jetta; Osterloh, Margit; Weibel, Antoinette (2010). Governing knowledge work: transactional and transformational solutions. Organizational Dynamics, 39(2):126-136.

Abstract

The literature on organization design is dominated by ideas and theories on how to manage manual work. This understanding is driven by a division of labor based on clear-cut responsibilities and by focusing on hierarchical organization structures like the U-form, M-form, and matrix. Governance mechanisms, for the most part, have been focused on transactional solutions, that is, on the monitoring of work behavior and monetary rewards. Today, knowledge workers dominate the workforce, and the integration of distributed, cross-functional knowledge is crucial. The most important governance mechanisms are no longer based on transactional but rather on transformational solutions that focus on the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers and their willingness to collaborate. We provide theoretical insight into the collaborative process and discuss three evolving organizational designs that enable knowledge workers to collaborate.

The literature on organization design is dominated by ideas and theories on how to manage manual work. This understanding is driven by a division of labor based on clear-cut responsibilities and by focusing on hierarchical organization structures like the U-form, M-form, and matrix. Governance mechanisms, for the most part, have been focused on transactional solutions, that is, on the monitoring of work behavior and monetary rewards. Today, knowledge workers dominate the workforce, and the integration of distributed, cross-functional knowledge is crucial. The most important governance mechanisms are no longer based on transactional but rather on transformational solutions that focus on the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers and their willingness to collaborate. We provide theoretical insight into the collaborative process and discuss three evolving organizational designs that enable knowledge workers to collaborate.

Citations

8 citations in Web of Science®
16 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:1 March 2010
Deposited On:25 Feb 2011 11:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:43
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0090-2616
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2010.01.002
Official URL:http://www.elsevier.com/locate/orgdyn
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-44789

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