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Un‐managing knowledge workers

Charles Ehin (Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 25 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual and flexible framework for the management of knowledge workers in the current information economy.


Research from such diverse fields as anthropology, evolutionary biology/psychology, paleontology, molecular biology, neurophysiology, and social network analysis are used in an attempt to find commonalities in these disciplines that will help determine the effects of various organizational contexts on human nature and the innovative capabilities of knowledge workers.


Provides definitive explanations/reasons why knowledge workers should not be managed using Industrial Age management concepts and organizational structures. Also includes four clearly defined descriptive principles for the development of Knowledge Age organizations and social networks.

Practical implications

An especially useful multidisciplinary source for the development of innovative enterprises capable of motivating and expanding the creative potential of knowledge workers.


The paper identifies critical needs and methodologies for managing knowledge workers in addition to providing fundamental principles for the advancement of flexible and innovation rich organizations.



Ehin, C. (2008), "Un‐managing knowledge workers", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 337-350.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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