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SmartWoW – constructing a tool for knowledge work performance analysis

Miikka Palvalin (Department of Business Information and Logistics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)
Maiju Vuolle (Department of Business Information and Logistics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)
Aki Jääskeläinen (Department of Business Information and Logistics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)
Harri Laihonen (Department of Business Information and Logistics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)
Antti Lönnqvist (Department of Business Information and Logistics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 13 April 2015

Abstract

Purpose

New Ways of Working (NewWoW) refers to a novel approach for improving the performance of knowledge work. The purpose of this paper is to seek innovative solutions concerning facilities, information technology tools and work practices in order to be able to “work smarter, not harder.” In order to develop work practices toward the NewWoW mode there is a need for an analytical management tool that would help assess the status of the organization’s current work practices and demonstrate the impacts of development initiatives. This paper introduces such a tool.

Design/methodology/approach

Constructive research approach was chosen to guide the development of the Smart ways of working (SmartWoW) tool. The tool was designed on the basis of previous knowledge work performance literature as well as on interviews in two knowledge-intensive organizations. The usefulness of the tool was verified by applying it in four organizations.

Findings

SmartWoW is a compact questionnaire tool for analyzing and measuring knowledge work at the individual level. The questionnaire consists of four areas: work environment, personal work practices, well-being at work and productivity. As SmartWoW is a standardized tool its results are comparable between organizations.

Research limitations/implications

SmartWoW was designed a pragmatic managerial tool. It is considered possible that it can be valuable as a research instrument as well but the current limited amount of collected data does not yet facilitate determining its usefulness from that perspective.

Originality/value

This paper makes a contribution to the existing literature on knowledge work measurement and management by introducing an analytical tool which takes into account the NewWoW perspective.

Keywords

Citation

Palvalin, M., Vuolle, M., Jääskeläinen, A., Laihonen, H. and Lönnqvist, A. (2015), "SmartWoW – constructing a tool for knowledge work performance analysis", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 64 No. 4, pp. 479-498. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-06-2013-0122

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited