Knowledge Workers

Davenport (2005) stated “knowledge workers have high degrees of expertise, education, or experience, and the primary purpose of their jobs involves the creation, distribution, or application of knowledge” (p. 10). Knowledge workers who fall under this description contribute to the success of the organization through distributed computing and distributed connectivity. Neeley (2007) stated that “distributed computing and distributed connectivity are among the different ways to maintain a competitive edge as knowledge companies” (para. 4).

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This paper discusses how knowledge workers such as this author and others in Publix Super Markets have enhanced the organization through distributed computing and distributed connectivity. Knowledge Workers Regan and O’Connor (2002) believed that knowledge workers are individuals who are specially trained mentally and Laudon and Laudon (2002) stated that creators are knowledge workers. Both authors basically are stating that a knowledge worker is someone who is trying to better the organization or themselves through education or research of what they are trying to accomplish.

Publix Super Markets employees numerous individuals who would fall under the knowledge worker realm. Operational Roles in Publix The managers or the supervisors overseeing the day-to-day operations of nonmanagement employees fall under the operational role structure. Publix has many employees who fall under the operational role. For example, the call center supervisor, warehouse team leaders and supervisors, and department managers.

In Publix, these roles must present quarterly reports to their directors. These reports summarize the work of the nonmanagement employees. An example of a quarterly report that was created by a knowledge worker in the call center was one that showed the number of service calls placed to a store location for a repair after a natural disaster. This report provided the service order number, the description of the disaster, the store location, the number of calls reported, and the amount of money lost.

Other reports to monitor day-to-day functions such as individual key point indicators are used to track and hold nonmanagement employees accountable for their own actions. Reports such as number of items picked by employee is a tool for an operational manager but is not needed for upper management. Instead, the operational manager will summarize the report, showing the quantity of items picked by all users over a certain timeframe. This information is beneficial especially when trying to show the need for more resources.


Davenport, T. H. (2005). Thinking for a living: How to get better performance and result from knowledge workers. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Laudon, K.C. ; Laudon, J.P. (2002). Management information systems: managing the digital firm. Upper Saddle River, N.J. Prentice Hall, Inc.

Neeley, D. (2007, October 22). Week 7 lecture. IST721. Message posted to news:[email protected]

Regan, E. ; O’Connor, B. (2002). End-user information systems: implementing individual and work group technologies. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.