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Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performances And Results from Knowledge Workers: How to Get Better Performance and Results from Knowledge Workers Hardcover – 1 Nov 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591394236
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591394235
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 663,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Thomas Davenport holds the President’s Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College. He is Director of Research for Babson Executive Education, an Accenture Fellow, and author, coauthor, or editor of nine books, including Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know (HBS Press, 1997).

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover
In a sense, everyone must "think for a living" in response to questions, problems, opportunities, etc. Davenport focuses his attention on "how to get better performance and results from knowledge workers" and I presume to suggest that everyone involved in an organization's operations should be or helped to become productive "knowledge workers," whatever their specific duties and responsibilities may be. Those who have read any of Davenport's previous books -- notably Working Knowledge and Information Ecology co-authored with Laurence Prusak, The Attention Economy co-authored with John Beck, What's the Big Idea?, Mission Critical -- already know that Davenport is among the most perceptive and eloquent business thinkers on the subject of knowledge management. In my opinion, Thinking for a Living is his most valuable contribution to that subject thus far.
He carefully organizes his material within nine chapters. Throughout his lively and informative narrative, he responds to questions such as these:
• "What's a knowledge worker, anyway?"
• How do knowledge workers differ from others?
•  So what?
•  Which interventions, measures, and experiments in "knowledge work" are most effective?
• Which are the most important knowledge work processes?
• Which organizational technology is most appropriate to knowledge workers?
• How to develop their individual capabilities?
• What must be invested in knowledge workers' networks and learning?
• Which physical work environment will help to maximize knowledge worker performance?
• How best to manage knowledge workers?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thinking for a Living - how to get better performance and results from knowledge workers - Thomas H Davenport

This is a review of the Kindle version, which seems to have vanished from the Amazon store. This is a welcome update on how best to manage staff, staff who know more about their job than you do, staff who are highly skilled and highly mobile. Actually staff like the majority of workers nowadays. The book is written with authority and insight, not heavily research and statistic based, nor just a set of empty exhortations. The author clearly knows what he is talking about. Having worked in organisations most of my life, this was packed with welcome insights and thoughts.

The book is tightly organised in chapters, so the best way to read it is a chapter at a time, if you are struggling with one particular chapter, press on, the next chapter is likely easier going. Each chapter comes with a summary and bullet points. My Kindle version is well produced, no obvious typos or other glitches.

The one downside of this book is that you come away from it realising just how poorly managed most organisations are, still tied to a top down approach, and if they thrive it is in spite of higher management and because of expert staff on the ground who really know what they are doing.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fine, occasionally frustrating book. It is frustrating for the same reason that it is so badly needed: business is just starting to figure out what it means to compete in a knowledge-based economy. Knowledge work is tremendously important, but only partially understood. This volume, which mixes practical advice with worksite studies, is a good stepping stone toward comprehending knowledge work and the people who accomplish it. Author Thomas H. Davenport is honest enough to admit what isn't known, however he delivers what is known clearly. He explains various organizational schema that are applicable, but not rigid. He provides examples, sharing personal and organizational stories that illustrate both success and failure in knowledge work. We warmly recommend this book to knowledge workers, those who manage knowledge workers and business leaders who are planning for the future.
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