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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2006:11:
How to manage people who think. A structural approach.

Carina Beckerman ()

Abstract: This is a paper about creativity, diversity and other often used buzzwords. It is also a paper about how to manage people who think. Today we live in a world in which computers and mobile phones have become the key artifacts. Nokia´s slogan ”connecting people” expresses in a brilliant way what it is all about. When we connect people information is transfered and new knowledge hopefully created. And innovations, ideas and individuals are central for everything that takes place. We are all supposed to be flexible, exercising our knowledge in a setting characterized by diversity. This setting is also characterized by paradoxes that I will write more about further down. But transformations such as the globalization and implementing of new information technology race crucial questions about how to deal with a changing economic landscape and new mindsets and changing attitudes. The pages that follow is based on extensive reading of the literature and participating in many conferences and work-shops. In addition to this I have interviewed managers and employees at Electrolux, Ericsson, TeliaSonera and The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. I have asked people in the above mentioned organizations how they react to concepts such as the knowledge society and the practice of managing knowledge, creativity, diversity and flexibility. This paper is written with a Scandinavian perspective. It is also written with a social constructionist perspective. The theoretical framework includes theories about knowledge management, structuration theory and cognitive theories. The findings are based on interpretative research and I have systematically reflected over the material I have collected. I direct myself towards people in business who think and worry about the future. The purpose is to inspire to further discussions about these very important matters.

Keywords: Knowledge management; structuration theory; knowledge society; globalization; creativity; diversity; flexibility.; (follow links to similar papers)

50 pages, November 21, 2006

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