Since the end of the 20th century we can observe the increasing complexity and internationalization of the competition and the common shift form manual to knowledge work. The new “knowledge economy” has most generally been defined in terms of technology and knowledge-based industries reflecting R&D (Research and Development) intensity, high ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) usage, and the deployment of large numbers of graduates and professional and associate professional workers – the knowledge workers.
Knowledge worker, a term brought up by Drucker (1959) is one who works primarily with information or one who develops and uses knowledge in the workplace. He is an individual who perform symbolic-analytic services including problem solving, problem identifying, and strategic brokering services (Reich, 1994, p. 177).
Examples of people who perform these services include but are not limited to the following – engineers, research scientists, lawyers, public relations executives, consultants, accountants, management information specialists, organizational development specialists, recruiters, journalists, university professors, etc. (Reich, 1994, p. 178). In 2005 more than forty per cent of the European workforce was employed in knowledge based industries as defined by Eurostat, however the UK had the one of the biggest shares of employment in the knowledge economy, close to fifty per cent. Rudiger & McVerry 2007). The idea of intellectual capital has emerged as an alternative or complementary to that of financial and material resources. The individual and organisational knowledge is recognised as one of the most critical assets. The way all stakeholders within the organisations recognise and use information, share and exploit knowledge, and create new knowledge is fundamental to support a company’s competitiveness and growth.
Therefore, it has been argued that “the most successful companies and the most successful countries will be those that manage human capital in the most effective and efficient fashion – investing in their workers, encouraging workers to invest in themselves, provide a good learning environment, and yes, include social capital as well as skills and training. (Becker, 2001, p. 1). The vital question is how to attract and retain the knowledge worker, how to motivate them and increase their job satisfaction in order to exploit their full potential
Page 160 of the book 2. 1 Background I am 32 years old migrant from Poland, male, single. I have obtained Masters of Economics degree at The University of Wroclaw in Finance Management. I came into the UK in 2003 at the age of 27, due to very difficult economical situation in Poland, and started my career from the beginning. My first job in the UK was in the McDonalds and half a year later I started working as an admin officer/ bookkeeper at the hair salon. I have been working for the past 4 years as a bookkeeper/ accountant.