Systems & complexity

Tailoring your knowledge approach to the people you employ

While ethically it may be correct to consider “all people equal”, organisations must tailor their approach to ongoing knowledge and capability to the cohorts they employ.

There are many factors that can significantly affect who is likely to want to be employed in an industry. This in turn affects the dynamics, knowledge creation and reuse patterns, and ultimately the performance of these organisations. Recognising and adapting knowledge approaches to cohort characteristics is vital.

Evidence of the factors influencing career choices is surprisingly thin on the ground, but Kniveton’s 2004 research1 into student choices for career planning provides some excellent insights. Key factors include:

  • Parental career path
  • Gender stereotypes and cultural factors
  • Workplace hygiene factors (working hours and conditions, family-friendliness)
  • Risk tolerance (career certainty, self-employment)
  • Reward preference (intrinsic vs extrinsic)
  • Educators identifying attitudes and aptitudes
  • Workplace discrimination

Article source: Research in Education.

Header image source: Adapted from Newspaper – Careers by Flazingo which is licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0.


  1. Kniveton, B. H. (2004). The influences and motivations on which students base their choice of career. Research in Education, 72(1), 47-59.
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Stephen Bounds

Stephen Bounds is an Information and Knowledge Management Specialist with a wide range of experience across the government and private sectors. As founding editor of RealKM and Executive, Information Management at Cordelta, Stephen provides clear strategic thinking along with a hands-on approach to help organisations successfully develop and implement modern information systems.

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