Chapter 10: Moving Through the Great Recession (2007-2009): Personal Knowledge Management for Employment Opportunity
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. II: Research Methodology: 3rd edition


Individual approaches and experiences with personal knowledge management are not well documented in empirical studies, which led to the Schild (2013) research study. The Schild (2013) study explored the lived experiences of knowledge workers from the popular professional networking community LinkedIn. A semi-structured interview served as the data collection instrument for 21 knowledge workers. Data analysis occurred using a modified van Kaam Method by Moustakas (1994). Participant representation occurred across four generations as defined in the Schild (2013) study. Participants described work environments in multiple industries, varying job titles, and areas of residency across the United States.

Study results included information that participants communicated as important to gain a commoditizing difference in the workplace. Generational differences did not emerge as a factor for engagement in personal knowledge management activities, which supported current academic generational research. The knowledge gained through the Schild (2013) study allows leaders to consider factors that drive personal knowledge management to improve organizational opportunities, support personal knowledge management activities, assist knowledge workers to attain leadership qualities, and understand knowledge worker commoditizing differences.

Thinking out of the box to complete the Schild (2013) study resulted in constructing a meaningful way to present data to tell a story of personal knowledge management experiences. Refractive thinking was responsible for obtaining Institutional Research Board approval. Finally, out of the box thinking provided new research opportunities considering the global economic effects on personal knowledge management experiences.
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