Knowmads as Possible Mutants of Knowledge Workers in the Brave post-COVID World
Keywords:knowmad, post-COVID world, knowledge worker, mutation
The purpose of the present study is to capture the specific forces that are intensifying in the COVID-19 context, which stimulate the adaptation of some knowledge workers characteristics into mutated traits – the traits of knowmads. Also, the present study aims at exploring how this transformation is presented in the literature. Defined by John Moravec, the term "knowmad" describes those workers that stand out by being proficient in working with anybody, anywhere, at any time. As an autonomous knowledge worker apt to develop business ecosystems in real, virtual, or hybrid working environments, knowmads are not confined to employees of a single organization. A steady evolution in this respect has been visible for the last decade already. Still, it accelerated during COVID-19 pandemics, due to the global economic crisis. Studies show that the trend will continue to develop in the post-pandemic environment, as the prevalence of flexible, remote work during pandemics has increased from a niche occurrence to a widespread practice over the past nearly two years. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of employees worked from remote locations, on flexible schedules, and were not under the direct control of their supervisors. This study aims to explore and capture the main forces powered by COVID-19 pandemics, which stimulated the change of certain knowledge workers characteristics into a mutation towards knowmads characteristics. The authors implemented a critical literature analysis, and a computer-aided bibliometric analysis performed with the help of VOSviewer version 1.6.17 software. Findings demonstrate that the COVID-19 context boosted the transformation of the knowledge workers into knowmads, and the process is not going to end soon. Also, the search performed with VOSviewer shows a significant absence of knowledge concerning the transformation of corporate knowledge workers into self-managed knowmads.
Copyright (c) 2022 Constantin Bratianu
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