What matters for knowledge work productivity?

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    732 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: Knowledge work productivity is a well-studied topic in the existing literature, but it has focussed mainly on two things. First, there are many theoretical models lacking empirical research, and second, there is a very specific research regarding how something impacts productivity. The purpose of this paper is to collect empirical data and test the conceptual model of knowledge work productivity in practice. The paper also provides information on how different drivers of knowledge work productivity have an impact on productivity. Design/methodology/approach: Through the survey method, data were collected from 998 knowledge workers from Finland. Then, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to confirm the knowledge work productivity dimensions of the conceptual model. Later, regression analysis was used to analyse the impacts of knowledge factors on productivity. Findings: This paper increases the understanding of what matters for knowledge work productivity, with statistical analysis. The conceptual model of knowledge work productivity consists of two major elements: the knowledge worker and the work environment. The study results showed that the knowledge worker has the biggest impact on productivity through his or her well-being and work practices. The social environment was also found to be a significant driver. The results could not confirm or refute the role of the physical or virtual environment in knowledge work productivity. Practical implications: The practical value of the study lies in the analysis results. The information generated about the factors impacting productivity can be used to improve knowledge work productivity. In addition, the limited resources available for organisational development will have the greatest return if they are used to increase intangible assets, i.e., management and work practices. Originality/value: While it is well known that many factors are essential for knowledge work productivity, relatively few studies have examined it from as many dimensions at the same time as this study. This study adds value to the literature by providing information on which factors have the greatest influence on productivity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)209-227
    Number of pages19
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number1
    Early online date2018
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2019
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Knowledge work
    • Measurement
    • Performance management
    • Productivity
    • Work environment
    • Performance

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Industrial relations
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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